Dr Gabriele Aroni (MArch University of Florence; MSc Oxford Brookes University; PhD Toronto Metropolitan and York Universities) is Assistant Professor at the School of Cultural Technology. He held teaching posts at the Toronto Metropolitan and OCAD Universities in Toronto, Canada, and has worked as a designer at the Studio Roosegaarde in the Netherlands, as well as in Canada, England, and Italy. His research is situated at the intersection of architecture, game studies, cultural heritage, and semiotics. He his the author of The Semiotics of Architecture in Video Games (Bloomsbury, 2022) and published articles in Well Played, the Journal of Media Research, Annali di Architettura, and Southern Semiotics Review as well as a book on Renaissance architecture (Mimesis: Milan, 2016). He presented at conferences in China, Canada, Romania, Portugal, and Italy. Dr Aroni is also a researcher at the Global Academic Alliance for Partnership on a Community with Shared Future at the Communication University of China in Beijing, as well as the Multilanguage Cultural Heritage Lexis Research Project at the University of Florence, Italy, and the International Scientific Committee on Interpretation and Preservation of Cultural Heritage Sites for ICOMOS.
PhD, Toronto Metropolitan and York Universities, Canada
MSc, Oxford Brookes University, UK
MArch, University of Florence, Italy
Lecturer - OCAD University, Toronto, Canada - 2019 to 2021
Lecturer - Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Canada - 2013 to 2021
Interaction Designer - Philip Beesley Architects, Toronto, Canada - 2020
Interaction Designer - Studio Roosegaarde, Rotterdam, The Netherlands - 2011
Communication and Media Studies
Aroni G, 2020 '‘Vitruvian Proportions in the Design of the Architectural Orders of the Basilica of San Lorenzo' in Annali di Architettura 31, 7-21.
Aroni G, 2019 'The Semiosis of Architectural Identity in The Witcher 3' in Journal of Media Research 12:3 (35), 47-59.
Aroni G, 2019 'The Architecture of Assassin’s Creed II’s Florence: An Analysis with the History-Game Relations (HGR) Framework' in Well Played 8:1, 13-26.
Aroni, G 2014 'Semiotic analysis of the Corinthian order in the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence 1420- 1490' in Southern Semiotics Review (4).
Aroni, G, 2022 'A Semiotic Framework for the Analysis of Virtual Architecture in Digital Games' in Cross-Cultural Design: Applications in Learning, Arts, Cultural Heritage, Creative Industries, and Virtual Reality, Cham: Springer, 459-467.
Books, monographs, compilations and manuals
Aroni G, 2022 'The Semiotics of Architecture in Video Games', London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Aroni G, 2016 'Gli ordini architettonici di San Lorenzo a Firenze 1420-1490' [The Architectural Orders of San Lorenzo in Florence 1420-1490], Milan: Mimesis.
Chapters, cases, readings and supplements
Aroni G, 2023 'A Missile to the Face: Scarred Characters in Mass Effect 2' in Ellis, K, Leaver, T and Kent, M (eds) Gaming Disability Disability Perspectives on Contemporary Video Games, London: Routledge.
Aroni G, 2022 'From Bricks to Pixels' in Petrilli, S and Ji, M (eds) Intersemiotic Perspectives on Emotions: Translating across Signs, Bodies and Values, London: Routledge, 227-240.
Aroni G, 2022 'Semiotics in Architecture and Spatial Design' in Pelkey, J and Walsh Matthews, S (eds) Bloomsbury Semiotics Volume 2: Semiotics in the Natural and Technical Sciences, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 277-296.
Aroni, G, Bregni, S, McDonald, H, 2019 'Assassin's Creed Series' in Schrier, K (ed) Learning, Education and Games Volume 3: 100 Games to Use in the Classroom and Beyond, Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press, 32-38.
2022, 'Semiotics in Architecture and Spatial Design', 15th World Congress of Semiotics, Thessaloniki, Greece.
2022, 'Virtual Signs, Real Emotions: How Virtual Architecture Communicates in Digital Games', 15th World Congress of Semiotics, Thessaloniki, Greece.
2022, 'A Semiotic Framework for the Analysis of Virtual Architecture in Digital Games', HCI International 2022 Conference.
2022, ‘The Aesthetics of Xuanhuan Games and Chinese Cultural Heritage Between East and West’, InGAME International Conference: Games in/between China and the West.
2021, ‘How Games can Help Preserve and Diffuse Cultural Heritage’, Canadian Game Studies Association Conference.
2021, ‘The Case for a Brunelleschi Decoration of the pre-Donatello Old Sacristy’, 67th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America.
2019, ‘Education and Diffusion of Architectural Heritage through Digital Games’, 5th International Conference on Media Literacy Education, Communication University of China, Beijing.
2019, ‘The Limits of Copyright Law in Video Game Photography’, 20th International Roundtable for the Semiotics of Law, University of Coimbra, Faculty of Law, Portugal.
2019, ‘Renaissance Architecture in Digital Games’, The Renaissance Society of America 65th Conference, Toronto, Canada.
2018, ‘Methods and Methodologies in Communication and Cultural Studies Panel’, Future Communications 2018 Graduate Conference, Toronto, Canada.
2018, ‘The Semiotics of Architecture in Digital Games’, The International Association for Cognitive Semiotics Conference, Toronto, Canada.
2018, ‘The Semiotics of Architecture in The Witcher 3: How Virtual Architecture Communicates’, Semiosis in Communication - Differences and Similarities, International Association for Semiotic Studies, Bucharest, Romania.
2017, ‘Vitruvius’ Treatise as the Basis for the Future of Renaissance Architecture’, Congress of the Humanities & Social Sciences, Canadian Society of Renaissance Studies CSRS, Toronto, Canada.
2017, ‘In-game Photography and the Future of Video Game Aesthetic Portrayal’, Congress of the Humanities & Social Sciences, Canadian Game Studies Association, Toronto, Canada.
Aroni, G 2022-2025, Principal Investigator, Digital Heritage and Digital Games, Research Development Fund, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
Professional service activities
2021 to present, Scientific Board, Multilanguage Cultural Heritage Lexis (Florence University Press).
2021, External Reviewer, World Monument Fund, 2022 World Monuments Watch.
2021 to present, Associate Member, ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Interpretation and Preservation of Cultural Heritage Sites (ICIP).
2019 to present, International Researcher, Global Academic Alliance for Partnership on a Community with Shared Future, Communication University of China, Beijing.
2014 to present, Researcher in History of Art and Architecture, Multilanguage Cultural Heritage Lexis Research Project, University of Florence, Italy.
FTA442 Game Industry and Culture
CAT201TC Form, Innovation and Audience
CAT209TC Image Design, Creation, Manipulation and World Building
CAT105TC Entertainment Technology
Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA)
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
Canadian Game Studies Association (CGSA)
International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS)
The Renaissance Society of America (RSA)
Awards and honours
2015-2020 Edward S. Rogers Sr. Graduate School Fellowship, Canada.