Architecture of Information
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Architecture of Information

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A call to bring core concepts from Architecture into our digital realm, in order to have better Apps and Web Sites. Do we have the courage to try to be great?

A call to bring core concepts from Architecture into our digital realm, in order to have better Apps and Web Sites. Do we have the courage to try to be great?

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  • Neolithic monument in present day Turkey Occupied between 6300 BC to 5400 BC Supported a population of up to 6000 people It was the largest and most cosmopolitan city of its time
  • Commodity, firmness, delight
  • The hotel had several design features that made up for its foundation: The reflecting pool (visible in the picture above) also provided a source of water for fire-fighting, saving the building from the post-earthquake firestorm; [1] Cantilevered floors and balconies provided extra support for the floors; A copper roof, which cannot fall on people below the way a tile roof can; Seismic separation joints, located about every 20 m along the building; Tapered walls, thicker on lower floors, increasing their strength; Suspended piping and wiring, instead of being encased in concrete, as well as smooth curves, making them more resistant to fracture. [2]
  • The MIT project, they were interviewing me for MIT and they sent their facilities people to Bilbao. I met them in Bilbao. They came for three days. W: This is the computer building. G: They were there for three days and it rained every day. And they kept walking around. I noticed they were looking under things and looking for things, and they wanted to know where the buckets were hidden, people putting buckets out. I was clean. There wasn't a bloody leak in the place. It was just fantastic. But you've got to -- yeah, well, up until then, every building leaked. W: Frank had a sort of -- sort of had a fame -- his -- his fame was built on that in L.A. for a while. You know, Frank, you've all heard the Frank Lloyd Wright story when the guy -- the woman called and said, "Mr. Wright, my -- I'm sitting in the couch and the water's pouring in on my head," and he said, "Madame, move your chair." G: So, some years later I was doing a little house on the beach for Norton Simon, and his secretary was kind of a hell-on-wheels type lady -- called me and said, Mr. Simon's sitting at his desk, and the water's coming in on his head, and I told him the Frank Lloyd Wright story. W: Didn't get a laugh. G: No. Not now either. 
  • It's the "Then What?" that most clients who hire architects -- most clients aren't hiring architects for that. They're hiring them to get it done, get it on budget, you know, and not -- you know, be polite -- and they're missing out on the -- the real value of an architect. 
  • Usonian houses were beautiful, human scaled.. And didn’t have closet space. Should we choose beauty over usability sometimes?
  • Revealing things usually only available to employees, such as statistics can provide interest and beauty inherit to the product.
  • Corbu’s surrealist apartment obscured views, rather than framed them to create interest
  • Gehry has been inspired recently by fish. What would a website be if it was a fish?

Architecture of Information Architecture of Information Presentation Transcript

  • Christina Wodtke@cwodtkewww.eleganthack.comPUTTING THEARCHITECTURE ININFORMATIONARCHITECTURE
  • A SHORT HISTORY OFARCHITECTURE
  • Cave
  • Hut
  • Stone Age City
  • VITRUVIUSfirmitas, utilitas, venustas : : durability, convenience, beauty
  • Durability“Durability will be assured when foundations arecarried down to the solid ground and materialswisely and liberally selected” Vitruvius
  • The hotel had several desigfeatures that made up for ifoundation:The reflecting pool (visiblethe picture above) alsoprovided a source of waterfor fire-fighting, saving thebuilding from the post-earthquake firestorm;[1]Cantilevered floors andbalconies provided extrasupport for the floors;A copper roof, which cannoon people below the way aroof can;Seismic separation joints,located about every 20 m athe building;Tapered walls, thicker on lofloors, increasing theirstrength;Suspended piping and wirininstead of being encased inconcrete, as well as smoothcurves, making them moreresistant to fracture.[2]
  • I’m searching for “my architect, not “movies, directors, actors”Technical Earthquakes
  • Social Earthquakes If people post jobs in discussion areas, any user can move them to job board If people useconnection invites to spam/market, they can be reported.
  • Convenience“When the arrangement of the apartments is faultless and presents no hindrance to use, and when each class of building is assigned to its suitable and appropriate exposure” Vitruvius Sound familiar? We’re talking usability!
  • ckspace headquarters in in a former mall. The lding is so usable for moving people around, itssily repurposed.bert Venturi calls this a “decorated shed”
  • Malls onlineepitomizeconvenience,and are typicallyextremelyusable.Anthropologie iselegant andfunctional.This simplemodel could berepurposed forany side dealingwith objects andmetadata
  • The MIT project, they were interviewing me for MIT and they sent their facilities people to Bilbao. I met them in Bilbao. They came for three days. W: This is the computer building.Bilbao did not G: They were there for three days and it rained every day. And they kept walkingleak. I was so around. I noticed they were looking under things and looking for things, and proud. they wanted to know where the buckets were hidden, people putting buckets out. I was clean. There wasnt a bloody leak in the place. It was just fantastic. But youve got to -- yeah, well, up until then, every building leaked. W: Frank had a sort of -- sort of had a fame -- his -- his fame was built on that in L.A. for a while. You know, Frank, youve all heard the Frank Lloyd Wright story when the guy -- the woman called and said, "Mr. Wright, my -- Im sitting in the couch and the waters pouring in on my head," and he said, "Madame, move your chair." G: So, some years later I was doing a little house on the beach for Norton Simon, and his secretary was kind of a hell-on-wheels type lady -- called me and said, Mr. Simons sitting at his desk, and the waters coming in on his head, and I told him the Frank Lloyd Wright story. W: Didnt get a laugh. G: No. Not now either. http://www.ted.com/talks/frank_gehry _asks_then_what.html
  • I call it the "Then What?" Okay, you solved all the problems, you did all the stuff, you made nice, you loved your clients, you loved the materials, you loved the city, youre a good guy, youre a good person... and then what? What do you bring to it?See his great TED talk http://www.ted.com/talks/frank_gehry_asks_then_what.html
  • “Early in life I had to choose between honest arroganceand hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance andhave seen no occasion to change.” Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Beauty (delight)“when the appearance of the work is pleasing and in good taste, andwhen its members are in due proportion according to correctprinciples of symmetry.” Vitrvius
  • “Less is more.” ~ Mies
  • SEAGRAM BUILDING (Philip Johnson did interiors, 1957) Seagram BuildingThis logical and elegant 38-story New York City skyscraper (525 H) has alternating 1957 horizontal bands of bronze plating and bronze- Is this Beautiful? tinted glass and decorative bronze I-beams which
  • “Less is a bore.” ~ Venturi
  • Is this Beautiful?
  • Do we dictatewhat is beautifulby constraining user choice?
  • Or supportpassionate use that may not meet our aesthetic standards?
  • BeautifulDurable Convenient
  • Push harder, furtherARCHITECTURE
  • Servant and Served Spaces‘I do not like ducts; I do not like pipes. I hatethem really thoroughly, but because I hate themso thoroughly, I feel they have to be given theirplace. If I just hated them and took no care, Ithink they would invade the building andcompletely destroy it.’The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn,1962
  • Services (settings, in this case) are separated from served)
  • Services intergradedwith served is easierto comprehend and use
  • Centre Pompidou was designed with services revealed rather than hidden
  • Revealing things usuallyonly available toemployees, such asstatistics can provideinterest and beautyinherit to the product.
  • Views Hey, it’s the Arc de Triomphe!
  • Views into other services
  • Views into theservice before you sign up
  • Speed 5 mph 25mph 60mphMedieval architecture designed to be walked by, prairie houses to drive by slowly atsuburban speeds, and the strip for freeway speeds
  • Speed 60mph 25mph 5 mphConsider speed of use in design; do not slow interface with details upon sign up, richerinterface for where people linger and socialize
  • Movement
  • Why are our compositions so static? How should the eye move through this?
  • nd if you think of Brick, for instance, and you say to Brick, "What do you want Brick?" And Brick says to you "I like an Arch." And if you say to Brick "Look, arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete lintel over you. What do you think of that?" "Brick?" Brick says: "... I like an Arch"”
  • And if the material wants to be tall?
  • Flipboard might bean example ofdigital architecture.It is beautiful,functional, durable,delightful.Flipboardunderstands themedium; it affordsmovement in avariety of directions
  • Even if you use the “wrong” gesture, Flipboard reacts correctly.
  • Many Architects are Artists How many digital designers are? Why shouldn’t they try? The courage and commitment to bring new things in the world, even at the price of failure, might invigorate design.Five Principles for a New Architecture:1. Pilotis elevating the building.2. Free plan3. Free façade4. Long horizontal windows5. Roof gardenLe courbusier
  • The question we need to be asking:IS IT ARCHITECTURE YET?
  • “You start with the client’sprogram,” Mr. Breuer observes.“That’s not architecture, but it’sthe groundwork. Architecturegrows out of it.”~On Architecture
  • Good architecture is still thedifficult, conscientious, creative,expressive planning for thatelusive synthesis that is a near-contradiction in terms:efficiencyand beauty.On Architecture, Ada LouisHuxtable
  • Information Arcitecture isArchitecturein Information Spaces
  • “Modern Systems! Yes indeed! To approach everything in a strictly methodical manner and not to waver a hair’s breath from preconceived patterns, until genius has been strangled to death and joie de vivre stifled by the system– that is the sign of our time.” Camillo Sitte