The Information Architecture Institute
A conference on designing
complex information spaces of all kinds.
New York City, October 4 and 5, 2007

Archive for Library

Audio and some slides

We have audio from every talk, and slides from many of them, free for download. Enjoy!

Day 1

Peter Merholz’ Introduction. Slides (PDF), MP3

Linda Stone. No slides, MP3. Questions and answers MP3.

David Guiney, Designing Across Multiple Media for the National Park Service. Slides to come, MP3
David Guiney, Addressing the Challenges of Designing for the National Park Service. Slides to come, MP3.

Dave Cronin, Art for the public: supporting a visitor-directed museum experience. Slides, MP3.

Jake Barton, Interaction Design in a Physical Space. Slides (PDF), MP3. Jake also showed a few movies during his talk: Building Timelapse movie. Jetblue booth movie. Timescapes sample chapter movie.

Ian White, The Design of Data. Slides (PDF), MP3.

Ali Sant, TRACE: Mapping the Emerging Urban Landscape. Slides to come, Part 1 MP3, Part 2 MP3.

Day 2

Stamen Design, Project Work. Slides with no movies (7.37 MB PPT), Slides with movies (164.78MB ZIP), MP3.
Fernanda Viegas, Democratizing Visualization. Slides (PPT), MP3.
Stamen and Fernanda Question and Answer. MP3.

Dan Hill, The New Media. Slides (PDF), MP3.

Next-Generation Libraries panel:

  • Deborah Jacobs, No slides, MP3
  • Ed Vielmetti, No slides, MP3
  • Paul Gould, Slides (PPT), MP3
  • Question and Answer. MP3

Robert Kalin, O Advantageous Interfaces! Slides (on Rob’s site), MP3.

Bruce Sterling, Closing Keynote. No slides. MP3.

Comments (8)

Bruce Sterling, opinion extravaganza

If Kalin opened the door, Sterling ran through the door, tore the door down, peed on it, and then, to the applause of the crowd, set it on fire. In a rambling 30 minute well received opinion extravaganza, he began by reflecting back at the conference with tidbits from the talks: short quotes delivered out of context and with dramatic, but sarcastic, inflections.

The intent seemed a combination of mild ridicule, curiousity, reflection of our narrow focus, entertainment, and a reminder of how serious (too serious) we take ourselves.

But I wondered: Could you ever have an effective conference that was not vulnerable to this kind of exercise? (e.g. Couldn’t he have done the same exercise in the closing comments at a medical, construction, sports, legal, or novel writing conference, or any conversation where people were trying to share knowledge & opinion with each other?). But again, perhaps that was part of his point too: I don’t know. The talk moved through ideas in spirals, with high velocity and low structure: I’m uncertain about what he thought his points were.

If there was a conceptual anchor, it was this: there is a world of more serious problems that need to be dealt with: Some are reflected in (a book he took time to promote), but more generally in how economies fail to transition out of dependence on things. He asked us, as designers, architects, visualizers, to fix this problem: to fix it now. That it was this gap that everything hinged on and he passionately emplored us to take action (admiting that the how of this request, was, well, hard to figure out).

He wandered in and our various sub topics (the role of voids in design, the inevitable failure of all attempts to design things or fix the world, and others I did not catch) entertainingly eviscerating various sacred cows and white elephants - although he mentioned he wasn’t going to soft-shoe the crowd, his charmingly wise-ass delivery was so disarming that in a way, he did effectively soft-shoe through much of the talk: I don’t think his points had time to strike their full depth, their coating of humor and passion slowing their penetration, until he had left the stage.

Other notable quotes:

“If you cut up the present, the future bleeds through” - W. Burroughs

“(They say) since there are 50 million blogs, some of them have to be good. Well, No. That’s like saying if you have 50 million toasters, some of them have to fly at supersonic speed.” - B. Sterling

“If love is your only metric, it’s your Achilles heel.” - B. Sterling

- Scott Berkun


Next generation libraries

After a fun, fast dim sum lunch over at O’Asian it was time for what I hoped would be the anchor session of the conference, Next generation libraries. bringing together library design, information systems and design into one nice, thoughful, synthesizing panel sandwich. I was not disapointed.

Things started with Deborah Jacobs, from the city library of seattle, sharing stories about the Seattle library’s development, Koolhaas‘ design ideas, and what the library means to Seattle. Sadly had to leave on library business berore the full on panel Q&A began.

Next up was Edward Vielmetti, (known by many as the man behind Superpatron), who spoke about his involvement with his local Ann Arbor library. He explained the challenges libraries face to keep pace with technology, demonstrating how his own library, and other services like LibraryThing are doing their best to serve their patrons. (Sadly I missed the middle part of his talk, for biological and employment related issues. If you have notes, please share).

Rounding out the session was Paul Gould from Pittsburgh based MAYA design, on his work with the Carnegie public libraries. He kicked off his talk with a 1950s career advice video on becoming a librarian (”Are books your friend? Do people like you? Than maybe librarianship is for you!”). He followed up by walking us through various library environments with obvious wayfinding, flow and interaction problems. and MAYAs role in revising their system thinking for how the library functioned.

His talk included gems about how libraries civilize people - a claim that made the signifigance of the Internet, Web 2.0, and various other obsession prone technologies of our field seem suddenly shallow (Does e-mail civilize people? tag clouds? folksonomies? Like Stone’s plea for making our lives better, the questions circling around this phrase stuck with me for most of the afternoon)

-Scott Berkun


Next-Generation Libraries Panel

Libraries, long considered stodgy dusty places for books, are experiencing a renaissance, shifting to become more responsive to their communities and the individuals who use them. This panel will explore the next generation of libraries from three distinct

1. Edward Vielmetti, networking technology pioneer, recently began his Superpatron initiative, an attempt to allow library patrons the ability to engage directly with their library’s technology in order to get the most out of the institution. Ed will talk about his
experience “opening up” libraries covering such topics as:
- how I found the techies at the library
- how RSS feeds change library services
- co-developing a simple protocol, PatREST, w/AADL developer
- Jon Udell’s Library Lookup project
- non-library innovations like Book Burro and LibraryThing
- looking beyond big vendors for innovative ideas

2. Paul Gould, designer from MAYA, was instrumental to the redesign of the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh. This marked a remarkable attempt to design the physical and virtual spaces with the user foremost in mind. Paul will talk about how entities such as libraries can create a framework that provides a common direction and co-evolutionary path for what, although interesting and useful, might otherwise be isolated or divergent efforts. Paul will use examples from MAYA’s work with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to talk about such specifics as user-centered design, information architecture, and organizational change.

3. Deborah Jacobs, City Librarian for Seattle, will discuss the evolving role of the library as a hub for the community it serves, and, naturally, share her experiences with the development of the new Central Library, perhaps the most significant new piece of public
architecture in the last decade.

See the entire program.

Comments (1)

Information Visualization - Why Now, Where It’s Headed

Michal Migurski, who will present at IDEA, gave a talk at Adaptive Path’s UX Week titled “Data Viz: Why Now?”

In the last few years, it feels like information visualization is coming into its own, and the prognosis for the next few years is quite bright. As Migurski’s presentation points out, because 1) data got cheaper and 2) flash got better, the barriers to entry for visualization have dramatically lowered. And so we’re seeing a fluorishing of visualizations in more places — on the Web, sure, but also in physical spaces.

For example, the Seattle Public Library features a series of visualizations by George Legrady that expose the activity of the library — statistics on the materials checked out, floating titles organized by Dewey Decimal Number, the “Dewey Dot Matrix Rain,” and the “Keyword Map Attack.”


Comments (1)

More on the Central Library

The Seattle Public Library’s Central Library is easily the most aggressively modern piece of public architecture in a long time. It embodies much of the philosophies behind IDEA, with it’s mix of physical and virtual, information and substance.

Principal architect Joshua Prince-Ramus spoke about the library at the TED conference earlier this year, and a video of this is available for viewing. (Scroll down).

The images about the library that Joshua shows in his talk are included, among many others, in the Concept Book OMA created for the project. The Concept Book is a fascinating browse, and demonstrates just how deeply information architecture is embedded into the space.

Don’t forget, City Librarian Deborah Jacobs, who was instrumental in the development process, will be speaking at IDEA!


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