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Mnemotopic Perspectives: Communication Design as Stabilizer for the Memory of Places

Authors: C. Galasso


The ancestral relationship between humans and geographical environment has long been at the center of an interdisciplinary dialogue, which sees one of its main research nodes in the relationship between memory and places. Given its deep complexity, this symbiotic connection continues to look for a proper definition that appears increasingly negotiated by different disciplines. Numerous fields of knowledge are involved, from anthropology to semiotics of space, from photography to architecture, up to subjects traditionally far from these reasonings. This is the case of Design of Communication, a young discipline, now confident in itself and its objectives, aimed at finding and investigating original forms of visualization and representation, between sedimented knowledge and new technologies. In particular, Design of Communication for the Territory offers an alternative perspective to the debate, encouraging the reactivation and reconstruction of the memory of places. Recognizing mnemotopes as a cultural object of vertical interpretation of the memory-place relationship, design can become a real mediator of the territorial fixation of memories, making them increasingly accessible and perceptible, contributing to build a topography of memory. According to a mnemotopic vision, Communication Design can support the passage from a memory in which the observer participates only as an individual to a collective form of memory. A mnemotopic form of Communication Design can, through geolocation and content map-based systems, make chronology a topography rooted in the territory and practicable; it can be useful to understand how the perception of the memory of places changes over time, considering how to insert them in the contemporary world. Mnemotopes can be materialized in different format of translation, editing and narration and then involved in complex systems of communication. The memory of places, therefore, if stabilized by the tools offered by Communication Design, can make visible ruins and territorial stratifications, illuminating them with new communicative interests that can be shared and participated.

Keywords: Memory of places, design of communication, territory, mnemotope, topography of memory.

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