Architectures of Meaning

Detail, Chambered Nautilus Shell, Jitze Couperus

Call for Workshop Papers

Pervasive Information Architectures as Architectures of Meaning for Complex Cross-channel Systems

A Workshop at the 10th International Conference on Pervasive Computing (Pervasive 2012), June 18-22, 2012, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

This workshop will reflect on how the practice of information architecture (IA) as “the structural design of shared information environments” has been changing in the past few years under the influx of media convergence and ubiquitous and pervasive computing, outline how IA is uniquely positioned to help improve the design of successful user experiences and customer journeys in pervasive, cross-channel environments, move the discourse on IA towards indeterminate problem solving, and help establish a common language and grammar for both practice and research in the field. The goals of the workshop are:

  1. to reframe information architecture and its role as the enabling layer for pervasive systems where information permeates physical space and products become cross-channel services;
  2. to tackle established problems within the field with a multi-disciplinary perspective centered on indeterminate problem solving;
  3. to identify new directions of research in this specific area which might advance both the theory and practice of information architecture in pervasive information spaces;
  4. to promote the shared understanding of issues, challenges and opportunities among individuals and institutions that participate in the creation of complex, pervasive digital / physical information spaces or services from a user-centered perspective.

As such, the workshop targets researchers and practitioners coming from such diverse backgrounds as architecture, information systems, design theory, library and information science, product design, interaction design, visual and information design, business and marketing, and service design, and welcomes both theoretical reflections and academic perspectives, and case study-related best practices and insights.

Contributions and Selection Process

We invite practitioners working with the private or public sectors and researchers alike to submit a paper proposal, including a short bio and picture, by email to andrea.resmini [at] hb [dot] se by 6pm GMT March 9 2012, to participate in the half-day workshop.
Proposals should be full papers and not exceeding 6000-8000 words in length. While no particular constraint is placed on the initial proposal, the camera-ready versions should be formatted according to the Springer template for conference proceedings (Word 2003 template for the preparation of LNCS proceeding papers. Direct link to the .zip file).

A committee, comprising the organizers and external academics and practitioners researching and working in the field, will select the proposals to be admitted. Contributions to the workshop will go through a 2-stage process consisting of an initial blind peer-review, and a second collective review whose goal is to assure a balanced program and, if necessary, to trim down the final line-up if the number of accepted submissions exceeds the available slots or allotted time.

Precedence in this second stage will be given to assuring the workshop represents a variety of perspectives, theoretical viewpoints, disciplines, and practices. In the event of proposals which pass the peer-review stage but are not admitted to the workshop because of time constraints, further dissemination within the proceedings of the workshop will nonetheless be proposed to the authors (see workshop outline).
Accepted participants will be notified via email in early April, and will have to produce the final camera-ready version of their contribution within the deadlines given below.

Participants to the workshop will have access to all of the accepted papers in advance, to facilitate discussion and to support the collaborative structure of the workshop.

Structure of the Workshop

All participants will be required to read workshop materials beforehand, in order to have common grounds on which to articulate a meaningful and insightful conversation. Participants will not be required to just “lecture the audience”, ie simply present their papers, but rather the organizers will provide a continuous thread for discussion in the form of a round-table conversation around the themes and questions brought forth in the workshop outline and in individual contributions, and will both allow free interventions and ask participants to introduce relevant concepts and insights from their contributions whenever appropriate.

The reason for using this format is the desire to avoid to simply replicate the content of the individual proposal in a social context during the workshop, move the conversation one step further, foster the development of novel reflections on the themes being discussed, and allow free-flow, brainstorming-like interactions.

Suggested Topics

Proposed papers should attempt to frame or answer relevant challenges and issues as per the goals outlined above. Topics that can be explored include (but are not limited to):

  • information architecture as a tool for “sense-making” and indeterminate problem solving
  • conceptual information architecture models for cross-channel problem solving
  • information architecture tools or artifacts for cross-channel problem solving
  • the role of information architecture in multidisciplinary teams focused on solving indeterminate problems spanning across channels
  • experiences in breakdowns or successes where the language or grammar of information architecture has been applied in cross-channel design
  • theoretical reflections, research or case studies that re-frame information architecture as an enabling layer for pervasive systems
  • theoretical reflections, research or case studies that specifically investigate the positioning of information architecture within the design thinking framework
  • theoretical reflections, research or case studies investigating the relationship between information architecture and service design in cross-channel systems
  • new directions in research that advance the theory and practice of information architecture in pervasive information spaces
  • theoretical reflections, research or case studies dealing with the application of methodologies such as practice-led research, action research, or co-design, to information architecture
  • theoretical reflections or research that explore the relationship of information architecture to other disciplines and the implications of this when the scope widens to include pervasive, cross-channel environments
  • research exploring fundamental principles or characteristics of information architecture and how they are changed or challenged in the move from the traditional dimension of information spaces to that of physical or hybrid spaces
  • theoretical reflections, research or case studies that explore where and how information architecture thinking fits into multidisciplinary contexts where many different problem solving methodologies or approaches may compete or conflict
  • theoretical reflections, research or case studies that deal with the teaching of information architecture and pervasive information architecture

Important dates

Submission deadline - March 9 2012
Notification - April 2 2012
Camera-ready versions - April 20 2012
Workshop - June 20-21 2012 (final date to be announced)

Organizers

Andrea Resmini, University of Borås (andrea.resmini [at] hb [dot] se)
Terence Fenn, University of Johannesburg (tfenn [at] uj [dot] ac [dot] za)
Jason Hobbs, Human Experience Design (jason [at] jh-01 [dot] com)
Please contact us if you have doubts or questions concerning this Call for Papers.

Workshop Outline

For further details on the workshop, dissemination, and more background information, download the full outline in PDF format from http://andrearesmini.com/download/resmini-fenn-hobbs-pervasive12-workshop.pdf.
If you know someone who might be interested in participating, please pass along this Call for Papers. The URL is http://andrearesmini.com/blog/architectures-of-meaning/.
Pervasive 2012 conference website: http://pervasiveconference.org/2012/

Image credits

Original image credits: Jitze Couperous, Flickr. Released under the CC 2.0 license. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jitze1942/3114723951/

My Dad's portable Underwood

The practice of information architecture (IA) as “the structural design of shared information environments” has been changing in the past few years under the influx of media convergence and ubiquitous and pervasive computing. IA is today uniquely positioned to help improve the design of successful user experiences and customer journeys in pervasive, cross-channel environments.

An upcoming workshop will discuss the ongoing shift to pervasive information architecture and cross-channel UX, how this shift ties into the general ideas of convergence, cross-media, and systems thinking, and try to move the discourse on IA towards indeterminate problem solving to establish a renewed common language and grammar for both practice and research in the field.

Pervasive Information Architectures as Architectures of Meaning for Complex Cross-channel Systems - A workshop at the 10th International Conference on Pervasive Computing (Pervasive 2012), June 18 2012, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Download the workshop CfP

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