Franklin Park, NJ (July 2, 2010) - Methodbrain, curator of the DSIA Research Initiative and DSIA Portal of Information Architecture, has announced the availability of a slide presentation delivered at the recent IA Summit in Phoenix, Arizona last April. This thought-provoking 30-minute commentary, "The Practice of Information Architecture - It takes a village of practitioners to raise a discipline," was delivered by DSIA initiative founder, Nathaniel Davis. It expresses the possible path for elevating the field of information architecture to a formal discipline through a framework for practicing information architecture within a business organization.
To address the need to establish a body of knowledge that would validate an IA discipline, Nathaniel Davis proposes a path of reasoning similar to the interdependence philosophy to the wise African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child”.
In his analogy - which compares the field of IA to a village and the IA discipline as "the child" - Davis exposes a classification that demonstrates several attributes of a practice: intention, areas of interest, contribution, documentation, consensus and discipline. He suggests these attributes can be used as a framework for practicing information architecture. But, he warns that practicing information architecture alone is insufficient, and that for future strategists and managers of information architecture to be successful, they must take on a formal business structure when operating as an external agency or internal service provider to a broader organization.
Davis feels that when information architects merge the formal practice of information architecture within a business organizational framework, IA organizations and the IA field alike will gravitate toward its full potential.
To support key arguments, the presentation offers insightful conclusions from the upcoming theoretical paper, Organization Role Segmentation (ORS), authored by Davis. With the use of ORS, the presentation offers a framework around which one may plan an IA business model, and exposes a vast range of IA subject matter that Davis feels is undocumented or waiting to be discovered (see slide 59). Since the Arizona presentation, Davis has formally named the framework, the DSIA Organization Efficiency Framework.
Davis concludes that through a formal approach to practice and an IA perspective of business organizational structure, the field of information architecture will have the substance from which academic programs can build and educate future practitioners.
A copy of the official version of the presentation and a link to the original IA Summit podcast is available at the DSIA Portal of Information Architecture, the public body of knowledge for the DSIA Research Initiative.
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