Andrea Resmini

Letizia Bollini


associate professor - Halmstad University (SE)

Information Architecture | Experience Design


“Leaving Flatland: Information Architecture as the Design of Emplacement”

Leaving Flatland: Information Architecture as the Design of Emplacement” The contribution argues that a spatial turn is necessary in contemporary information architecture to respond to the novel challenges of designing 21st century digital / physical and blended spaces. It frames this spatial turn from a phenomenological perspective, from the point of view of the human experience of existing and acting in space, and as a design practice. To do so, the contribution first frames the spatial turn as an experiential approach to the dialectic between space and place, and a humanistic rebuttal of the Newtonian and Kantian idea of an infinite, absolute space in which place exists as a simple compartmentalization. It then comprehensively in- troduces classical and contemporary information architecture, detailing how, as the illusion of the Web as a library and the Internet as a different and separated world have given way to today’s postdigital world, digital and physical blend easily and our use, consumption and production of information hap- pens across multiple contexts and unstable, emergent choreographies. As focus has necessarily moved away from the single artifact, the website of the 1990s, to consider the entire experience ecosystem as a complex, information-based machine, some parts of which might not be online or might not even be digital at all, information architecture has steadily grown into a medium-aspecific multi-disciplinary design framing. The postdigital condition is predicated on the blending of physical and digital space. Seamful transi- tions connect non-contiguous environments to create an existential, deictic space in which a person’s experience unfolds. This existential space is egocentric, personal, dynamically adjusted, and, in this first part of the 21st century, to a large extent trackable and exploitable. We now have had experimental neurophysiological confirmation that for the embodied brain all expe- riential, navigable space - physical spaces, conceptual spaces, and information spaces - is the explicit manifestation or mapping of the inner workings of the brain-body system, of our embodiment, in perceptible artifacts, something humans have more or less intuitively known, discussed, and exploited to their advantage for a long time. The proposition put forward by this contribution is that this experiential space should be designed as any other space, starting from first principles rather than from the linguistic tenets of classical infor- mation architecture, or, for that matter, from a usability engineering, interaction design, or visual design standpoint. It should be designed from voids, for dwelling and place-making. It should be designed for emplacement.


Andrea Resmini is associate professor of Experience Design and Information Architecture at the De- partment of Intelligent Systems and Digital Design at Halmstad University, Sweden, where he research- es spatiality, embodiment and place-making in blended spaces and teaches courses on IA and UX for AI, XR, and digital / physical environments, and at the Games, Arts, Media, Experience Research Group (GAME), University of Skövde, Sweden, where he researches games as a thirdspace and game-making as an approach to the design of complexity. An architect turned information architect, Andrea is a two–time past president of the Information Ar- chitecture Institute, a founding member of Architecta, the Italian Society for Information Architecture, and of World IA Day, the Editor–in–chief of the Journal of Information Architecture, and the author of “Pervasive Information Architecture” (2011), “Reframing Information Architecture” (2014), and “Advances in Information Architecture”