Saturday, January 5, 2008


Architecture can be seen from many different angles and in many different lights and even if it is a homogeneous craft as theory , knowledge and practice it can have different “relatives” that can be based on the same theoretical and logical system but they work and function in completely different environments . In a world where a of types of mediums are blending and are influencing one another architecture sometimes tends to lose it's “identity “ and become a more flexible type of craft . That is the case of theories that are connected to what is next in architecture and what is the course of events not only for the discipline in itself but for the architect as a person and social figure . To understand more clear the things as a starting point we have to look at what are the main tools of the architect at this very moment . A building is a complex structure that is usually the outcome of a team of people that work together on it and make things become what they are as in the form of the final result . Architects are present on all levels of the process from the architects that manage the work flow and the arrangement and the relations that establish because of the project between different people and site specific cases that can arise during conception and construction , to the architects that think in different terms arranging and generating the space of making things possible .
Because of the rise of the digital realm that was a process that had happened in a short time a new type of architect started to appear ,the information architect . The information architect is working in a completely different environment and he does not work whit static material parts ( architecture is static) but he works in the realm of structuring information and information flows that are by definition a dynamic , non static and non linear medium . The It architects are present in places where there is a need of expressing a model or concept for information , this is the main science of the IA . Information architecture is used in library systems , web development , user interactions , database development , programing , critical , system software design and outer activities that require expressions of complex systems . The institute that was founded some time ago related to the field of information architecture defined this new and fast developing community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape . Information architecture is a way of dealing with informational structures in a digital world and overlapping notions of informational design on cases where there is a need of an analysis and the design of data stores . The founder of the the notion informational architect was Richard Saul Wuman architect and the founder of TED conferences from Monterey California that bring together technology entertainment and design in one singular experience under the form of this conference . Richard was the person that predicted trough his wide range of books ( he published 80 books ) the arise of the information architect and he started having an interesting point of view related to how we think and what are we interested in and how can we learn things and understand things much more easier if we are interested in them .
Some critique and debates started rising after the term of it IA was launched because of the fact that it contains the word architecture and because in many cases the the term informational architecture can be related and can be applied as a way of thinking to more than just the field of information structure and data base and content management . The information architect can serve in an enterprise having a sort of overview on the day to day activities and on the bigger developments and content and information management of the enterprise applying architectural techniques to shape the information of the system .
System and content is becoming more and more important in a world where archives and past information can serve in reshaping the future and extracting content ideas and concepts from past events , archives and outer types of places that sometimes have to accessed in order to create and develop further .
If the next breed of architects will be the informational architect then the technology with witch he works will have to become more user centerd , handy and with an aura of an accessory not a tool that has to be carried and after a while become some sort of a burden for the user . Technology is important but it has to become invisible when it is not used ( as Richard Wuman said) The user is more important than technology so implicitly technology has to adapt and simplify things for the user making them more easy and in reach . The architect user too has to have a rational type of thinking to be able to order , restructure and work with information that as I said in the beginning is a information system are not static like buildings but on the contrary they are dynamic and should adapt to specific user actions .
If we try to look back at the things we an see the act that the term informational architect is quite unstable , not because the term is new and in a developing phase as a community of designers but because of the fact that the term can be easily related to the shift that occurred with the rise of the world wide web and implicit the information . These mediums are new both as concepts and as working environments so these factors can produce a sometimes vague and different understanding of what they are and how they work . We still live in a consumer society where the products are produced , judged and desired by the common citizen but more and more people feel the need to express themselves and become both producers and consumers of information under all kinds of forms , From art (that can be considered information under the form of a painting or sculpture that are basically information carriers) to online sites that are structured as avatars for real world people, companies , festivals etc ... that contain information structured in all kinds of different forms . The range of information carriers is quite huge any type of object ca be an information carriers and become part of a system . The important thing is to see the pattern that is generated by the system and see the place of each object or piece of information , at this moment the role of the information architect is becoming obvious when data visualization is required and the fact the dealing with subsystems that contain information necessitate sometimes rational and architectural techniques to be used for the maintenance and evolution of the entire bigger structure.

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