The Architecture of Understanding by Peter Morville - presentation from IA CAMP 2015
The Library of Congress
“To further the progress of knowledge and creativity.”
Fragmentation into multiple sites,
domains, and identities is a major
problem. Users don’t know which site
to visit for which purpose.
Users can’t find what they need from
the home page, but most users don’t
come through the front door. They
enter via a web search or a deep link,
and are confused by what they find.
Even worse, most never use the
Library, because its resources aren’t
“With respect to learning by failure, it’s all fun and
games until someone gets a larval cyst in the brain.”
“There is a problem in discussing systems
only with words. Words and sentences
must, by necessity, come only one at a
time in linear, logical order. Systems
happen all at once. They are connected
not just in one direction, but in many
(via ice bridge)
The design and management
of information systems.
Understanding the nature
of information in systems.
Double-loop learning in organizations (and individuals) is rare.
The relationship between information and culture.
“There’s a secret about MRIs and back
pain: the most common problems
physicians see on MRI and attribute
to back pain – herniated, ruptured,
and bulging discs – are seen almost as
commonly on MRIs of healthy people
without back pain.”
“If you want to accelerate
someone’s death, give him a
personal doctor. I don’t mean
provide him with a bad doctor.
Just pay for him to choose his
own. Any doctor will do.”
Roger Bannister, Iffley Road Track, Oxford, 1954
“It is now my suggestion that many people
may not want information, and that they
will avoid using a system precisely because
it gives them information…If you have
information, you must first read it. You
must then try to understand it.
Understanding the information may show
that your work was wrong, or may show
that your work was needless. Thus not
having and not using information can lead
to less trouble and pain than having and
using it.”Calvin Mooers (1959)
The limits of information
“Willpower is the single most
important keystone habit for
“A culture of generosity.”
Josie Parker, Ann Arbor District Library
“Where architects use forms and spaces to design environments
for inhabitation, information architects use nodes and links to create
environments for understanding.”
Jorge Arango, Architectures (2011)