The architecture of information: architecture,interaction design and the patterning of digital information. By Martyn Dade-Robertson, Routledge, London, 2011. 178pp, ISBN 978-0-415-56184-6, £29.99 (pb)
This book looks at relationships between the organisation of physical objects in space and the organisation of ideas. Historical, philosophical, psychological and architectural knowledge are united to develop an understanding of the relationship between information and its representation. Despite its potential to break the mould, digital information has relied on metaphors from a pre-digital era. In particular, architectural ideas have pervaded discussions of digital information, from the urbanization of cyberspace in science fiction, through to the adoption of spatial visualizations in the design of graphical user interfaces. This book tackles: the historical importance of physical places to the organization and expression of knowledge; the limitations of using the physical organisation of objects as the basis for systems of categorization and taxonomy; the emergence of digital technologies and the twentieth century new conceptual understandings of knowledge and its organization;the concept of disconnecting storage of information objects from their presentation and retrieval; ideas surrounding ‘semantic space’; the realities of the types of user interface which now dominate modern computing.