Richard Saul Wurman


How exciting it is to be stupid.

Richard Saul Wurman spoke to a crowded room at the New School last night about beginnings, learning, listening, remembering and being open to the unknown.
It was a brilliant conversation about his journey to zero, from a man who’s been around the circle a few times. Richard commands the room with a wit that somehow manages to be both self-deprecating and larger than life, leaving me to wonder at times if he’d gone too far. (He sort of makes Sarah Silverman look sweet.) No, in the end I was in awe: someone genuinely curious and generous and willing to share. A crazy old man at 75 who is so enthusiastic about spreading what he’s learned in life that he’ll take over the room and turn the evening upside down with maximum storytelling.
Wurman is famous for his disdain of note-taking so I felt a bit self-conscious about scribbling during the talk. He says that writing something down is permission to forget, and that a better kind of learning occurs when you listen and make connections without the crutch. I don’t always agree, but I love the sentiment. I also have a really bad memory.
So as an experiment I tried to jot down the concepts only, with the idea that I would make the connections later. This works for me. I need an artifact so I can put the narrative back together again, later on. Rather than try to tell Richard’s story for you, I present my notes. Fragments of words and ideas that caught my attention during the talk. The connections are all there, between the words.
Click on the image for a larger, more legible version.


Brilliant minds.

Richard Saul Wurman and Marc Hodosh are bringing together some of the most brilliant minds in healthcare and well-being next week for a four-day old-school-style TED extravaganza in San Diego. Soulellis Studio did the TEDMED name badges, schedules, speaker booklets, sponsor signage, etc. And I’ll be there, tweeting away (@soulellis).



192021.jpg Richard Saul Wurman just spoke at TED and introduced 19.20.21., his latest mega-creation/passion/project. (The fantastic Flash site is by Here’s our mini contribution (so far) — a cute little thing that isn’t sure if it’s a pamphlet or a business card.


ego trip

Richard Saul Wurman is a legend in many worlds. When the creator of TED launched his new annual conference in 2006 (eg — the entertainment gathering) he worked with Soulellis Studio to create an event logo that was easily applied to screen, program, baseball cap, bag and badge. Judged by many as the best conference of his career, we’re now part of the team bringing eg’07 to life at the Getty Center in LA. Event branding by Soulellis Studio, website by Krate. [pictured — Richard Saul Wurman with Frank Gehry and Sidney Poitier at eg2006]



“Competitiveness Index: Where America Stands” is the first book designed by Soulellis Studio using our new publications system and brand identity for the Council on Competitiveness in Washington DC. Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard University co-authored the book with the Council. Heavy-duty data benchmarks America’s economic position domestically and globally, 20 years past and 20 years forward. Richard Saul Wurman consulted with us in the design of over 100 charts and information graphics that tell the story with clarity and impact. Some of those graphics, after the jump.

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