From a book I’m reading:
“A theoretical grid through which behavior, institutions, and texts are seen as analyzable in terms of an underlying network of relationships, the crucial point being that the elements which constitute the network gain their meaning from the relations that hold between the elements.”
This quote resonates with a theme from the last information architecture summit, where people expressed frustrating with spatial/structural metaphors, and wanted to develop systems that better expressed meaning, and did so through the relationships between items. This feeds into notions of ontologies (Brett Lider’s PowerPoint from the Summit) and the Semantic Web.
What’s interesting to me is that in the book I’m reading, the passage actually begins with, “We can define structuralism as a theoretical grid…” Yep. I’m reading a text on semiotics. (New Vocabularies in Film Semiotics, to be exact. Blame him.) Maybe these Frenchies are onto something.