Early in our last class, Stasa mentioned that one of our classmates compared IA work to interior design. This didn’t make sense to me until I revisited last December’s issue of “Elle Decor” (US), in which the designers of featured interiors discuss client ways of living and the way in which they designed the space in question for those ways of living. If IA is a spatialized information process targeted to particular client needs, the comparison is a good one.
Compare these two interiors at:
Both designs are, like good IA, elegant: they show a simplicity and harmony of purpose in heights, shapes, colors, proportion, light and color interaction, fabrics, art treatments, etc. Yet both are adapted to vastly different ways of living. Think about it: would you or your Great Dane be able to extend full-length in the second interior? survive in the perpetual twilight of the first? how would the way in which you entertained a party of 20 change from the first to the second interior? how would the food and drink you served to that party change?
Like good IA, these considerations become invisible when the design is elegant and matches with client’s way of living (you don’t miss natural light if you’ve got plenty, as in the second interior); glaring if not (imagine the upholstery cleaning bill should the aforementioned party of 20 be served red wine in that same, white-linen-magnifying light).
It’s interesting that elegance and fitness (shorthand for matching-with-way-of-living), at least in the case of these interiors, make for aesthetically pleasing interiors. Is there an aesthetic component, also, to good IA?