A Bit of Clarification…

After sending the link to this around, I got hit with a response from a very talented code geek, she said “reading this blog makes me realize how little I really do know about IA.”

Despite having Information Architect in my title for a number of years, I never believed it.

I’ve always been in the business of design, without regard to scale or scope. Design is the action of solving problems, the manifestation of optimistic activity. That’s what I do.

For example, back in the early 90s, when the web was just getting moving, I built websites…That is, I did the art, writing, coding, FTP, server maintenance, etc.

It was all the same… if you didn’t know how to code, your design was shit. If you didn’t understand design, no amount of code could hide that.

Once people got all mixed up in trying to specialize, a bit was lost.

Here’s something I found very interesting :

In Greek techne meant ‘skill.’ The ancient Greeks didn’t separate art from techne, but called all artists and craftsmen technitai (makers).

The Japanese don’t have a word for art, they use a word synonymous with function, purpose and aesthetics – geijutsu.
Exerpts from the Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fetcher

It’s that slight difference in perception that sepearates the iPod from the Kindle.

Once there was this separation of activity, I was exposed to this rather bitchy bureaucracy about who’s job was what, and what one group couldn’t do. This led to a lot of debate and name calling (F’ckn pixel pushers), but ultimately reminded me if you have something you feel you need to protect that badly, you’re probably afraid of being exposed as a fraud.

It was also odd that some people were so quick to jump into a group and adopt all the mannerisms and quirks of that group without question. I’m sure it was comfortable, and enhanced the continuation of constant employment, but I think Maude said it best:

Maude : I should like to change into a sunflower most of all. They’re so tall and simple. What flower would you like to be?
Harold : I don’t know. One of these, maybe. (holds a daisy)
Maude : Why do you say that?
Harold : Because they’re all alike.
Maude : Oooh, but they’re not. Look. See, some are smaller, some are fatter, some grow to the left, some to the right, some even have lost some petals. All kinds of observable differences. You see, Harold, I feel that much of the world’s sorrow comes from people who are this, (she points to a daisy), yet allow themselves be treated as that. (gestures to a field of daisies)

Anyways, my titles change, but I’m always in the business of design. I’m guessing there’s a lot more out there.


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