A Conversation Between Richard Saul Wurman and Kris Viesselman

“I like to question the minutia, to get to the essence of things. The minutia of life is all about design. It’s about the design of how you talk to another human being; it’s the design of speech; it’s the design of everything we do. We need to be better at listening, and we need to aim more directly at understanding and being understood.” Richard Saul Wurman


Richard Saul Wurman

TED founder, Architect, Designer

With the publication of his first book in 1962, Richard Saul Wurman identified the singular passion of his life: making information understandable. In 1976 he coined the term ‘Information Architect’. Since then he has gone on to author, design and publish more than 80 books, each about a subject or idea that he personally had difficulty understanding. Wurman created the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in 1984 and the TEDMED conference in 1995. They provided a high profile and vibrant forum for the exchange of ideas between members of the design community and leaders across business, science and culture. The title of his forthcoming book is “Worship The God Of Understanding” and his current study and exhibition is the Urban Observatory, which is a comparative cartographic analysis of cities worldwide.

Kris Viesselman

Founder, Electric Ivy


Kris is the founder and ringleader at Electric Ivy, where they make films, products, content and events. She’s a creative director, filmmaker, editor/writer, product designer, illustrator, information architect and organization/process improver. Before that, she worked at some great places, including: National Geographic, Los Angeles Times and U-T San Diego. She has consulted and presented across the U.S., in Europe, South America and Asia. Kris splits her time between Los Angeles and San Diego — and is a past president of SND.