Architecture as Metaphor

Found this study, Architecture as Metaphor done through Bell Labs some time back. They investigate how legitimate Architecture is as a metaphor for what software "architects" do.

The article sheds a lot of light on the current discussion IA's are having about just what their role really is.

Keep in mind that the study is NOT including "designers" of software or web environments, and certainly doesn't include usability engineers or information architects. These are straight-out software developers (programmers, etc.). So, when they say aesthetics and GUI aren't part of their job, it's a very realistic reflection on the typical programmer point of view.

If you take this study and map out the differences or gaps between "built" architecture and "software" architecture, it's pretty clear that the few strong differences between them are rendered moot by the advent of more public shared information environments; i.e. the Web, where so many structures have to be considered aesthetically, for example. This is very different from the prior realm of the software engineer: database number crunchers and call-center-info screens, etc. The paradigm is shifting now because of interconnected, interdependent systems rather than standalone applications.
One shock for me was seeing that Context was not an issue the software architects even considered. I'm so firmly entrenched in Contextual Design that this really surprised me.