True IA is emergent

In the same way that users are having an experience whether you’re there or not, the architecture of a site is what’s there right now. Architecture emerges out of the system: If your org was going to result in good IA, it already would have. Systems are not generally architected all at once, instead, they emerge from the Taskscape. Mature practices recognize this and plan for it.


Arango, Jorge. Living in Information: Architecture for Life inside Small Glass Rectangles . Rosenfeld Media LLC, 2018.

Instead of architecting static spaces, information spaces in the future should emerge and be taken care of by information gardeners.

Emergent information environments are: 1. Unfinished (perpetually) 2. Collaborative 3. Diverse 4. Robust (with varying degrees of flexibility) 5. Reputable (knowing who’s operating in good faith) 6. Transparent (you can see who’s doing what) 7. Recursive (users can make small changes that eventually affect the whole) 8. Led (by people thinking about the long term) 9. Cohesive (create shared goals, shared understanding of what the place is, principles) These emergent spaces will be better for people and society.

Mintrom, Michael. Policy Entrepreneurs and Dynamic Change . Cambridge University Press, 2020.

Dynamic change is when a change on one team or in one context promotes a similar change in a different context. This can also be thought of as “innovation diffusion.” p. 11 Dynamic change can be about formal structures, like policies, regulations, or programs, but it can also be informal. Increased awareness of a problem can increase peer scrutiny and cause individuals to make better choices without official pressure.