Richard Saul Wurman (USA)

Asking Questions

The first presentation of the conference began with "I'm old, I'm fat. I'm not smart" Such are the words of Richard Saul Wurman describing himself. This statement reflects his belief in the power of ignorance. To get to a point of understanding, the ignorant must ask a question and there lies Mr Wurman's belief in the power of design.
What is it like to understand what it's like not to understand?
As with most good designers, Wurman's method of working directly reflects his need and interests: from not being able to find a decent road atlas he went out and designed and designed one himself. From his not being able to understand his country well during the millennium, he produced a book on the USA. Every book is an attempt to answer his own 'dumb, bad questions'.
Wurman ended the presentation by describing us. Most of us are not curious. Most of us are not asking enough questions. Most of us are selling expertise that we will bank on for the rest of our lives. The field of graphic design perhaps at this moment holds the best talent in the world today, he believes. The fact we as designers are ignorant is an asset in helping us work from ignorance to understanding. Embrace the ignorance, and ask the right questions. (RZ)

Writer:Kosuke Ikehata/Norimitsu Korekata/Junko Sakamoto/Nobuko Shimuta/Naoko Hasegawa/Osamu Hisanaga/Sakurako Muto/Naho Yoshioka/Maggie Hohle/Brian Palmer, Jacque Lange(ICOGRADA)/Nicole Rechia/Trysh Wahlig/Gitte Waldman/Robert Zolna
Photographer:Yoshimitsu Asai/Yasuhiko Katsuta/Fumihiko Mizutani