9 insights from WIAD Rome 2019

Feb 26, 2019 • 2 min read

February 23, 2019 was the World Information Architecture Day and the theme chosen for this year’s edition was Design for Difference.

My notes from the talks in random order:

  1. AI and IoT are both focused on datasets. Main problem here is how to find and use data while safeguarding people’s privacy. When working with these technologies it is also important to have knowledge of which cultural contexts we are including and which ones we are keeping out.

  2. Design for gender: the inclusion of gender differences is possible thanks to the sharing of a language that has remained confined to a restricted community, calling into question a “binary system”.
    Design for Transition — Massimiliano Dibitonto

  3. Refugee people who flee the Middle East do not want to be called such. They are people who, by the same admission, move to give opportunities, not to receive them. Among them many entrepreneurs with projects developed during these difficult times.
    The art of bankruptcy, a non-binary concept - Ethan Bonali

  4. The possibility of choosing between different options lies too often in the top management of a company. Instead, we must consider the possibility of shifting this possibility between people who work from below.
    Migrants and Refugees - Valentina Primo

  5. Building a frame that is too rigid around a problem can facilitate its solution but there is the risk of excluding different options that could, perhaps even better.
    Differences is a project - Federico Badaloni

  6. The work of the designer is generally not inclusive. Design patterns, heuristic evaluations, clustering; they are all little inclusive activities.
    Difference is a project - Federico Badaloni

  7. Inclusive design is a method, accessibility a feature of the designed solution.
    Because design can make a difference - Debora Bottà

  8. There are many diversities to design for: economic, social, cultural, physical. While designing we must be able to recognize which of these we are excluding.
    Because design can make a difference - Debora Bottà

  9. Designing for excluded diversity brings benefits for everyone, even those included from the beginning.
    Because design can make a difference - Debora Bottà

Final thoughts

The theme of common language was the real “glue” of the various interventions, all very valid. Whether it’s in a work team rather than in everyday life, sharing a language allows people to overcome any difference. Most of the speakers would change “difference” to “differences”.

Two notes on the formula and location

Really liked half-day formula on Saturday morning. You don’t have to take holidays from work, don’t sacrifice too much your family (or your interests) in the weekend, you can stay focused as the interventions don’t last all day. I don’t know how applicable it is to other events, but I loved it.

Thanks to Architecta and nois3, see you next year!