Journal of Information Architecture

SPRING 2021, VOL 6 ISS 1 — Landscapes

Presence, Thing-ness, and World-hood


So, where were we?
The publication of the Spring 2021 issue marks the beginning of a new cycle in the life of the Journal of Information Architecture, and brings with it a few long-awaited changes.

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The Architecture of Algorithm-driven Persuasion

Persuasion is a process that aims to utilize (true or false) information to change people’s attitudes in relation to something, usually as a precursor to behavioural change. Its use is prevalent in democratic societies, which do not, in principle, permit censorship of information or the use of force to enact power. The transition of information to the internet, particularly with the rise of social media, together with the capacity to capture, store and process big data, and advances in machine learning, have transformed the way modern persuasion is conducted. This has led to new opportunities for persuaders, but also to well-documented instances of abuse: fake news, Cambridge Analytica, foreign interference in elections, etc.. We investigate large-scale technology-based persuasion, with the help of three case studies derived from secondary sources, in order to identify and describe the underlying technology architecture and propose issues for future research, including a number of ethical concerns.

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Design Notes

On the Information Architecture of Music

The article frames music through the lens of information architecture in order to infer a few considerations on information architecture through the lens of music, and is a thoroughly revised and expanded version of the author’s opening keynote at World Information Architecture Day in Verona, Italy, February 18 2017.

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A Temporal Sense of Place

The Politics of Attention and Information Architecture

This paper introduces perspectives on power/knowledge and technicity to politicize the design and architecture of digital, cross-channel or hybrid places. It applies these concepts to update and revitalize Doreen Massey’s concept of place, to argue that digital places appropriate the attention of inhabitants to create a temporal sense of place. This is extrapolated from two contrasting case studies of digital place: a social networking service and a content platform, to demonstrate how various forms of economic, cultural and social value can be generated. This re-conceptualization of place is critically applied to the information architecture theory of place-making to argue that information architects are active participants in the politics of attention within digital environments. It responds to the discipline’s awareness of its inherent political agency and offers two suggestions for information architects to design as change agents: (1) create place that necessitates affordances of temporal agency; (2) generate a holistic range of values in place.

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Footnotes to “Re: The Future of Information Architecture”

The article “Re: The Future of Information Architecture” was first published on September 24 2019. Although written in relation to the dissolution of the Information Architecture Institute (IAI), its content presented a reflection on the field at that time with an eye to the future. The present article serves three different purposes: for preservation and historic record of the original text; as documentation of the concerns facing the field at that time, in relation to its institutional status; as a commentary and further conceptual elaboration roughly two years after the dissolution.

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Spring 2021 is the current issue of the Journal of Information Architecture. The issue is closed. Andrea Resmini is the Editor-in-Chief for the issue.