Lakoff’s Women, Fire & Dangerous Things – What every IA should know

Sep 2006: OzIA 2006. Sydney, Australia

George Lakoff’s book ’Women, Fire and Dangerous Things’ is a fundamental work on categorization theory, explaining categorization from a linguistic and cognitive perspective. Many IA’s (myself included) have had a paradigm shifting moment on reading it.

But it is 583 pages long, weighs a kilo, and is a very, very hard read. Let’s take a short cut – let me do the hard work.

In this presentation, I’ll examine the fundamentals of Lakoff’s theories and those scholars from which his theories draw. I’ll explain prototype theory and basic level categories and will discuss classical categorisation theory and how it fails to describe the real world we live in.

More importantly, I’ll discuss how these relate to everyday IA – particularly how we can use basic level categories and prototype theory to create more intuitive structures. I’ll even explain how folksonomies/tagging are a natural outcome of the failure of classical categorisation theory.

0 comments on “Lakoff’s Women, Fire & Dangerous Things – What every IA should know
2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Lakoff’s Women, Fire & Dangerous Things – What every IA should know"
  1. […] Fire, and Dangerous Things’ is een (lastige) klassieker. (bron: f’watching) Ook een presentatie van Donna Maurer verheldert […]

  2. […] Beyond the hierarchyDoing a great job on the webEthical issues and information architectureLakoff’s Women, Fire & Dangerous Things – What every IA should knowThe Information Architect as Change AgentInformation Architecture: We were are and where we’re […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>