The Information Architect Episode

Have you read 33 by Richard Saul Wurman? If so, I'd love to hear your reaction. By happenstance, I was on the phone with Mr. Wurman recently. He asked for my opinion, and I had a hard time responding. The word that popped out, eccentric, was intended as a compliment.

33 by Richard Saul Wurman

But, I really did enjoy the book, especially the Structure of Instruction episode and, of course, the Information Architect episode.

Here are some excerpts:

The Commissioner of Curiosity and Imagination loved information but knew that information that didn't inform wasn't information - it was data, non-information.
He was, as he liked to call himself, an Information Architect, in fact the original Information Architect, since the time the little fellow chaired the American Institute of Architects' 1976 national convention with the theme The Architecture of Information.
And that's why I've chosen to call myself an Information Architect! he told the gathering. I don't mean a bricks-and-mortar architect. I mean architect as in the creating of systemic, structural and orderly principles to make something work - the thoughtful making of either artifact, or idea, or policy that informs because it is clear.
The Information Age has been in existence for more than two decades now and yet, does it inform? the Commissioner asked.
And yet, through this field of black volcanic ash has come a group of people, small in number, deep in passion, called Information Architects, who ply their trade, make themselves visible and develop a body of work on paper, in electronic interfaces, in some extraordinary exhibitions. These people are now and they are the future.

It's a tough book to describe. Eccentric is my word. What's yours?

Peter, thanx for pointing me to this book. I didn't know about it until now.

Some days ago I wrote in a short blog post (Design and Architecture):

Design is the planned creation of an object. Architecture is the planned creation of a sytem.

That's why I like the term Information Architect and don't like the term User Experience Designer.

I am looking forward to read the book :)

While I'd agree that architecture is more explicitly focused on systems (and spaces), I do think design encompasses both systems and objects.

Now, hurry up, read the book, and let me know what you think :-)

In related news, Mr. Wurman will be celebrating his 75th birthday by keynoting the 11th IA Summit:

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