Richard Saul Wurman

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Richard Saul Wurman
Born (1935-03-26) March 26, 1935 (age 89)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania (B.Arch, M.Arch)
Occupation(s)Architecture, information architecture, design
Known for19.20.21; TEDMED; WWW Conference; 555 Conference

Richard Saul Wurman (born March 26, 1935) is an American architect and graphic designer. Wurman has written, designed, and published 90 books and created the TED conferences,[1] the EG Conference,[further explanation needed] and TEDMED.

Education and honors[edit]

Wurman received both his B.Arch. and M.Arch. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, completing his graduate degree with honors in 1959.[2]


Wurman chaired the IDCA Conference in 1972, the First Federal Design assembly in 1973, and the annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) conference in 1976. He created and chaired several conferences, including the TED conferences from 1984 through 2003, TEDMED from 1995 through 2010, and the WWW conference.

He works with Esri and RadicalMedia on comparative cartographic initiatives for mapping urban settings, which is planned to culminate in the creation of a network of live urban observatories around the world.

Wurman supports SENS Research Foundation, a nonprofit biotechnology organization that seeks to repair the damages of aging and extend healthy lifespan.[3]


Wurman has written, designed, and published nearly a hundred books on varying topics, including Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn (1963) and What Will Be Has Always Been (1986), a collection of words by Louis Kahn. Wurman's map-oriented and infographic guidebooks include the Access travel series (starting with Access/LA in 1980), several books on healthcare, Understanding USA (1999). Information Anxiety (1989) and its second edition (2000). His books about information architecture and information design include Information Architects (1996) and UnderstandingUnderstanding (2017).


He was awarded the Arthur Spayed Brooks Gold Medal, several honorary doctorates, a Graham fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, numerous federal National Endowment for the Arts grants, and has served as a distinguished professor at Northeastern University. He is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, an Annual Gold Medal from Trinity College, Dublin, a Gold Medal from AIGA, and Boston Science Museum's 50th Annual Bradford Washburn Award in 2014. He is also an American Institute of Architects fellow and member of the Art Directors Club of New York hall of fame.

Personal life[edit]

Wurman lives in Golden Beach, Florida with his wife, novelist Gloria Nagy. They have four children and six grandchildren. He is Jewish.[4]


  1. ^ "The 30th birthday of TED: Richard Saul Wurman at TED2014". 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  2. ^ "Richard Saul Wurman". AIGA: the professional association for design. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  3. ^ "Get Involved". SENS Research Foundation.
  4. ^ "TED Founder Richard Saul Wurman to Discuss TED, Judaism at Hillel". The Cornell Daily Sun. January 30, 2018.

External links[edit]