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rsw

 
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bio

 

Richard Saul Wurman has written, designed and published 90 books on wildly divergent topics. Two of these are the notebooks and drawings of architect Louis I. Kahn (1963) and What Will Be Has Always Been (1986), a seminal collection of Kahn’s words. Wurman chaired the IDCA Conference in 1972, the First Federal Design assembly in 1973, and the annual AIA Conference in 1976.

Wurman received both his M. Arch. & B. Arch. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, from where he graduated in 1959 with the highest honors, and was awarded the Arthur Spayed Brooks Gold Medal. He has been awarded several honorary doctorates, Graham Fellowships, a Guggenheim and numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as being the Distinguished Professor of the Practice at Northeastern University. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Wurman has also been awarded the Annual Gold Medal in Discourse from Trinity College, Dublin, a Gold Medal from AIGA and Boston Science Museum’s 50th Annual Bradford Washburn Award. He is also a Fellow of the AIA and in the Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame. Most recently he was awarded the Ladislav Sutnar prize for his outstanding performance in the field of fine arts, as well as accepting an invitation to contribute to Genius: 100 Visions of the Future, a project sponsored by the Einstein Legacy Project, which features essays submitted by the 100 greatest innovators, artists, scientists and visionaries of our time.

Wurman created and chaired the TED conference from 1984 thru 2002, the TEDMED conference from 1995 to 2010, as well as the e.g. and WWW conference. His current projects include Urban Observatory and his newest book, UnderstandingUnderstanding- a journey through the myriad ways that he and his many muses have created their own idiosyncratic manners of understanding. For more information on UnderstandingUnderstanding, please go to www.uursw.com

Wurman lives in Golden Beach, FL with his wife, novelist Gloria Nagy, and their two yellow labs, Isaac and Jacob.

 
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ARTICLES & NEWS

A COLLECTION OF MY PARTICULAR FAVORITES

 
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projects:

UnderstandingUnderstanding precedes the whole process of learning, of giving yourself permission to understand the formations of facts, data, stories, pictures, words, conversations that allow you to understand. This book could be called A Celebration of Conversation or Musings with my Mentors. It is about the fantasy of being the dumbest person in the room and being able to identify all the myriad connections of how others think, talk, explain and visualize.

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RICHARD SAUL WURMAN


B. Arch / M. Arch 1959 University of Pennsylvania, FAIA 1976 / Arthur Spayd Brooke Gold Medal / (3) Theophilus Parson Chandler Fellowships / (2) Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts / Guggenheim Fellowship / Thornton Oakley Medal 1954 / (3) University of Pennsylvania Award in Watercolors / AIA General Excellence in Architecture Medal 1958 / Mapped Southwestern Quadrant Plane Table Survey Tikal in 1958/59 for University of Pennsylvania Archaeological Museum published by USGS / Annual Gold Medal in Discourse Trinity College Dublin / Gold Medal AIGA / Lifetime Achievement Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards / James Joyce Award Literary and Historical Society University College Dublin / 50th Annual Bradford Washburn Award Boston Museum of Science / Chrysler Award / Art Directors Hall of Fame / Ladislav Sutnar Prize /  L.H.D. Doctor of Humane Letters Babson College / Retrospective Exhibition AXIS Design Gallery Tokyo / Kevin Lynch Award MIT Wurman lives in Golden Beach, Florida with his wife, novelist Gloria Nagy, and their three yellow labs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.


1972 Chaired IDCA The Invisible City Conference
1973 Co-chaired First Federal Design Assembly
1976 Chaired AIA National Conference
1980-1982 Chaired and created CA101 (California)
1984-2002 Chaired and created TED
1995-2010 Chaired and created TEDMED
2000 Co-chaired TEDCity
2006 Chaired and created e.g.
2012 Chaired and created WWW Intellectual Jazz
 

SELECTED CONFERENCES


SELECTED FACULTY POSITIONS

CCNY
CalPoly Pomona
Princeton
NYC Program Cornell
Otis Parsons
Cambridge (England)
USC
UCLA
Washington University (St. Louis)


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:


1960's

The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn (The first book published on Kahn)
The City: Comparison of Form and Scale
Various Dwellings Described in a Comparative Manner
Urban Atlas: 20 American Cities
Visual Information Systems
Our Man-made Environment
(Alan Levy)


1970's

Yellow Pages of Learning Resources
Aspen Visible (Joel Katz)
Man-Made Philadelphia (John Gallery)
The Nature of Recreation (Joel Katz, Alan Levy)
Guidebook to Guidebooks
Yellow Pages Career Library (12 Volumes)
What if Could Be (Fable)


1980's

SELECTED ACCESS GUIDES:

Los Angeles
San Francisco
Hawaii
Tokyo
Washington D.C.
Las Vegas
Boston
London
Paris
Rome
Venice
Florence

Barcelona
San Diego
New York City
Wine Country
Philadelphia
Chicago
Football
Baseball
Polaroid
Medical
OfficeOlympics 1984/Winter Games 1988
Hats
(Design Quarterly)
Information Anxiety
What Will Be Has Always Been
Wall Street Journal Guide to Money & Markets

Olympics 1984/Winter Games 1988
Hats
(Design Quarterly)
Information Anxiety
What Will Be Has Always Been
Wall Street Journal Guide to Money & Markets


1990's

 

 

 

 

 

Danny Goodman’s Macintosh Handbook (Danny Goodman)
Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Fortune Guide To Investing in the 90s
Twin Peaks Access(Lynch and Frost)
The Newport Guide
The Charleston Guide
Information Architects
USAtlas
Understanding USA


Understanding Children
Understanding Healthcare
Heart Disease & Cardiovascular Health
Can I Afford to Retire?
Diagnostic Tests for Men
Diagnostic Tests for Women
Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning
Information Anxiety 2

1,000: Who’s Really Who?
33

UnderstandingUnderstanding

2000's