CUBE (Centro Universitario Bolognese di Etnosemiotica) is a research centre in ethnosemiotics since 2009. It is currently part of the Department of Visual Arts, University of Bologna (UNIBO) Alma Mater Studiorum. CUBE's mission is to perform research and provide services in the field of investigating everyday behavior.
CUBE supports a new way to converge two established traditions of research and description: on the one hand, the ethnographic observation of daily practices, and on the other the semiotic analysis of the sense-forming processes. Ethnographic observation interprets daily practices on behalf of their symbolic value, while semiotic treats these practices as texts that manifest the human way of making sense of the world. This convergence of perspectives affects both traditions in various ways. It structures explicitly ethnography's field observation, and it enlarges the field of semiotic analysis facing new and different problems.
The result is a meaningful increase in the ability of describing everyday practices: observation is given a semiotic form and selects data based on their expressive relevance. By that it adds a renewed capacity for analysis and observation of the values invested in everyday objects (products, environments, goods, instruments, etc.). Objects that participate in the meaning forming processes of social actors through sharing, constant exchange, and reproduction.
CUBE AIMS to develop research methods (through meetings and study sessions) and to encourage their dissemination (through appropriate educational and promotional activities both). At the same time it acts as a provider of applied research, ensuring appropriate counsel to all those social and economic operators to whom innovation and design solutions mainly depend on the knowledge of the values that individuals and social actors invest in their real life.