Closing Keynote at World IA Day Switzerland 2020
Richard Saul Wurman’s 5 Lives
I’m working on the biography of Richard Saul Wurman, organized into two volumes: a mostly-chronological oral history, and a scholarly monograph.
I’m making some of the more tantalizing and stand-alone bits from my research available as I formulate them in blog posts and transcripts of speeches and interviews.
Einmal Ist Keinmal
A long essay on the work of Christopher Alexander, and the pole-shift in my teaching and in my practice that came about through visits I fanaggled to see his projects in Tokyo, Seattle, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Jose, Lake Travis, West Dean, and West Sussex.
An Opposite Truth
In UX design, the first principle we teach students is you are not your user. It’s a ripe axiom, and I’ve found that its opposite is also true.
In Search Of The Architecture Part of Information Architecture
I was invited to give the closing keynote talk at the Information Architecture Summit in Vancouver in 2017, and instead I read this piece of writing into a microphone. It was a bad speech, but it’s a good essay.
Please feel free to purchase the chapter I wrote for Reframing Information Architecture. I assure you I receive exactly zero dollars for each $40 PDF.
— dan klyn (@danklyn) August 6, 2014
I just ordered a copy of Reframing Information Architecture, a new academic textbook style publication from Springer edited by Andrea Resmini. The book compiles work originally presented in a pre-conference workshop in Baltimore for the IA Summit. It features chapters written by yours truly, Andrew Hinton, Flavia Lacerda, Terence Fenn (et al.), Duane Degler, Sally Burford, David Fiorito, Roberto Maggi, David Peter Simon and Luca Rosati (et al.).
— Red Beard (@AhSinistrah) January 19, 2013
The highest to which man can attain is wonder; and if the prime phenomenon makes him wonder, let him be content.
— Alan Watts (@AlanWattsDaily) June 16, 2014
I love Alan Watts. Stay in awe of the world around you✶ pic.twitter.com/ovMiSWAqHX
— ☽lucy☾ (@psychedeliaaa) June 15, 2014
For the second time in as many semesters, Andy Fitzgerald was kind enough to remotely give a rendition of Taxonomy for App Makers for my students in SI658 at U-M, a piece of work he originally presented at the Information Architecture Summit in 2013.
There is no limit to the number of times I will delight in hearing this bundle of teachings, and the only limit to the number of times I will go back to the well of images and words in Mr. Fitzgerald’s deck would come from be me no longer wanting or having to explain the concept of information architecture.
There are plenty of ways to explain information architecture, but each of them depends on an understanding of what’s meant by the word “architecture.”
And even while I’ve been preparing myself for more than five years now to understand and talk about the architecture of buildings in ways that help explain the architecture of information, what Fitzgerald does here is provide a way to understand and explain all architectures, irrespective of the prefix:
Architecture is rhetoric for spaces.
Let that one work on you for a while: rhetoric for spaces. An argument for how things ought to be set up in space. Few of us have worked on the teams that make buildings, but all of us have made arguments. And all of us have arranged things in a space or across spaces because of reasons.
That’s as good of a way to set up a conversation about information architecture and taxonomy as any I’ve yet seen or tried.
Architecture = the argument.
Taxonomy = arrangement of things because of reasons given in or by the argument.
Fitzgerald’s framing of taxonomy relative to architecture provides an equally excellent set-up for talking about the inter-relatedness of and distinctions between architecture and design.
Architecture = the argument.
Design = an instance-articulation of the argument.
We might say that when designed things are good, that’s because they’ve been made as an instance-articulation of an over-arching argument that we find persuasive, if not agreeable.