“Where, if anywhere, is the architecture in information architecture?”

” […] The development of IA, which is seemingly analogous to architecture as the design of the built environment, is not only a potentially new design field in which architects can work, but it is also a challenge to the profession. Reflecting on the notion of the virtual library for example, the architectural theorist, William J. Mitchell, reflects on the impact on architecture as it is traditionally conceived once digital edifices have replaced physical ones: The task facing the designers of [the] soft library is a transformation (with some invariants but many radical changes) of what faced the Smirke brothers and the librarian Panizzi as they evolved the design for the British Museum and Library. The façade is not to be constructed of stone and located on a street in Bloomsbury, but of pixels on thousands of screens scattered throughout the world. Organizing book stacks and providing access to them turns into a task of structuring databases and providing search and retrieval routines. Reading tables become display windows on screens …. The hugestacks shrink to almost negligible size, the seats and carrels disperse and there is nothing left to put a grand façade on (Mitchell 2000: 56–7). In Mitchell’s description, architecture has clearly been reconfi gured and perhaps replaced by a new IA. Although he places emphasis on the radical changes that are being brought about by digital technology, particularly in terms of the storage and retrieval of information, he notes that there are certain ‘invariant’ characteristics. From the very notion of an information architect, through to the building analogy used by Rosenfeld and Morville (2002), it is clear that traditional notions of information and of its representation in physical space provide a conceptual framework, linking information, its organization, its display and its navigation in new digital contexts. Where, if anywhere, is the architecture in information architecture? (The Architecture of Information. Architecture, interaction design and the patterning of digital information, Martyn Dade-Robertson, Routledge, p. 14)

Schermata 07-2456479 alle 16.35.36

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Cosimo Accoto

Research Affiliate at MIT | Author "Il Mondo Ex Machina" (Egea) | Philosopher-in-Residence | Business Innovation Advisor | www.cosimoaccoto.com

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