The Circle That Wanted To Be A Square

14. April 2016 by dan
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Interview with Lou Rosenfeld

09. April 2016 by dan
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What Good Means

26. September 2015 by dan
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Workshop on Wheels at Big Design in Dallas

Wherein I put thirty UXers on a bus and drive them all around downtown Dallas to learn about the corollaries between architecture in the built environment, and architecture in places made of information

People in the United States spend more than 40 hours each month inhabiting digital places; constantly checking and re-checking their statuses, account balances, their likes and unfollows, their friends and tinder matches. We do this more than 150 times a day. An increasing portion of everybody’s everyday takes place in places made of information.

What does it take to make good places for people?

One rich and relevant source for understanding what makes a good digital place is architecture in the built environment. Buildings can teach us about the power, successes and failures of design to transform the emptiness of space into the fullness of place.

Dallas, Texas is a “target-rich” urban environment for studying the successes and failures of architecture. On September 17, as part of the Big Design conference, I will be leading an excursion into the built environment in and around downtown Dallas, comparing and contrasting points of architectural and design interest along the way.

We’ll visit 11 buildings of my choosing, each one telling a different story of human desires and needs, and the ways designers, architects, planners and engineers collaborate in placemaking. We’ll encounter the works of Philip Johnson, I.M. Pei, Santiago Calatrava, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Renzo Piano. We’ll ask a lot of dumb questions, and a few brilliant ones.

You’ll return to Big Design with an enhanced ability to read the design of physical and digital structures, and map those structures back to meaning and intention. In understanding what “good” means in civic and commercial architecture we will begin to understand what “good” might mean in places made of information.

Get on the bus….only 30…. no wait, 20 seats left!

Some of the places we’ll visit

  • Dallas City Hall, by I.M. Pei
  • Cathedral of Hope, by Philip Johnson
  • Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, by Santiago Calatrava
  • Kalita Humphreys Theatre, by Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Nasher Sculpture Garden, by Renzo Piano

Google Map for Workshop On Wheels – Big Design 2015

27. August 2015 by dan
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IA Essentials Workshop At SXSW

16. January 2015 by dan
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Speaking at ConveyUX in Seattle in January 2015

I get to give TWO talks at ConveyUX in Seattle in January.

01. December 2014 by dan
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Abstract and Excerpt from Dutch Uncles, Ducks and Decorated Sheds

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.

Abstract: On what basis can and ought one assess the relative merits of a given work of information architecture? In 2009, Jesse James Garrett pointed to the non- existence of such a normative theory and the community of practice’s consequent inability to indicate “what good means” as evidence that information architecture is not a proper discipline. Garrett’s rallying cry was for a wholesale reframing of that community in terms of User Experience Design, with human engagement as its center. In this chapter, I draw from the work of architects Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi to counter-propose a co-occurring reframing of the mostly-digital sense- and place-making work of information architecture in the normative terms of architecture, where the appropriate interplay of meaning and structural form com- prises the basis of what good means.

07. August 2014 by dan
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Now Available: Reframing Information Architecture Book

Reframing Information ArchitectureI 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.).

07. August 2014 by dan
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Louis Kahn and Alan Watts On Wonder



15. June 2014 by dan
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DUMB Project Update

Screen shot from my Map / Poster layout

I’m getting excited to give a retooled version of my DUMB presentation at the GIANT conference on June 11.

Last night, I updated the project site for the Book / Map and uploaded some provisional cover art etc. Check it out:

30. May 2014 by dan
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