Save the Date: December 12, Exciting MAYA Event

5 Oct 2005 - 12:30pm
483 reads
Peter Merholz


I'm pleased to announce that the IA Institute, in conjunction with
MAYA Design, is planning a special one-day presentation on the
amazing work that MAYA did in improving the information architecture
(both virtual and physical) of the Carnegie Libraries in Pittsburgh.

You may have read about it on mailing lists or in weblogs:

I saw this work described at Adaptive Path's UX Week in August, and
since then, I've been in talks with MAYA to find out how we can turn
this into an extended experience design field trip for the IA Institute.

We're working on getting a system together that can accept
registration. In the meantime, though we wanted to alert you, so that
you can save the date.

If you are interested, feel free to email me directly at
peterme at, and I'll make sure you hear about it! Also, once
registration opens, I will email the list.

Here is the description:
(which can be found here:
<URL:> )

User Interfaces for Physical Spaces
An exclusive one-day workshop for information architects
Where: The offices of MAYA Design, with field trips to the Carnegie
Library Branches, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Monday, December 12

Complex information environments aren't always online. Libraries are
the original information-rich public domains. So when one of the
world's first public libraries called in building architects to
renovate their historic facilities, they also called in information
architects from MAYA Design to renovate their information space.

By working with the Carnegie Library to understand how digital,
physical, and human aspects of the library converge, MAYA developed
an information architecture that gives the library a framework not
only for a single renovated space, but also for system-wide
organizational change and ongoing evolution.

The solutions developed to reduce environmental complexity and put
people (rather than the system) at the center of a 360-degree,
seamless experience with information.

This workshop offers information architects and designers a valuable
model to consider when faced with the increasingly porous boundaries
between digital and physical domains.

Because this project mixed virtual and real architectures, we will be
taking field trips to libraries in Pittsburgh, so we can witness,
firsthand, the before and after of this project. Yes, we know
Pittsburgh in December will be chilly! We'll make sure we have some
hot cocoa on hand.

9:00a - 10:00a: Challenge: Not Dead Yet
Are libraries still relevant? Are Google, Amazon, and Barnes&Noble
really the competition?

10:00a - 12:30p: Research/Analysis: Power in Complexity
Learn how MAYA approached this problem with library staff,
administrators, customers, as well as a graphic design company and
multiple architectural firms. Workshop participants will learn how
the resulting information architecture developed and formed the basis
for all subsequent design work. You can can also engage in a bit of
contextual inquiry as we visit one of the libraries not yet renovated.

1:30p - 3:30p: Synthesis/Design
It's one thing to be visionary, but clients need something real. Find
out how the information architecture gets translated into a system-
wide plan, novel ways of overcoming barriers to success, and what
became user interfaces to physical spaces.

4:00p - 6:00p: Implementation: Tour of renovated libraries
Workshop participants will visit the historic Main Library in
Pittsburgh, renovated by Edge Studios, as well as the Squirrel Hill
branch library, renovated by Arthur Lubetz Architects. Despite the
vastly different scales and difference schemes for the physical
space, the information architecture offers a consistent, user-
centered experience based on a common framework.

6:00p -: Cocktails

***Registration and Pricing
There is a limit of 50 registrants.

$200 for IA Institute Members
$250 for non-members

***Event Address
The event begins and ends at MAYA's offices.
MAYA Design, Inc.
Southside Works
Building 2, Suite 300
2730 Sidney Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203,+Pittsburgh,

Again, if you're interested in getting notified when registration
opens, please email peterme at


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