Editorial: The System of Information Architecture

Seeing a system as something different from the sum of its parts and more out of control than most realize resonates with my experience as an information architect. We who labor at the crossroads of structure and behavior have learned the hard way that content management is far messier than garbage collection and “the system always kicks back.”

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Lifeboat #5: Richard Saul Wurman

Nine in the evening. Sunday. Richard Saul has spent the weekend at home with the family on a small farm about twenty - five miles from Philadelphia. We are meeting at his apartment in town, where he generally spends the rest of the week alone. When he’s not off lecturing or conferring somewhere else in the world, a great deal of his work is done in and frequently for the city of Philadelphia. He works hard, long hours. He gets a lot done.

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A Brief History of Information Architecture

What was appropriate for simple hypertext systems in the late 1990s is certainly not even barely sufficient anymore. Simply being able to be connected while being on the move means there is no certainty of the physical context in which a certain piece of information is produced, remediated, or consumed, turning each information architecture into a huge design challenge. There is no switching off if information follows us in real-time when we walk out the door: as a result, the way we interact, the data we need, how we allow ourselves to be distracted by the information we receive, the urgency or timing of warnings and reminders change all the time.

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Ethnotelling for User-generated Experiences

This paper focuses on storytelling as a research tool for the social sciences, especially for cultural anthropology. After a short review of the main methodological tools traditionally used in ethnography, with particular regard to observation and interview, we focus on collecting and crafting stories (ethnotelling) as suitable tools for conveying the relational nature of fieldwork. Drawing on the works of Orr, Chipchase, Marradi and Adwan/Bar-on, we show how stories — collected, mediated or made up — are valuable tools for representing experiences and identities.

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Issue 2, Vol. 3
Fall 2011

Table of Contents


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