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Aug 08, 2001: Paul Kahn--Someone I've always wanted to be

I've known Paul for a couple years, and have been stealthily monitoring his movements for even longer. For years he and Krzysztof Lenk ran the highly regarded studio Dynamic Diagrams, which was acquired last year by ingenta. Aside from building a viable IA consulting firm (not easy, trust me), their accomplishments included developing MAPA, an interesting software tool that creates functional visual maps of site architectures. Not surprisingly, Paul and Krzysztof also wrote Mapping Web Sites: Digital Media Design, which I haven't read yet but am fully confident will be worth the effort (by the way Paul, I'm still waiting for that signed copy to show up!).

Paul was one of the first people I've encountered that called himself an information architect; the earlier someone took on that appellation, the more deserving they are of our respect. Because, honestly, even after writing a book on the topic I still feel uncomfortable explaining what IA is to people who ask me what I do. So imagine how hard it was 10 or 15 years ago, before the Web made the information problem so much more apparent to the rest of the world.

Paul moved to Paris recently, and once in a while, if I'm very lucky, I'll receive a note from him describing what he saw on the Metro that day. He'll be speaking at many European venues in the coming months; if you're in the neighborhood check him out (and remind him to send me that book):

  • Aarhus, Denmark; August 16: His opening keynote at the Hypertext 2001 conference is titled "Information Architecture: A New Discipline for Organizing Hypertext".
  • Milan, Italy; September 3-4: He'll be teaching three half-day workshops at the ICHIM 2001 conference.
  • Paris, France; October 25: He'll be teaching an IA seminar at a conference sponsored by Pyramyd; those are all the details I have right now.

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