About AIfIA

Our Mission

The Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture (“AIfIA”) serves to advance the design of shared information environments. We support a global community infrastructure that connects people, ideas, content, and tools. Through research, education, advocacy and community service, we promote excellence within our field and build bridges to related disciplines and organizations.

Operated by a dedicated, multi-national group of people volunteering our own resources, we aspire to build bridges to related disciplines and organizations. We invite you to join us in advancing the state of information architecture through research, education, advocacy and community service.

Defining Information Architecture

We define information architecture as:

  1. The structural design of shared information environments.
  2. The art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability.
  3. An emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

Are these definitions definitive? Absolutely not. Our craft is new and still taking shape. We’re clear on the center but fuzzy at the boundaries. This inherent ambiguity challenges us to think deeply and seek diverse perspectives.

The Value of Information Architecture

Because information architecture is relatively intangible, our “invisible work” is often misunderstood and undervalued. AIfIA recognizes the importance of defining metrics and showing value, particularly in unsupportive environments.

Our efforts are focused around the following cost and value propositions:

We encourage researchers and practitioners to share experiences and data, so we can build a more convincing case for the value of information architecture.

Our Role

We live in exciting times. As the information age rolls forward, our businesses, markets and societies are being transformed into adaptive, connected networks. The Internet of today only hints at the ubiquitous communication infrastructure of tomorrow. The construction of this brave new world requires a new kind of architecture, focused on digital structures of information and software rather than physical structures of bricks and mortar. As we spend more time working and playing in these shared information spaces, people will need and demand better search, navigation and collaboration systems. The word Asilomar is Spanish for "refuge from the sea"; it is our intention to provide a refuge from the sea of information chaos.

Our Audience

The Institute aims to reach the following groups:

Our Members

We are working hard to build an international membership that connects people with diverse languages, cultures and perspectives. So far, we have over 400 members from:

AIfIA Activities

Since AIfIA is a new organization, our full scope of activities has yet to be defined. The following list of possible activities should provide a sense of things to come.

And, our Annual Report (2002-2003) will provide a sense of what we accomplished in our first year of operation.

“Findability isn’t limited to content. Nor is it limited to the Web. Findability is about designing systems that help people find what they need.”

— Peter Morville, The Age of Findability, Boxes and Arrows