The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is making some of the most excellent back issues of Design Quarterly available for free, and they’re including HATS.
Of the hundreds of publications Richard Saul Wurman has seen into print over more than a half-century of practice, this is the one artifact I’d select for you to read if you were only going to read one.
“The issue is not about hats. It is about hats as a metaphor for units of information,” declares the frontispiece of this issue guest-edited by Richard Saul Wurman, founder of Access Press, a publisher of maps, guides, atlases, and comparative charts. Wurman lays out his sage advice to aspiring information architects, describing the five ultimate “hat racks” for organizing or hanging information: alphabet, time, location, continuum or magnitude, and category. Through copious examples and typologies, Wurman hints at his future fame as the creator of the TED conference and its pithy, memorable presentations: “This issue of Design Quarterly is about a singular passion: making things of personal interest understandable to others.”
You can check out the full and magnificent archive story at the Walker’s website, where you can download some other fantastic issues of Design Quarterly including numbers edited by Muriel Cooper and Niels Diffrient.
HATS is the best one, though.