Richard Wurman


With the publication of his first book in 1962 at the age of 26, Richard Saul Wurman began the singular passion of his life: that of making information understandable. In his best-selling book, Information Anxiety, in 1989, (and then again in 2000 with Information Anxiety2) he developed an overview of the motivating principles found in his previous works. Each of his 80 books focuses on some subject or idea that he personally had difficulty understanding. They all stem from his desire to know rather than from already knowing, from his ignorance rather than his intelligence, from his inability rather than his ability.

Along the way, Richard Saul Wurman has received both M. Arch. & B. Arch. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1959 he was graduated with the highest honors, awarded the Arthur Spayd Brookes Gold Medal. He established a deep personal & professional relationship with the architect Louis I. Kahn. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), a former member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale).

He has been awarded several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Graham Fellowships & two Chandler Fellowships. In 1991, Richard Saul Wurman received the Kevin Lynch Award from MIT for his creation of the ACCESS travel guides & was honored by a retrospective exhibition of his work at the AXIS Design Gallery in Tokyo, Japan on the occasion of their 10th Anniversary. In 1996, the Pacific Design Center awarded him their Stars of Design lifetime achievement award. The same year, he received the Chrysler Design Award. In 1993/1997 he was appointed a Visiting Scholar at MIT in the Department of Architecture & Planning. In 1994, he was named a Fellow of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland & awarded a Doctorate of Fine Arts by the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. In 1995, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Art Center College of Design & was Chairman of Graphic Design & Product/Industrial Design of the1995 Presidential Design Awards. He created an annual design competition for the AIGA in 1995, The Design of Understanding & chaired the first jury. In 1997 & 1999, he was named one of the 100 elite of the technology industry by Upside Magazine and in 1999 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston. His career has spanned from a 13-year architectural partnership in Philadelphia, a Director of GEE! Group for Environmental Education, to teaching at Cambridge University, England; CCNY; UCLA; USC; Washington University, St. Louis & Princeton University. In 1958 he was a member of the initial year of exploration at Tikal, Guatemala. Recently, he created a new publishing company called TOP, which publishes books and related media on health and well being. His most recent publication includes those on diagnostic testing, heart disease and estate planning. Understanding Healthcare is the latest book of Richard Saul Wurman. This book empowers each reader to constructively navigate through their own patterns of health information, as well as those for whom they care.

Richard Saul Wurman continues to be a regular consultant to major corporations in matters relating to the design & understanding of information. He is married to novelist and lyricist Gloria Nagy. He has 4 children and 5 grandchildren. He lives in Newport, Rhode Island with Max & Abraham (their dogs).

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