​Exploring Information Architectures (IAs) as Sociotechnical Competitions
TWCF Number
Project Duration
February 1 / 2022
- January 31 / 2023
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
North America
Amount Awarded

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Paul Smaldino
Institution University of California, Merced

Daniel Patt
Institution The Hudson Institute

Information Architectures (IAs) are the traffic rules that govern the flow of information between sources and consumers in society. There is currently little academic research into which models of IA might lead to more stable societies, better societal cohesion, and more fulfilling lives for citizens immersed in these information architectures.

Research led by Paul Smaldino from the University of California, Merced explores approaches to understanding the role of IAs in shaping long-term competitions among authoritarian and democratic systems. Of particular interest are:

  1. Information Architectures that emphasize curation and harmony.
  2. Liberal Information Architectures that permit essentially any information flow.

This project will develop models to provide tools to explore these approaches and to help surface and formalize parameters for the next steps in advancing this research in a principled and systematic way. The discussion will be extended further by presenting the model at a workshop to a relevant community at the Santa Fe Institute, where it is expected deepening engagement and next steps will emerge.

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