I am speaking next Monday at the 2007 ASIS&T Information Architecture Summit in Las Vegas.

My topic will be “Interaction Design Style“. It will be a highly visual romp through a variety of topic having to do with the concept of style and how it fits into the design of interactive systems:

  • The definition of style.
  • The history and meaning of the concept of “style”, across many disciplines including art, architecture, music, design, writing, and more. Style is not not just fashion!
  • How a consciousness of style can and should fit into a user-centered design process.
  • How style constrains the design process, through both the anxiety of influence and through the availability of overly easy solutions.
  • How style inspires the design process, opening us to new ideas we might never have thought of.
  • How style guides the design process through pattern libraries, best practices, and more.

I was inspired in part by Stewart Brand’s 2003 IA keynote speech, in which he dismissed style (and fashion, and art) as an ephemeral, superficial, and ultimately flimsy basis for design strategies, an assertion that rubbed me a little wrong. Lately this has come back to me because style, broadly defined, is not brushed aside at all in so many other worlds of design and development. It’s not a dirty word.

Maybe, I thought, there are in fact major stylistic drivers behind much of what interaction designers and information architects do, in the same way that style drives much of architecture, music, etc. Maybe we shouldn’t reject stylistic influences, but should instead embrace them.

I’m working feverishly to make the most thought-provoking and interesting 45 minutes I can craft. It’s not going to be a research paper nor will it be a case study — it will be something I hope will be at least a little entertaining and educational, but most importantly a little eye-opening and inspiring. There will be lots and lots of pretty pictures!

Monday at 9:30 in the “Mesquite Room”. I hope to see you there!


2 responses to “Come to my Stylish Talk at the 2007 IA Summit”

  1. Wow, that sounds like a fantastic talk. I wish I was going to be there. Are they going to record it? Also, thats a great line-up of books you’ve got there. I have been reading A Pattern Language, and think it is one of the most important books I have ever read. I am sorry I am missing that talk.

  2. This was one of my favorite talks at the Summit. Will you be posting the reading list somwhere?

    Thanks Chris!