33: Understanding Change & the Change in Understanding
By Richard Saul Wurman
You might describe Richard Saul Wurman as a provocateur, a pioneer, a creative genius. Inspirational, innovative, larger-than-life ... legendary, even. Others have. But the most apt description of this singular individual -- this architect, designer, creator of the celebrated TED Conference, and prolific author -- is storyteller.
Springing to life from the mind of the world's original information architect is 33: Understanding Change & the Change in Understanding. A book that breaks out of any traditional (dare we say even rational) story-telling framework, 33 invites readers to journey through its pages as they will.
A fable re-imagined three decades after its original telling as a conference keynote address, 33 chronicles the adventures and musings of an eccentric (yet oddly familiar) character: the Commissioner of Curiosity and Imagination. This bemused, amused, and roundish imp waddles through the city of What-If in the land of Could-Be, trying to make sense of the myriad changes that have transpired in the past 33 years.
The story is presented in an ingenious, multi-layered format -- "information upon information," as the Commissioner himself might say -- with the original fable at its core. Surrounding this is an updated tale as presented through 33 episodes and accompanying graphics.
About Richard Saul Wurman
Described by Fortune magazine as an "intellectual hedonist" with a "hummingbird mind," Richard Saul Wurman has been shaped by an epiphany he had as a young man: Embracing his ignorance would lead him to understanding. Driven by a passion to understand and to convey understanding, Wurman left the practice of architecture (where he apprenticed under the legendary Louis Kahn) for what he came to call "information architecture," advocating innovative design to make data more comprehensible.
Beginning with the publication of his first book in 1962 at the age of 26, Wurman has sought ways to make the complex clear. He has written more than 80 books, including the popular Access city guides. He chaired the International Design Conference in Aspen in 1972, the first Federal Design Assembly in 1973, and the American Institute of Architects Convention in 1976 before creating the TED Conference in 1984, which he chaired through 2000.
He has received several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Graham Fellowships, two Chandler Fellowships, and the Chrysler Design Award. Wurman received a Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Art Center College of Design, and an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston.
"Designed as an episode log of a 33-episode TV series, Richard Saul Wurman does well in presenting ideas and gives readers a very unique read. 33: Understanding Change & The Change in Understanding is a must-read for those who find themselves ever more curious about the universe." – Midwest Book Review