In TUG Talks
Summary: Information architect Jessica DuVerneay gives a talk on "Architecture and IA: Expanding the Metaphor" at the 2016 IA Summit.

The metaphor of physical architecture is often used to explain the practice of information architecture. While one could contend the utility of this comparison all together, this talk will instead contend that the metaphor is at best incomplete. Natural and indigenous architectures have welcomed people, facilitated the growth of communities, and hosted commerce for thousands of years in sustainable, culturally appropriate, human-friendly ways. Yet, so many of the examples practitioners reference to explain and strategically guide our work are limited to contemporary approaches. This talk, intended to be a mix of theory and practical suggestions, will:

  • introduce the built-world metaphor we often reference as practitioners of IA
  • explore the current architect-driven critique of contemporary architecture, and
  • consider natural and indigenous architecture strategies as an expansion to the existing referential architectural canon.

We will close with an exploration of practical strategic principles from natural and indigenous architecture that can, and should, inform the placemaking we do in digital spaces.

Architecture and IA: Session Takeaways

Attendees will be invited to explore new metaphors and examples of architectural structures that are inclusive, sustainable, and community centered in ways modernism has not been. Those unfamiliar with the common archetypical architectures commonly used in the conversation of practitioners will gain exposure to some modernist basics (possibly including but not limited to Lou Kahn, Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, Le Corbusier) as well as exposure to natural and indigenous architecture basics. Practitioners reliant on modernism in their conversations of information architecture will be challenged to expand their strategic reference material. Everyone will leave with a few practical ideas to use in their IA work immediately following the session.

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