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In the late 1990s, Ann Arbor, Michigan was the epicenter of IA theory and practice. In 1998, two graduates of what was then called the School of Information and Library Studies were awarded “computer book of the year” for what was to become the ubiquitous “Polar Bear Book.” Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville built the world’s first information architecture consulting practice in Ann Arbor, and it is fitting that one of the 14 World IA Day locations is being staged at their alma mater in what’s now known as the University of Michigan School of Information.

Event date
Sat, 11 February 2012

Venue, parking and transit

Modern Languages Building (Auditorium: 3), University of Michigan
812 East Washington, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1275


The theme of the Ann Arbor expression of World IA Day is “Understanding the History, Present and Future of IA.”


We will have various prizes and give-aways for attendees:

  • Digital download of the Polar Bear Book
  • IA Institute notebook
  • Signed copy of the Polar Bear book
  • ProtoShare Professional Plus subscription
  • Adobe Creative Suite

You can win additional goodies by telling an IA Story.
You can also buy your own t-shirt or other swag at CafePress.

9:00 am - 9:30 am


9:30 am - 10:00 am

Welcome to World IA Day

Presented by Dan Klyn

10:00 am – 10:45 am

The History of Information Architecture

Presented by Keith Instone, Shawn Stemen, Josie Scott and Dennis Schleicher

10:45 am - 11:00 am

Morning Break

11:00 am – 11:30 am

The Future of Information Architecture

Presented by Peter Morville 

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

IA i(s|n) the Future

Presented by Karl Fast

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


1:30 pm – 2:10 pm

Architecting Search-Engine Friendly Websites

Presenting by Shari Thurow

2:10 pm - 2:50 pm

Letting go of Perfection: Developing IA agility

Chris Farnum and Serena Rosenhan revisit their presentation from IAS2011 for World IA Day 2012 in Ann Arbor. This presentation is about the challenges of making the mental shifts needed to apply IA thinking to agile development.

2:50 pm - 3:10 pm

Afternoon Break

3:10 pm – 3:20 pm

Welcome and brief remarks

Presented by Jeff MacKie-Mason (UM SI Dean)

3:20 pm – 4:00 pm


Presented by Dennis Schleicher

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

5 Minute Madness and Closing Remarks

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Reception at Sava’s

Join the reception at Sava’s