History of the IA Summit
Originally conceived as a one-off get-together in 2000, the IA Summit quickly became the go-to event for those who want to make information easier to find, understand, and share. We’ve grown in our ambition, toured North America, and continued to figure out how to build bridges of understanding which span seas of information.
How did the IA Summit get started?
ASIS&T organized the inaugural IA Summit in Boston in 2000, after reading Lou Rosenfeld and Peter Morville’s first Polar Bear book. At the time, ASIS&T was looking to return to its roots in the practical, applied world, as opposed to the theoretical. These roots had withered with the closing of many corporate research facilities, such as Bell Labs and Xerox PARC. This shift came with other economic and corporate changes.
With the Polar Bear book, ASIS&T recognized the strong congruence between ASIS&T’s traditional areas and the IA domain that Lou and Peter advanced. They saw an opportunity to nurture IA in the practical applied world once again.
What was the first IA Summit like?
The inaugural IA Summit met at an airport hotel over a weekend. Participants could join with minimal time away from their work. From this very first gathering of IAs, it was clear that this was a strong community, with strong ideas about what it wanted from such a meeting.
Who runs the Summit?
That first meeting 18 years ago has morphed from an event directed by ASIS&T to one organized by the community. ASIS&T handles non-IA-related logistics: signing contracts and making guarantees, working with the hotel for catering and meals, planning and ordering AV equipment, and so on. Meanwhile, the volunteer planning committee — drawn each year from the IA community — works on the program, the conference’s look and feel, and the social experience. This model works — everyone learns and has fun!
Where the IA Summit is going
The IA Summit offers discourse and practical advice about the design of information environments. Recognized globally as the peak of information architecture learning, the IA Summit is a wellspring of knowledge for every information professional.
Our mission and values dedicate us to furthering both the practice and the practitioners of information architecture. Our inspirational events value diverse perspectives, and act as a welcoming place for old friends to gather and new friends to meet. Lastly, IA Summit serves as a pathway for present and future information advocates to share their work and ideas.