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Information Architecture: From Structural Notion to Meaningful Communicative Concept

Antony Bryant
Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
Rik Maes
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Abstract
The notion of ‘architecture’ is widely used in the context of IS/ICT1. It is often to be found in couplings such as business architecture, knowledge architecture, strategic architecture, governance architecture, IS architecture, IS competence architecture, IT architecture, network architecture, computer architecture; the list could easily be extended. Why is the word actually used in this manner? What does it add? Could it simply be replaced by simpler, perhaps less resonant terms such as structure or framework? Our paper examines the ways in which the term architecture (in particular information architecture) and the architectural metaphor have come to be accepted and used in the context of IS/ICT. In so doing we draw attention to the important cognitive, perceptual and communicative aspects of the metaphor which have all-too-often been ignored at the expense of the structural, constructional and tectonic aspects. It is important that the cognitive features of the architectural metaphor are brought to the fore in order to highlight the full range of issues central to IS/ICT practice; which itself is a critical aspect of organizational contexts.

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Reference:Bryant, A., Maes, R. (2005). "Information Architecture: From Structural Notion to Meaningful Communicative Concept," University of Amsterdam, Netherlands . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 5(9). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/5-9
Keywords:IT, postmodernity, organizations, systems
Item Type:Article - Volume 5 Article 9 (2005)
Language:English
Email: Antony Bryant (a.bryant@leedsmet.ac.uk)
Rik Maes (maestro@uva.nl)
Related Link(s):http://primavera.feb.uva.nl/scripts/abstract.php?id=199

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