the question that got cut
in the interests in not having the interview with ACIA grow too long and out of control, we ended up cutting this last goofy question. Consider it special “outtake” for the devoted (or bored…)
Lou: OK, to wrap up, you wanted me to ask you: what is the connection between IA, poetry, Deconstructionism and cooking? I’m dying to know the answer!
Christina: Attention. To do information architecture, to write good poetry or to read it, to engage in deconstructionist philosophy or cook anything tasty you must pay absolute attention to the thing you are working at, and consider with your entire mind. You must take it apart and reconstruct it with a certain understanding.
If you want to be a better IA, I recommend you study all these things. Take a good poetry class, preferably one that teaches modernism through the New York school. Frank O’hara’s Lunch Poems were poetry written at lunch, and perfect for reading at your lunch break. What could be more user-centered than to write a poem to perfectly match a moment in the reader’s day!
Study deconstructionism I do recommend Derrida’s essay on Différance, and Foucault’s The Order of Things (it may destroy your ability to take pleasure in writing for awhile, but it’s worth it.)
At least read some deconstructist-influenced fiction, such as If on a Winters Night a Traveler or The Mezzanine. These works reveal that the structure can be as important as the content it holds to effectively convey an idea.
Finally, cook difficult recipes from good cookbooks. You’ll definitely get an appreciation for the fine art of instructions. At the very least, you’ll eat better!