Digital Discovery and Architectural Interface Design

How do researchers search for knowledge? What are their behaviors and habits, and what technologies do they use? Marie S.A. Sorensen’s upcoming article in the Journal of Library Administration proposes that three design shifts – involving more human senses; enabling comparative and simultaneous viewing; and allowing immediate access to full content – will create a more fruitful research process for scholars who conduct a literature review, learn about a new topic in a related discipline, or catch up on advances in their field. The three proposed designed shifts were tested with prototyping. The systematic prototyping procedure is a method that can be employed by others to advance this field.

As architects and planners of academic libraries we are pursuing this research project with librarians, collaborating designers and anthropologists, and faculty to explore, from a graphic and interface design perspective, the topic of ‘discovery’ in library information systems design. Through this collaboration, we are exploring and shaping space beyond the physical library in order to both contribute to the academic library information discovery ecosystem and to enrich our ability to reach library users with physical architecture.

Sorensen presented the content to the public on January 26, 2019 at the American Library Association Future of Libraries Symposium in Seattle, WA.

The research has been in process since 2015, and is independently supported by Sorensen Partners. We have benefitted from conversations and contributions from faculty and librarians at MIT, Northeastern University and Georgia Institute of Technology.  In 2016, GeorgiaTech Libraries provided a grant for ten collaborators to convene to develop five prototypes for ‘architectural interfaces,’ shown below. We see these prototypes as both a stand-alone tools and as mental morphologies for which we will design physical counterparts. Successful architecture for academic libraries will be spatially and visually synchronous with web interface ‘discovery.’

Please see the Journal of Library Administration publication of this research: Digital Discovery and Architectural Interface Design: Prototyping Architectural-scale Interfaces for Discovery Across Digital and Tangible Collections (January 22, 2019).

We are working on the development of Immersive Search and encourage libraries interested in hosting this technology to contact us to register your interest.

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Immersive Search

Images and IP copyright 2019 Marie SA Sorensen.

Kiosk Library

Images and IP copyright 2019 Marie SA Sorensen.

Lab Librarian

Images and IP copyright 2019 Marie SA Sorensen.

MORA – My Own Research Assistant

Images and IP copyright 2019 Marie SA Sorensen.

Notestack / Capture Companion

Images and IP copyright 2019 Marie SA Sorensen.

Images from the Prototyping Workshop