To which extent is organizing, structuring, and accessing digital information actually architecture?
This is perhaps still an academic enquiry, but certainly less than it appears at first sight. As a matter of fact, any divide between physical and virtual space we can think of is becoming more and more permeable; moreover, spatial configurations in which the “hard stuff” compenetrates with immaterial information are not only conceivable, but actually feasible (indeed, they have already been realized).
As a paradigmatic example, we may recall, at the Venice Biennale in 2012, the Russian pavilion whose internal surface was entirely covered in QR-codes; they were not a mere support anymore, but work as a connection (or rather, as an interface ) between two worlds no longer alien each another.
On the other hand, the “end-user” of the space is experiencing a metamorphosis which accentuates the abstract cognitive components beyond those more traditionally linked to a concrete corporeality.
Our answers to the original question are thus to be found at the crossroad of a multidisciplinary approach, wherein the architecture is not anymore involved in a monologue, but on the contrary it interacts with a wide range of diverse ways of thinking (cognitive psychology, semiotics, computer science, and so on). And among the problems that might arise there is, of course, that of preservation.
Fascinating problems, to be sure, especially when we keep in mind that the peculiar nature of the digital artifact poses problems totally different from those considered by classical theories when it comes to preservation; especially so, in case we want to take into account hybrids artifacts, composed of matter and information together.