Archive for December 2004


Advancing the field: Master Classes for Information Architecture

December 7th, 2004 — 4:42pm

Focused dia­log between senior prac­ti­tion­ers who come together to share expe­ri­ences, insights, prac­tices, knowl­edge, and think­ing in a face to face forum is one of the crit­i­cal mech­a­nisms for the healthy evo­lu­tion and growth of any pro­fes­sional field. Despite the pro­lif­er­a­tion of venues for advanc­ing the col­lec­tive knowl­edge of Infor­ma­tion Archi­tects (more than three or four years ago, cer­tainly), the Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture com­mu­nity lacks a forum that mixes teach­ing, dis­cus­sion, and explo­ration of pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ences amongst a small and focused group of accom­plished Infor­ma­tion Archi­tects who are together in the same room.
I’m think­ing of some­thing like the Mas­ter Classes com­mon in music, paint­ing, and some of the other fine arts. An Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture mas­ter class would occupy some of the space between the short-form con­fer­ence ses­sion of an hour’s dura­tion, the half-day or one-day work­shop on a broad topic (like build­ing a CMS), and the gen­eral UX get-togethers of net­work­ing, show­cas­ing, or other vari­eties that we have now.
The ben­e­fits and value of a forum like this over a scat­ter­shot con­fer­ence agenda or a one-way work­shop pre­sen­ta­tion struc­ture are sub­stan­tial when judged against lim­ited train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties and bud­gets. A gath­er­ing of senior prac­ti­tion­ers with a defined focus, mov­ing beyond the sum­mary or intro­duc­tory aspects of a topic, offer­ing sub­stan­tial exam­ples of rel­e­vant knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence, and pro­vid­ing time to cover a sub­ject in depth with dis­cus­sion would surely attract inter­est, par­tic­i­pa­tion, and likely even pay­ment.
Now for the call to action: It’s time to bring about Mas­ter Classes for Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture. Who’s game to work on this?

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