Semiotic Profile

Alexandros Phaidon Lagopoulos

By Gregory Paschalidis

Born in Athens (1939), Alexandros Ph. Lagopoulos studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens and went to Paris for his postgraduate studies (Urban Planning at the Centre de Recherche d'Urbanisme and Urban Geography at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales), where he also earned his PhD in Social Anthropology (Sorbonne). His post-doctoral thesis was in Urban and Regional Planning (National Technical University of Athens) and he was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Semiotics by the New Bulgarian University (Sofia). He started his teaching career in 1966, as a Lecturer at the National Technical University of Athens, and since 1974 has been Professor of Urban Planning at the School of Architecture of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His visiting research and teaching positions abroad include the Research Center for Language and Semiotic Studies of Indiana University, the Dept. of Urban Planning of U.C.L.A., the Dept. of Geography of Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität and the Dept. of Social and Economic Geography of the University of Uppsala.

In addition to a number of academic textbooks on urban planning, Prof. Lagopoulos' major publications concern primarily the sociosemiotics of space. These include L'orientation des monuments des cultures de mentalité archaïque (Athens: I. N. Zacharopoulos, 1969), 'Mode de production asiatique et modèles sémiotiques urbains: Analyse socio-sémiotique d'agglomérations antiques du Moyen-Orient' (Semiotica 53, 1/3, 1985: 1-129), 'Structure sociale globale et structure urbaine en Athènes classique: vers une urbanologie fonctionelle' Scientific Yearbook of the Faculty of Engineering, School of Architecture 11, 1988: 371-431), Meaning and Geography: The Social Conception of the Region in Northern Greece. (with K. Boklund-Lagopoulou, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1992), Urbanisme et sémiotique dans les sociétés pré-industrielle (Paris: Anthropos, 1995), Heaven on Earth: Sacralisation Rituals of the Traditional Greek Settlement and their Origins (in Greek; Athens: Odysseas., 2003), Epistemologies of Meaning, Structuralism and Semiotics (in Greek; Thessaloniki: Paratiritis, to appear).

He has contributed to a wide range of collective volumes, most notably Shelter, Sign and Symbol, ed. P.Oliver (London: Barrie & Jenkins,1975), Planning in Europe, ed. P. H. Williams (London: Allen and Unwin, 1984), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Cross-Cultural Communication, ed. W. Enninger & K. J. Brunt (Aachen: Rader Verlag, 1985), The Semiotic Sphere, ed. Thomas A. Sebeok & D. J. Umiker-Sebeok (New York and London: Plenum, 1986), The Semiotic Web 1987, eds. Thomas A. Sebeok & J. Umiker-Sebeok (Berlin, New York, Amsterdam: Mouton de Gruyter, 1988), Handbuch zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft, eds. R. Posner, K. Robering and Thomas A. Sebeok (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter,1992), Lebens-Welt Zeichen-Welt / Life World Sign World (Festschrift für Martin Krampen am 65. Geburtstag), vol. 2 (Lüneburg: Jansen-Verlag, 1994), Ensaios em Homenagem a / Essays in Honor of Thomas A. Sebeok, ed. N. Tasca (Cruzeiro Semiotico 22-25,1995), Semiotik / Semiotics: Ein Handbuch zu den zeichentheoretischen Grundlagen von Natur und Kultur, eds. R. Posner, K. Robering and Th. A. Sebeok, vol. I (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 1997).

Prof. Lagopoulos has edited a variety of volumes, conference proceedings and special journal issues, among which The City and the Sign: An Introduction to Urban Semiotics (with M. Gottdiener, New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), Semiotica 59: 3/4, 1986 (on Semiotics and History, with K. Boklund-Lagopoulou), S: European Journal for Semiotic Studies 8 (4), 1996 (on Semiotics in Greece, with K. Boklund-Lagopoulou), The Man and the City: Spaces, Forms, Meanings (with P. Pellegrino & A. Barabanov, St. Petersburg, etc.: Architecton, 1998), as well as the landmark, 4-volume anthology Semiotics (with M. Gottdiener and K. Boklund-Lagopoulou, London: Sage Publications, 2002). His numerous articles, covering different aspects of urban and visual semiotics, have been published in a wide range of international journals on semiotics such as Communications, Semiotica, Kodikas/Code, Zeitschrift für Semiotik, S: European Journal for Semiotic Studies, VS: Quaderni di Studi Semiotici; he has also published on urban planning, archeology and geography in journals such as Espace et Sociétés, Society and Space, Geoforum, Revista de Historia da Arte e Arqueologia, Journal of Historical Geography. He has presented papers in more than a hundred congresses and symposia, including all World Congresses of the International Association for Semiotic Studies since the first in Milano in 1974.