Dutch Uncles, Ducks and Decorated Sheds—Notes on the Intertwingularity of Meaning and Structure in Information Architecture

Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


On what basis can and ought one assess the relative merits of a given work of information architecture? In 2009, Jesse James Garrett pointed to the non-existence of such a normative theory and the community of practice’s consequent inability to indicate “what good means” as evidence that information architecture is not a proper discipline. Garrett’s rallying cry was for a wholesale reframing of that community in terms of User Experience Design, with human engagement as its center. In this chapter, I draw from the work of architects Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi to counter-propose a co-occurring reframing of the mostly-digital sense- and place-making work of information architecture in the normative terms of architecture, where the appropriate interplay of meaning and structural form comprises the basis of what good means.


User Experience Normative Theory Information Architect Intentional Community Information Architecture 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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