IIID Executive Board

President: Rob Waller

My career has included roles as a researcher, educator and practising designer. For many years I was a partner in Information Design Unit, which I started in 1989 and, with business partner David Lewis, grew into the UK's largest specialist information design agency. We worked on a wide range of projects for major consumer brands, banks, and government agencies. Our work included wayfinding, health information, customer communications, reference books, bills, financial information and management communications.
Rob Waller
I am now semi-retired, but continue to work (robwaller.org) – mostly in legal information design, simplifying documents such as contracts and insurance policies. I also run the Simplification Centre, which started life as a research centre at the University of Reading, UK, and is now a non-profit engaged in advocacy and training. We organise the annual Information Design Summer School, in partnership with IIID.

My IIID activities
I have helped to create an institutional framework for the development of information design, including the launch of Information Design Journal in 1979, and organising or co-organising a series of Information Design Conferences in the UK from 1984 onwards. Over the years I have appreciated the knowledge and networking at Vision Plus conferences, and I am very honoured to be the current President of IIID. As President, I chair the Executive Board but do shamefully little of the real work.

President elect and treasurer: Veronika Egger

As an information designer and access consultant I have always had a passion for simplicity and usefulness of information.
Veronika Egger
In 1997 I founded my own company is-design and in 2006 the Austrian NPO design for all. In application areas such as architecture, public transport, medicine or consumer goods I focus on creating an inclusive information environment with a special interest in all aspects of mobility.

My IIID activities
I have been a IIID member forever, and a board member for longer than I care to remember. Being part of the IIID board has always been a huge privilege, working with and meeting so many brilliant colleagues around the world. Keeping IIID alive after our founder Peter Simlinger retired from running the institute in 2014 wouldn’t have been possible without the idealism and commitment of everyone on the executive board.
My role as treasurer means membership administration, managing the accounts, making sure the association conforms to all legal requirements in Austria, and last but not least organising online tools so we can work as a team.
With some IT support I manage the main website and subsidiaries such as the new Perspectives site (together with Claudine) or event-related sites, as well as the Community notes and other e-mail news.
The Traffic & Transport Expert Forum was started by Peter Simlinger, I am continuing this series of events with the Mobility Forum, currently planned in Mumbai, November 2020 (though much of this is up in the air just now). And it has been great fun working with Martin organising MobilePlus in Chennai and the DD4D conference in Paris.

Vice President Communications: Claudine Jaenichen

Her work includes the application of addressing visual literacy and design principles for tsunami and fire spatial risk-literacy campaigns, as well as school reunification plans and reviewing pandemic messaging.

She prioritizes the inclusion of the public in the development and design phase and the importance of providing evidence-based solutions to measure the success of a project and how it communicates to its intended audience. She is an Associate Professor at Chapman University, sits on the Board of Governors for Communication Research Institute, and serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Design Network for Emergency Management. Her work is endorsed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the California’s Governor Office of Emergency Services.

My IIID activities
I have helped develop and continue to build the World Regional Representative (WRR) program, an international initiative recognizing information design leadership around the globe. Through the WRR’s and their contributions, we aim to share interesting work and facilitate discussions outside our own continents. I created a IIID communication style guide, social media communication plan and edited the first IIID Yearbook. The Yearbook has now evolved into Perspectives, a platform for the global IIID community, sharing members’ activities, posting news from our WRRS, introducing up and coming designers and work, and generally talk about our main passion: making information clearer

Vice President Education: Karel van der Waarde

Karel van der Waarde studied graphic design in the Netherlands (BA, The Design Academy, Eindhoven) and the UK (MA, De Montfort University, Leicester; PhD, University of Reading). In 1995, he started a design – research consultancy in Belgium specializing in the testing of pharmaceutical information design. His company develops patient information leaflets, instructions, forms, protocols, and the information architecture for websites.

Karel van der Waarde frequently publishes and lectures about visual information. Avans University of Applied Sciences (Breda, The Netherlands) appointed him as scholar in Visual Rhetoric between 2006 and 2014. From September 2014, he teaches (part time) at the Basel School of Design (Switzerland). Van der Waarde is a Life-Fellow of the Communications Research Institute (Melbourne, Australia), a board member of International Institute for Information Design (IIID, Vienna, Austria) and editorial board member of Information Design Journal, Journal of Communication Design, the Poster, Visible Language, and She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation.

My IIID activities
I became a member of the board around 2002 when I edited – together with the late Dr. Piet Westendorp – Information Design Journal. The link between the journal and IIID conferences, together with the InfoDesign-Café e-mail list provided many contacts with potential authors of the journal. In the last decades, the number of University courses, PhD-researchers, conferences, and journals has increased substantially and it seems worthwhile to keep track of these developments by maintaining contact-lists and bibliographies. I try to maintain contacts with the journals, the conferences, and the courses.

My personal interest in Medical Information Design has lead to minor involvements in policy developments to improve the information that patients receive about their medicines. The legislation now acknowledges the importance of ‘information design’, and requires to follow information design principles in the development of visual information. In the next years, I hope to increasingly involve the IIID, as an international organisation, in these new developments in Europe. What this exactly entails, and how this can be implemented are the next challenges.

Vice President Events: Martin Foessleitner

With an MA in Business Administration I started out working in a Japanese company in the digital imaging business, first as a Product Manager in Eastern Europe and later as Marketing Director in Austria. I founded hi-pe.at in 1999. We apply information design in wayfinding-systems, conference-design, universal design and business communications.
Martin Foessleitner
Besides IIID I am also a board member of designaustria and I teach Information Design at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna and as well at the Latvian Art Academy in Riga.

My IIID activities
In 2014 I initiated the IIIDaward and have been running it on behlf of IIID ever since. Over the years I organised a number of Vision Plus conferences in Vienna, Riga and Mexico City, and together with Veronika MobilePlus in Chennai and DD4D in Paris.

Our new Executive Board members 2020:

Michael Babwahsingh

Michael is an information designer focused on helping people make sense of their world.
Michael Babwahsingh
His 20 years of experience span strategic design, information design, brand strategy, and identity design for a variety of clients in health care, life sciences, finance, technology, and social good. He applies the skills and tools of creative problem solving, visual thinking, and information design to challenges ranging from corporate strategy development and change management to learning experiences and visual stories. He has taught design thinking at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and information visualization at Parsons School of Design.Michael received a BA in Art and Graphic Design with honors from Moravian College.

Sheila Pontis

Sheila Pontis is an information designer, researcher, educator and practitioner working at the intersection of information design, cognitive science, and field research.
Sheila Pontis
She has a deep interest in understanding people and creating solutions to address their needs and behaviors. Sheila studied Graphic Design at the University of Buenos Aires, and went on to specialize in Information Design receiving two Master’s degrees from the University of Barcelona, and a PhD from the University of the Arts London. As research associate at University College London, she worked on the development of sensemaking and visual analytics tools to help intelligence analysts improve their work. Her research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, and she is the author of Making Sense of Field Research: A Practical Guide for Information Designers (2018), published by Routledge. As a professional information designer, Sheila has produced work for diverse industries and organizations in the United States, South America and Europe including clients like Pfizer (US, Europe), Transport for London (UK), NHS (UK), Elsevier (UK, Spain), and Unilever (South America).

She has extensive experience delivering workshops for professionals, and almost 20 years teaching in higher education, having taught at several universities in Argentina, Spain, the UK and the US. In 2015, she joined Princeton University, where she teaches creativity, information design and design thinking. Her courses help bring information design closer to science, and other disciplines. Sheila is also partner at Sense Information Design, a New York-area design consultancy.

Keith Tam

Keith Tam is an information designer, typographer, researcher, teacher and academic leader.
Keith Tam
He has over 16 years of experience in design education (12 of which in management roles), working in culturally diverse environments in Canada, Hong Kong and the UK. He served as head of the Communication Design discipline at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for seven years. More recently, he was Associate Professor in Information Design at the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading, where he directed the MA Information Design and MA Creative Enterprise programmes and served as director of taught postgraduate studies in the School of Arts and Communication Design. In his current role as Head of Department of Communication Design at the Hong Kong Design Institute, he is responsible for the academic development of three professional tertiary programmes: Advertising Design, Illustration, and Visual Communication. He also manages two UK-based collaborative degree programmes. He has recently founded the Centre for Communication Design at HKDI, an education, applied research and external engagement unit. His research and pedagogical focus is on the interrelationship between typography and information design and how they shape communication experiences regardless of media. His work particularly focuses on typographic structures, complex information systems, multilingual issues and wayfinding.