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Paul Mijksenaar is a designer of visual information and is founder and director of the international design Bureau Mijksenaar, based in Amsterdam and New York City. In 1965, he graduated from the Institute for Applied Arts Education Amsterdam (IvKNO, later the Gerrit Rietveld Academie) in product design. He started off as a freelance product designer in 1966, then as a senior designer and team leader for the Associatie voor Total Design NV (or Total Design) in 1978 before establishing Bureau Mijksenaar in 1986.
Paul Mijksenaar is a specialist in creating visual information systems, such as wayfinding signage for railway stations and airports including New York's JFK and LaGuardia, New Jersey's Newark, and Amsterdam's Schiphol. His work for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was echoed in the set design for Steven Spielberg's film The Terminal
Besides his practice Paul Mijksenaar is also a professor in Visual Information Design at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He also writes a monthly article in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad about everyday problems and solving them using information design.
Mijksenaar helps people to find their way, sometimes by signs.
They help people to find their way. Of course Mijksenaar still advise to put up signs when applicable. But more and more they have changed their focus to architectural and spatial planning. The more signs you see, the worse the architecture. Mijksenaar don't 'show' the way people have to go but rather encourage natural wayfinding. Their interest and expertise is moving from graphics to human behavior. Mijksenaar's clients pay for their consultancy on flow, routing and information. The aesthetic component is added for free. Mijksenaar believes that they have done a good job when the user didn't even realize he was navigating a complex area.
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