Just as building and city architects can’t control every use and evolution of their spaces over time, it is also true that information architects need to anticipate – but not control – the various people who engage with information spaces. This includes regular inhabitants, visitors, and those who never engage directly with the space but have a more distant interaction – suppliers of goods and services, and people who are affected by the decisions and actions of those within the space.

Built spaces are not static, they are dynamic. The idea of designing your IA to respond to dynamic conditions is not new, but what does that mean in practice? How do we approach our work and the additional responsibilities that arise in these spaces?

We can create ecosystems that accommodate a range of different information sources and uses. We can also support the immediate goals and needs of the current stakeholders, while anticipating the long-term evolution of what we build. We will incorporate terms we know into our process – terms like adaptive, responsive, flexible, emergent, empowering – but with deeper meanings, as they have to guide the use of sophisticated information models and advanced/AI technologies.

This talk provides an overview of the dynamic information landscape, positions the role of IA firmly at the heart of its ecosystem design, and provides ideas for weaving this into your practice.