Defining Info Architecture, April 7-9

Richard Hill rhill at
Thu Mar 2 09:06:57 EST 2000

Register online at:

"Defining Information Architecture"  Boston, April 7-9, 2000
    sponsored by the American Society for Information Science
(FAQ's below)

* Explore definitions for Information Architecture with a panel of leading
thinkers and practitioners.
* Understand the types of expertise that should and will have an impact on
Information Architecture.
* Learn about the role that the Information Architect plays in different
* Meet your colleagues and build a broader community of information

The American Society for Information Science has assembled a compelling list
of speakers (
representing many relevant perspectives:  Anthropology * Data Modeling 
* Graphic Design *  Meta-Data * Human Computer Interaction * Information
Design * Information Retrieval * Interface Design * Markup Languages 
* Librarianship * Technical Communications * Usability Engineering

Registration is $450 before 3/6/00, $550 after 3/6/00 (discounted for ASIS
members), and includes continental breakfast and lunch.  Attendance is
limited, so please register soon.  
 FAQs   (Frequently Asked Questions and Answers)

Q: Who is this conference intended for? 
A: "Defining Information Architecture" will bring together practicing
information architects (IAs), academics who see value in this emerging
field, and students who are interested in becoming IAs. Some sample titles
of those already registered include: Electronic Media Manager; Sr.
Programmer Analyst; User Experience Architect; Knowledge Management
Analyst; and Goddess of Information Architecture Registered attendees hail
from such organizations as: AT&T;; Compaq; DuPont; Harvard
School of Design; iXL; Microsoft; Mitre; Polaroid; and Smithkline Beecham.

Q: Many of the speakers aren't practicing IAs; why not? 
A: It's important to acknowledge that many established disciplines should
contribute to the definition of Information Architecture And we want to
probe how these different disciplines relate to Information Architecture,
uncovering how, for example, principles of ethnography or usability
engineering might improve to Information Architecture practice.

Q: There aren't session titles listed in the program; why not? 
A: As Information Architecture is a relatively new field, a conventional
conference replete with standard, loosely-related presentations doesn't
fill the bill. Instead, this is the right time to answer questions that
haven't been asked before. That's why we've asked speakers to address a
common set of issues designed to future discussion and definition of
Information Architecture in a spontaneous, flexible, and thought-provoking
manner. It's an experimental approach, but one we feel makes sense for a
young and emerging field.

Q: If this conference is experimental, then why should I attend? 
A: It's your chance to participate in an important discussion, and help
define your field. And the conference will make you a better IA by arming
you with a broader perspective on the field, a better set vocabulary to
discuss it, and a stronger case to make to your colleagues who may not
understand the value of Information Architecture.

Q: What sorts of practical knowledge will I get from attending? 
A: Although there are case studies on the program, this conference is not
focused on how to practice Information Architecture; instead, we'll address
what it is and who should be doing it. We're confident that the "how"
aspects of Information Architecture will be addressed in more detail
through your informal discussions with others at the conference, through
the expanded personal networks you will develop through participation, and
at future conferences.

Q: I'm already an IA; what will I get out of attending? 
A: Besides some new ideas, you'll be getting context: context for your own
work as an IA, and communal context that will come from meeting your peer
group for perhaps the first time. Additionally, you will have a chance to
take leadership in defining and guiding many newcomers to the field who
will be at this conference.

Q: I'm a student; what will I get out of attending? 
A: You'll be better prepared to discuss the field you're considering
entering, and through meeting practicing IAs will greatly extend your
network of professional contacts. 

Richard Hill
American Society for Information Science
8720 Georgia Avenue, Suite 501
Silver Spring, MD  20910
(301) 495-0900
FAX: (301) 495-0810

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