In memoriam Pierre Pellegrino (1947-2022)

Pierre Pellegrino (1947-2022)

I first met Pierre in 1984 at the 3rd International Congress of the IASS at Palermo and immediately a friendship began to be constructed. Very soon, in 1985, we met again, this time on Greek soil. The Hellenic Semiotic Society had the idea to gather, for the first time, the − few at the time − semioticians of space from around the world in a symposium on the island of Andros, and of course Pierre was present. The atmosphere of companionship that we all felt inspired Pierre to create in Urbino the Association Internationale de Sémiotique de l’Espace, of which he was President until very recently, since no one could think of a more inspiring and active person to fill this office. He was the heart of the presence of the Association in the IASS congresses, even as late as the 2016 13th congress in Kaunas, when he was already ill, and managed each time to have the semiotics of space cover a series of sections extending during the whole duration of the congress.

Pierre was an architect, but deeply involved in semiotics from very early in his life. He was also keen on philosophical reflection and the influence of the Greek philosopher of “καιρικότητα” (chronicity) Evangelos A. Moutsopoulos led him to rename the Association, by adding “+ time” after “space”. He had a great respect and affection for Luis Prieto as a leading semiotician, and for Martin Krampen, a semiotician who worked on the psychology of design. Already in 1983, at the School of Architecture of the University of Geneva, Pierre had directed a pioneering research project on “Identité régionale et representations collectives de l’espace”, that is, regional semiotics, an object which is rarely studied even today.

He fought his illness with courage for many years, without abandoning his activities in writing and editing. Only in the last e-mails we exchanged he knew that the end was coming and we both became very sentimental.

Adieu, Pierre, et bon voyage, we will not forget you. Alexandros Ph. Lagopoulos

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