Warren Hutchinson thinks this year’s Euro IA Summit was way behind on the US big brother conference in both content and form. I can’t confirm or deny this (as I’ve never been to the US summit) but I’d say any summit is better than none, and it’s clear we’re still building a practice.
He also bemoans the prevalence of conservative, ‘little IA’ thinking and a passive consumerist attitude with the majority of conference goers. True as this may be, putting yourself on a pedestal looking down on those that have been less fortunate than you in their development and exposure to big IA (or EA) thought is hardly the most productive path to take IMHO. Also, Hutchinson implies he has a tighter bond to the US summit and in some ways seems to deny a relationship with the EU design community, which I feel is a bit suspect and in some ways perhaps symptomatic of UK design thought.
I’d rather see Hutchinson take up the challenge of being an example for European IAs, designers and whatnot, as he did with his great presentation on workshops (or is that workshop on workshops?) and not slap his eager students in the face because they haven’t yet gotten the point entirely.
Just to be on the safe side: please take some of this criticism with a grain of salt. Lets have a healthy constructive discussion.
* As you can tell I don’t agree (completely) with this post’s title, which is inspired by one of the comments on Hutchinson’s post by Jonathan Mulvihill.
3 thoughts on “European IAs are three years behind on their US counterparts*”
…interesting that you think I’m ‘slapping them in the face’, which I would say is a tad harsh.
I think its the conference agenda that needs a slap for being to safe, for not providing a soap box for someone to atleast stimulate some reaction from the crowd.
I don’t imply a tighther bond with the US sentiment either, I simply state that the IA Summit is a little more sophisticated in terms of its content.
My point is a simple one, Information Architecture is a slither of the wider discipline fo Experience Architecture. The term IA doesn’t adequately describe the role I play on project or in the relationships I have with my clients or reflect my educational background.
I’m very interested in progressing the European discussion of Experience Architecture but am not arrogant enough to think that its for me to do. I hope it’s something the guys at Euro IA will seek to do.
BTW — I also don’t put myself on a pedestal as you may have noticed when we ran Wicked Workshops, we’re not interested in talking down, more so talking to.
This interchange is what was lacking IMO.
As such, I very much look forward to the next Euro IA in Barcelona and hope to have some more progressive discussions about the roles of the Interaction Designer, Information Architect, Usability Practitioner and Experience Architect.
What is good, is that finally we have some debate over it all.
Great to see you’ve taken the trouble to reply Warren. I appreciate that. I’ve been aching for some dialogue myself. Which in part is why I’ve been writing a series of posts on Euro IA themes (which contain some questions and statements aimed at provoking dialogue).
Thanks again for engaging in this dialogue, which I greatly appreciate, and apologies for being a bit provocative. I did not mean to offend you in any way, but prefer a discussion to have a bit of spice.
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