Richard Saul Wurman on Knowing What you Don’t Understand

Information architect, author, innovator and map evangelizer Richard Saul Wurman sat down for a conversation with Kris Viesselman in front of a packed room at SNDDC Friday.

As Wurman likes to say, his greatest strength is his awareness of his own lack of understanding.

"An idiosyncratic torrent of ideas, philosophies and design theory" from Richard Saul Wurman. Illustration by Dan Archer
“An idiosyncratic torrent of ideas, philosophies and design theory” from Richard Saul Wurman. Illustration by Dan Archer

“Knowing about your lack of understanding makes you powerful,” he said, adding that while trying to understand what you don’t understand is the goal.

Richard Saul Wurman created the TED conferences and a series of Travel books called "Access," which married information and design in new ways.
Richard Saul Wurman created the TED conferences and a series of Travel books called “Access,” which married information and design in new ways.

“Life is about solving that puzzle,” he said.

Wurman created the term “information architect” 40 years ago, writing extensively on the topic of information understanding. He created the TED conferences (Technology, Entertainment and Design) in 1984. He has written, designed and published more than 80 books.

Here’s an audio recap of  Viesselman’s conversation with Wurman:

— by Julia Klement