First in an occasional series looking at the kind of 'information architecture' people do everyday. The series isn't intended to imply that there isn't complexity and professionalism in the field of IA (quite the opposite!) but to simply highlight some of the local, personal design and information architecture practices people employ in everyday life - further evidence of adaptive design (following the work of Moran and Strickland.) These are symbolic exercises in ordering life and structuring environment, but not carried out by professionals - personal responses to problem-solving. Vernacular information architecture?
This is my Dad's garage, source of fascination and wonder when I was a kid. Fascinating due to the screw-filled jamjars, their lids stuck to the underside of shelves, labelled in permanent marker; ice cream tubs stacked high with various gauges of bolt, nut, and screw (spot the 'icon' for electrical components); the wall-mounted tool rack, with drawn outlines of tools, or painted 'shadows', indicating where to put them back. It all looked chaotic at first glance (and still does at second glance!) but upon looking closer, it contained carefully refined strategies for ordering his everyday life. Personal design solutions, organising the 'at-hand'.