Issue 1-2, Volume 5 of the Journal of IA
From Thomas Wendt's “Information Cartilage”
This paper is an attempt to understand expanding information spaces from a phenomenological perspective. As technology continues to challenge the online/offline distinction, phenomenology provides a useful framework for thinking about context, the role of situated being, and the need for order. Artificial intelligence and context-aware computing are used as examples of information environments that specifically call out the benefits of understanding information as a bodily entity—as in a “body of information” or “body of knowledge”. Concentrating on a Heideggerian approach to technology, which in part characterizes technology as a call for order and structure, the essay will examine the idea of ‘structured flexibility’ needed for systems that not only process information but also predict needs, shape information contexts, and actively engage in the user-system interaction. Finally, it will provide new ways for information architects to think about the expanding space of information.