Switzerland, guest of 6th Brumen (2013) Oliver Reichenstein, the designer of Web Trend Maps, founder of iA and the voice behind many provoking articles (in his blog Logo, Bullshit & Co., Inc.) was born in 1971 in Basel, Switzerland. He learned programming as a computer kid in the early eighties. He designed his first text editor at the same time. He even created a pixel font on a 5 x 5 pixel grid for his text editor. He did all that in order to see more text in the 256 x 192 resolution of his Dragon 32. Some of his ideas came from studying philosophy and making a living as an informatics teacher, teaching MS Word in the nineties, desperately trying to get pupils to stop fumbling and start writing.
After working as an interactive brand consultant for Interbrand Zurich, in September 2003 Oliver moved to Japan and established iA Inc in 2005. Today iA – Information Architects, with offices in Zurich and Tokyo – has the same vision as back in the day: reduce to the essence. Their websites, apps and infographics have become a paradigm of excellence in clarity, simplicity, and performance. With clients like DIE ZEIT, Tages-Anzeiger and Freitag and its bestselling iA Writer text editor they have set new standards in interaction design.
Outside the design world Oliver Reichenstein looks for inspiration in architecture, philosophy and art. (Most often, however, he does not feel any need for external inspiration. He calls himself a designer, because “job titles in our field are all messed up (is it screen designer, interaction designer, interface designer, web designer, UX designer?) and simply “designer” is the easiest answer. It’s also a great conversation starter.”
Video lecture: Information Enthropy