A Model for Information Environments - Reframe IA Workshop 2013

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My five-minute ignite-style talk for the Reframe IA workshop. Please note, for SlideShare purposes, I had to embed my notes into the slides, because PowerPoint wasn't behaving with other options. …

My five-minute ignite-style talk for the Reframe IA workshop. Please note, for SlideShare purposes, I had to embed my notes into the slides, because PowerPoint wasn't behaving with other options.
(Information about the workshop: http://2013.iasummit.org/program/workshops/the-amazing-academics-practitioners-round-table/)

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  • 1. A Model for Information EnvironmentsA Five-Minute Summary for the “Reframe IA” WorkshopIA Summit Baltimore MD | 2013Andrew Hinton | @inkblurtInformation Architect |The Understanding Group (TUG)
  • 2. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS What do we mean by “ Information Environment” ??Notes: For over a decade, the community that calls this conference home has definedinformation architecture as, in part, "the structural design of shared information environments,"yet we still lack a consensus for what we mean by that phrase. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 3. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTSNotes: This has contributed in many ways to a years-long circular discourse about what IA isand does, preventing IA from having a central, shared domain as a community of practice thatcan properly evolve into a full-fledged discipline. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 4. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS YOU ARE NOT YOUR F***ING WIREFRAMES.Notes: It has also contributed to the perception of IA as a bucket of methods one can learn in aday-long workshop, or as a narrow specialization for fussy card-catalogers, or worse yet abackward vocation for wireframe fetishists. Image: Fight Club REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 5. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTSNotes: I contend that, rather than a fuzzily meaningless phrase of weasel-words, “informationenvironment” is a sound concept that only requires more effort on our part to fully articulateand develop into a real foundation for understanding our medium.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mustela_nivalis_-British_Wildlife_Centre-4.jpg REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 6. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS START HERENotes: Rather than starting with technology and information theory, I believe IA’s best valuecomes from starting with deeper, core layers of perception, cognition, and language – theslower moving foundations underneath the areas of typical focus. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 7. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTSNotes: I should point out that these ideas borrow from a movement some have called “radicalembodied cognition theory” that seeks to replace conventional cognitive science. Embodiedcognition argues that cognition is a whole-body perceptual system, with the brain in a supportingrole. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 8. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS Notes: The model outlines three modes for how we experience information: ecological, semantic, and digital. Let me be clear that this People communicating with people. is not an academic definition of information, or a comprehensive model. It’s offered as a pragmatic Semantic step toward something we can use in practice. Digital Ecological 10100010 01001000 10100010 01001000 01110011 01110011 Digital systems transmitting to & receiving from other digital systems.Animals (including people) perceiving the environment. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 9. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS Notes: The ecological mode has to do with the relationship an animal has with its so-called physical environment. It’s the intrinsic, People communicating with people. structural information we perceive in the surfaces and objects of nature and the built environment. Semantic Digital Ecological 10100010 01001000 10100010 01001000 01110011 01110011 Digital systems transmitting to & receiving from other digital systems.Animals (including people) perceiving the environment. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 10. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTSNotes: This mode is based on the perception science of ecological psychologist James JGibson. It posits that cognition comes from bodily perception of intrinsic information aboutaffordances “picked up” from the structural qualities of our environment. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 11. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS AFFORDANCE = INFORMATION IN THE ENVIRONMENT SPECIFYING AFFORDANCE FOR BODILY ACTIONNotes: In fact, Gibson is the originator of the concept of “affordance” – an idea that has beenpopularized and appropriated inaccurately since Gibson’s final work in the 1970s. Gibsonbelieved all perception to be perception of environmental affordances. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 12. ANDREW HINTONA MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS Notes: This is rich work that is impossible to fully explain in a five-minute summary. But I believe it to be essential for us, because I believe an embodied understanding of ecological information to be the first principle upon which everything else rests. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 13. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS Notes: The second mode for information is “semantic.” This is information we pick up from language for communication People communicating with people. between people. It includes oral speech, and written text, as well as graphical communication such as Semantic pictures, maps, icons, and diagrams. Digital Ecological 10100010 01001000 10100010 01001000 01110011 01110011 Digital systems transmitting to & receiving from other digital systems.Animals (including people) perceiving the environment. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 14. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS LANGUAGE IS ENVIRONMENTNotes: Language itself is not information. It is environment. Our cognition perceives language byusing exapted mechanisms that evolved from ecological perception of the physical world, as birdsevolved to exapt warming feathers for flight. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 15. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS LANGUAGE MAKES ARCHITECTURENotes: The semantic mode is what we tend to focus on for information architecture practice. Butwhat’s often missing is the realization that by creating and connecting labels – “mere language” –we’re actually creating architecture. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 16. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS LANGUAGE IS INFRASTRUCTURENotes: That is because language is infrastructure. And we create inhabited environments with it –whether through conversations, games, corporate structures, or even government-definingconstitutions. Not to mention software. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 17. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS LABEL LABEL LABEL RULES LABEL LABELNotes: Information architecture works with written and visual language in the form of labels,connections and rules, to create inhabited structures, and bring sense-making and place-makingto our environment. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 18. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS Notes: The third mode, Digital information is the coded symbols and rules made for (and even by) machines to communicate with People communicating with people. machines. This is a mode we normally don’t experience directly, but mainly in its effects on the Semantic ecological and semantic modes. Digital Ecological 10100010 01001000 10100010 01001000 01110011 01110011 Digital systems transmitting to & receiving from other digital systems.Animals (including people) perceiving the environment. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 19. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTSNotes: Pervasive digital information technology hasdisrupted the previously invariant affordances in whichwe evolved. This has made necessary an explicit,sophisticated attention to how language functions asenvironment. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 20. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS DIGITAL SEMANTIC ECOLOGICALNotes: In all, this model is a step toward re-framing information architecture as environmentalarchitecture of the semantic landscape, with knowledgeable attention to the ecological and digitalmodes and their interdependencies. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 21. ANDREW HINTON A MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE DIGITAL SEMANTIC ECOLOGICALNotes: This frame frees IA from the trappings of specific techniques and technologies. Instead itmore clearly positions IA where I believe it has always been: as architecture for an essentialdimension of our shared reality. REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE
  • 22. ANDREW HINTONA MODEL FOR INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS Andrew Hinton andrewhinton.com | @inkblurt TUG | understandinggroup.org For the full “position paper” in PDF form: http://inkblurt.com/media/Hinton_IAS_reframe_wo rkshop2013.pdf Ideas from this short talk adapted from an in- progress book on how information creates and shapes context. http://www.inkblurt.com/contextbook/ REFRAMING INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE A ROUND TABLE WORKSHOP AT THE IA SUMMIT 2013 - BALTIMORE