Research & publication

Research interests:

  1. Information architecture design: Meaning-making, social ontology and reality, social systems problems, synthetic integrity and existential design
  2. Design strategy, critical, reflexive and reflective practice
  3. Design ethics, education and (trans)disciplinarity

Take a look at Research Gate for a detailed view of all my scholarly publications.

For more than the last decade most of my research and theory has been accomplished with Terence Fenn.

I conduct the majority of my academic research through the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg (UJ)  in the Multimedia Department. Prior to this I was a Research Affiliate with the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD)

With the IA Institute: For the 2012 / 13 year I was the chair of the Research Grants Committee for the IA Institute and was a member of the same grants judging panel in 2008, 2009 and 2010. I received the Research Grant award from the IA Institute in 2006 and 2011 (the former with Tegan Bristow and the latter with Terence Fenn).

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“Applying Information Architecture in Design Thinking: Ideating Solutions to the Wicked Problem of Addiction” Hobbs, J. (2021). Dissertation. University of Johannesburg.

“Footnotes to ‘Re: The Future of Information Architecture’” Hobbs, J. (2021). Journal of Information Architecture. Vol. 06. Iss. 01. Pp. 79–91.

“Realising Discourse: A Strategic Design Solution to the Problem of Addiction” Design Culture(s). Cumulus Conference Proceedings Roma 2021, Di Lucchio, L, Imbesi, L, Giambattista, A & Malakuczi, V (Eds.), Volume #2. PDF: ISBN 978-952-64-9004-5. Cumulus Conference Proceedings Series, N°7, ISSN 2490-046X

“Thoughts on Information Architecture as it Relates to Design: The Lost IA” Self published. 2020. Online at ResearchGate. DOI 10.13140/RG.2.2.14131.04642

“The Design of Socially Sustainable Ontologies” J Hobbs and T Fenn. Journal of Philosophy and Technology. 32, 745–767. 2019.

“Nurturing Critical Citizen Designers: Applying Strategic Models for Reflective Practice” T Fenn and J Hobbs. In (eds) Costandius, E. & Botes, H. Educating Citizen Designers in South Africa. Sun Press. 141-160. 2018

“Conceiving and Applying Relationship Models for Design Strategy”  J Hobbs and T Fenn. ICORD 1, 6th International Conference of Research into Design. 2017.

“Experience-led Design Strategy” T Fenn and J Hobbs. Design Management Academy. 2017

“The User Experience Landscape of South Africa” J Hobbs, M Pretorius and T Fenn. Self published. 2015 [Research report]

“The User Experience Landscape of South Africa”  M Pretorius, J Hobbs and T Fenn. SAICSIT. 2015. [Research paper]

“Wicked Ethics in Design” J Hobbs and T Fenn. DEFSA. 2015

“The Firma Model: A Meta-framework for Design Research, Strategy and Critique” J Hobbs and T Fenn. Cumulus Conference. 2015

“The Firma Model: A Tool for Resolving Complex Societal Problems” J Hobbs and T fenn. DEFSA. 2015

“The design behind the design behind the design” J Hobbs. Human Experience Design. Presented at the IA Summit. 2015. View the presentation translated into Japanese by Soyeon Lee

“The New Architecture” J Hobbs. BCS IT Strategy 2014.

“In 2014, brands will need to be digital first- and we need to help them change” J Hobbs. DigitalArts. 2013

“Navigating indeterminacy through the application of journey design”  J Hobbs and T Fenn. Design Development Research Conference, Kumasi, Ghana. 2013

“Applying user journey design to resolve complex design problems” T Fenn and J Hobbs. GIDEC, 2013

“Preparing undergraduate design students for complexity: A case study of the Johannesburg Art Gallery project” T Fenn and J Hobbs. GIDEC, 2013

“The information architecture of meaning-making” J Hobbs and T Fenn. First presented at the 2013 IA Summit Baltimore, USA “Academics and Practitioners Round Table: Reframe IA” and published in “Reframing Information Architecture” Resmini, Andrea (Ed.). 2014 Springer HCI series.

“Pervasive Information Architectures as Architectures of Meaning for Complex Cross-channel Systems” J Hobbs, A Resmini and T Fenn. Academic workshop. Pervasive 2012, Newcastle, UK. 2012

“Bridging the divide” [chapter] in Hotel Yeoville by Terry Kurgan. Fourthwall Books, 2013.

“The Information Architecture of Transdisciplinary Design Practice: Rethinking Nathan Shedroff‟s Continuum of Understanding”  Hobbs J and Fenn T. Design Development Research 2012 Conference Proceedings. 2012.

“Teaching the Design Thinking of Information Architecture” Hobbs J and Fenn T. in Pervasive Information Architecture: Designing Cross-Channel User Experiences Resmini A and Rosati L. 2011.

“A Role for Information Architecture in Design Education: Conceptualising Indeterminate Problems in Design Thinking” Hobbs J and Fenn T. DEFSA South Africa. 2011.

“A Role for Information Architecture in Design Education: Developing Innovation Through Structured Thinking” Hobbs J and Fenn T. DEFSA South Africa. 2011.

“From Practice to Discipline” [chapter] in On Making: Integrating Approaches To Practice-Led Research in Art and Design. The Research Centre, Visual Identities in Art and Design, Faculty of Art Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg. 2010.

“Maturing a Practice” Hobbs, J., Fenn, T., & Resmini, A. 2010. Journal of Information Architecture. Vol. 2, No. 1.

“Sex, Drugs and UX” UX Storytellers. 2010. Editors: Jan Jursa, Stephen Kover and Jutta Grunewald.

“Designing for developing contexts” ASIS&T (American Society for Information Science and Technology) Bulletin, August / September 2006.

“Am I an Information Architect?” Information Architecture Institute 2007.

“An Introduction to User Journeys” Boxes and Arrows 2006.

“Journeys, Needs and Trust: A Volkswagen Case Study” Boxes and Arrows 2006.

“How Far is the Promised Land?” Marketing Mix, 2005.

“The illusion of Consistency” Enjin Magazine, 2005.

Various ‘How to write HTML” articles for the MWEB iTutor series, 1998

Articles on the old jh-01 website, 2000 – 2008 (ask and you shall receive)

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