PennDesign: Richard Saul Wurman

Recently honored with the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Lifetime AchievementRichard Saul Wurman, B.Arch/M.Arch'59 has always sought ways to make the complex clear. He has written, designed and published 83 books on topics ranging from football to health care, to city guides, but he likes to say that they all spring from the same place - his ignorance.

Wurmanʼs first book, published when he was 26, featured models of 50 world cities on a uniform scale. Wurmanʼs latest book is called 33: Understanding Change & the Change in Understanding. It chronicles the adventures and musings of an eccentric (yet oddly familiar) character: the Commissioner of Curiosity and Imagination.

Wurman created the ACCESS city guides, using graphics and logical editorial organization to make places such as New York, Tokyo and Rome understandable to visitors. Other volumes he created focus on topics such as baseball, football and the 1984 Olympics. His road atlases employed similar techniques to elucidate U.S. geography and transportation networks. Several of his books are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Tags: Design

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