5th Academics and Practitioners Roundtable
2017 Information Architecture Summit in Vancouver, BC, Canada
March 22, 2017
Over the past several years, the information architecture (IA) community has been considering how to progress beyond being just a practice (what's done in the field) and also become a discipline (a field of study taught in university and researched to establish a body of knowledge).
This roundtable drew together highlights, discoveries, and open questions from the work spanning the 4 previous years and produced a Domain Map of information architecture as a discipline, encompassing what IAs do in the field along with what is taught and researched in academia.
Roundtable participants gained a stronger understanding of IA as a discipline and practice, a useful visualization of tools, theories, and models essential to the field, and the experience of being a contributing voice in the conversation on where IA is headed.
Consultant, Adjunct Faculty, California College of the Arts
Velvet Hammer Design
The group mapped different and complementary roles and artifacts that practice and academia have brought to the "discipline-ification" of information architecture. This was done by reviewing past Academics and Practitioners roundtables, engaging in lightning talks from roundtable participants, and collaborating in structured exercises. We diagramed a crosswalk between the landscape of applied work and the theories and models that are the realm of academics and scientists.
The culmination of the day's work was a Domain Map, providing a practical, comprehensible chart of a complex territory. This strawman Domain Map captured the participants' perspectives on applied IA work along with academic theories and models, showing connections and gaps, and sparking deeper conversations within and outside of the roundtable setting. Ultimately, opportunities were revealed to bring information architecture forward as it matures into a discipline.
9:00am: Introductions. Icebreaker. De-stress.
9:30am: Setting the Stage. Reframe work done to date. Concept of Mapping the Domain.
10:00am: Lightning talks. Exercise break. Discussion.
11:00am: Activity 1, Towards Domain Mapping.
1:00pm: Activity 1 report. Discussion.
2:00pm: Lightning talks. Exercise break. Discussion.
3:00pm: Activity 2, Finalizing the Domain Map.
4:00pm: Activity 2 report. Discussion.
4:30pm: Wrap up and next steps. Defining what we did. Translate into practice and theory.
5:00pm: Adjourn to the bar to continue the discussion (optional).
The best way to participate in the roundtable is to contribute a 5-minute lightning talk on your views concerning the domain mapping theme. This will help you prepare for the roundtable ahead of time, get some skin in the game, and provide the group with content for discussion and activities during the roundtable.
You can also attend the roundtable without giving a lightning talk. You will be expected to participate in the activities of the day and contribute to the conversations.
Lightning talks are not limited to this list: be creative!
If you are only attending, not presenting a lightning talk, you still need to register and pay $200.
Most roundtable attendees also attend the IA Summit, but you are not required to register for the Summit.