Signs and Emotions as the Experience of the Urban Explorer

  • Mihaela Motaianu PhD candidate, National University of Arts Bucharest
  • Cornelia Motaianu PhD student, National University of Arts Bucharest
Keywords: psychogeography, infographic, emotions, phenomenological experience, urban visuallanguage


Although we have the impression that we understand the urban texture in which we live, the city still holds surprises in the way it communicates everyday aspects, situations, and cultural history.The experience of the urban explorer, that flâneur/stroller mentioned by Guy Debord (1955) and the Situationist school, was until recently only a literary experience. The emotion of discovering the unusual in the urban daily life was communicated only in the form of textual narratives (Sinclair, 1997).

Recently the psychogeographical approach to the city has become again a topic of interest. Although contemporary design transposed the behavioral codes of urban life into signs, it did not propose emoticons for the phenomenological experience of one who experiences the city.

The original purpose of this paper is to translate the phenomenological experience of the urban explorer into infographics (which translates complex concepts into signs with condensed meaning) and to quantify and communicate emotionally and visually, the experience of the "invisible" [out of sight] cultural details to the hurried passerby.

This paper will discuss the phenomenological (psychogeographical) experience of the city transferred into visual signs will be presented. The authors insist on the communicative value of infographics in making visible the hidden beauty of the city, the historical and esthetical details that are not seen by the passersby on the street, proposing a new urban visual language accompanied by visual design theory and cultural history explanations.


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How to Cite
Motaianu, M., & Motaianu, C. (2022). Signs and Emotions as the Experience of the Urban Explorer. LUMEN Proceedings, 17, 482-491.