We design information and
make complexity accessible
The World as Flatland is specialized in the
development and design of complex information.
Our objective is to derive additional knowledge by
organising, combining, condensing and visualising
Our work does not depend on certain media and
involves a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to
communication, combining skills from graphic
design, web design, 3D design, psychology,
cognitive science, information theory and cultural
We make experimental research
We find it very important to further develop
information design in free, experimental projects.
Our definition of information design is based on an
interdisciplinary attitude and an openness towards
all creative disciplines, especially art, architecture
and digital media. We develop our own formats to
discuss Information Design in publications and
Designing universal knowledge Book
Designing universal knowledge Exhibition
We lecture, teach and talk
Gerlinde Schuller gives lectures on information
design and writes about the discipline. She also
gives workshops on the basics of information
design to graphic- and editorial designers.
If you are interested in a workshop and you have
further questions send us an email.
She is specialized in information design and visual
journalism and founded The World as Flatland.
Schuller grew up in Romania and Germany and
lives since 1999 in the Netherlands.
She studied Visual Communication at the Academy
of Art and Design, Offenbach am Main (D). Before
she started her own studio, she worked at Cartlidge
Levene Design, London (UK) and Irma Boom Office,
Amsterdam (NL). Besides working on commissions
for international clients, Schuller teaches information
design and writes about the discipline. From 2001
to 2005, she taught information design at the Willem
de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam (NL).
In her own publications she focuses on examining
complex subjects by creating experimental visual
systems. Schuller is author of the systematic book
Designing universal knowledge (2009) and
co-author of Making the Impossible Possible (2006)
and Amsterdam in documents (2011).
The World as Flatland
Karel Doormanstraat 127
1055 VE Amsterdam
Telephone: 0031 20 489 30 81
We designed the publication Another Europe
for the European Cultural Foundation (ECF),
Amsterdam (NL). The book is in production
and will be launched in January 2016.
Publication and interview
Our work is presented in the book Thoughts
on Designing Information by Inge Gobert and
Johan Van Looveren, Lars Müller Publishers,
October 2014. Gerlinde Schuller reflects in an
interview on the field of information design, its
aims and working methods.
Lars Müller Publishers
We designed two books for the European
Cultural Foundation (ECF), Amsterdam (NL).
Remixing Europe is a publication unveiling
and discussing the imagery of migrants in
European media. Remapping Europe is
a film catalogue, presenting the artistic
projects of 53 media-makers from four
Gerlinde Schuller gives in November a work-
shop to master students of information design
at the Sint-Lukas University College of Art
and Design, Brussels (BE).
We designed maps for the exhibition
'Booming Amsterdam' of the City Archive
Shapeshifters Lecture Series
Gerlinde Schuller gives a lecture on
visual journalism and systematic design.
February 19, 2013; 20:00
Beursschouwburg, Brussels (BE)
The exhibition Graphic Design: Now in
Production, where our book 'Designing
universal knowledge' is shown, travels to
the following museums:
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum,
Governors Island, New York (USA)
June 1-September 3, 2012
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (USA)
September 30, 2012-January 6, 2013
Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art,
Winston-Salem, North Carolina (USA)
October 2013-January 2014
Big, Open & Beautiful #1: Datavisualization
Gerlinde Schuller discusses her work
in visual journalism.
January 30, 2013; 20:00
Pakhuis De Zwijger, Amsterdam (NL)
On November 21, 2012, Gerlinde Schuller
gives a lecture on visual journalism and
her systematic books at the Graphic Design
Department at the Willem de Kooning
Academy, Rotterdam (NL).
The Designing universal knowledge
Timeline will be shown again at the TU Delft
Library (NL). Gerlinde Schuller's book
'Designing universal knowledge' (2009) is
the starting point of her exibition. In the
research for the book she asked people what
they considered the most universal images,
events, and persons in world history. Using
these data, Schuller designed a 26 metre
long timeline from the Big Bang to 2011.
Exhibition: January 11 March 12, 2012
Presentation of our systematic book
Amsterdam in stukken Amsterdam in
documents 2010-1275 at the Amsterdam City
Archives. The Mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard
van der Laan opens the new Treasury, an
exhibition containing the best pieces of the
He will also present our new book on the City
Archives' complex collection and processes.
Opening: Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Amsterdam City Archives
Our book 'Designing universal knowledge'
is part of the exhibition Graphic Design:
Now in Production at the Walker Art Center,
Minneapolis (US) ...and has apparently been
one of the inspiration sources for the design
of the exhibition catalogue. The exhibition
runs from October 22 until January 22, 2012.
Walker Art Center
We designed a series of scientific diagrams
and infographics for the book Mensch Klima,
Lars Müller Publishers, Baden (CH), 2011.
The book presents the earth's climate
history and investigates the complex topic
of climate change.
Graphic and exhibition design for The Good
CauseArchitecture of Peace presented at
the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA),
Montreal (CA). The exhibition explores
how architects and urban planners facilitate
the process of rebuilding and stabilizing post-
conflict spaces. It is curated by the Nether-
lands Architecture Institute (NAI), Rotterdam
(NL) and ARCHIS, Amsterdam (NL) and runs
from June 16 until September 4, 2011.
2011 New Year New Name
We have changed the name of our studio
from the 'Information Design Studio' into
The World as Flatland. This illustrates much
better what we do everyday making
complexity understandable through mostly
two-dimensional, flat visualizations.
Concept and design of interactive info-
graphics for the IEEE Spectrum Magazine.
The interactive infographics shows the world's
cleanest companies according to their green
patents. A project for the Institute of Electrical
and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), New York
Publication and interview
Our work is presented in the Infographics
Special in the Korean Design Magazine
DESIGN-387, September 2010.
Concept and design of infographics for
the AGP Group, Heerlen (NL). The graphics
explain complex subjects as the Dutch
pension system and APG's Responsible
On June 15, 2010, Gerlinde Schuller gives
a lecture on information design at the
Amsterdam City Archives (NL) for a group of
graphic design students from the University
of Bolzano (IT).
Concept and design of a brochure promoting
SICA's international Offshore database.
Gerlinde Schuller gives a workshop on
information design at the Willem de Kooning
Academy, Rotterdam (NL).
Willem de Kooning Academy
On March 4, 2010 Gerlinde Schuller gives
a lecture at the Master Class Programme
at the Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam (NL).
Masterclass Sandberg Institute
Design of a world map for the National
Geographic Magazine, Diemen (NL).
The map shows the most Dutch water
Radio journalist Botte Jellema interviewed
Gerlinde Schuller about her exhibition
contribution to INFODECODATA at the
Graphic Design Museum, Breda (NL)
VPRO De Avonden
Concept and design of the Interactive
Timeline Designing universal knowledge.
The timeline, which appears as a 3D version
in the exhibition INFODECODATA, shows
the development of information design and
data visualization through history, along with
the most influencial information designers and
most interesting databases in the world.
Significant contribution to the exhibition
INFODECODATA held at the Museum of
the Image, Breda (NL). Our contribution
discusses the role of information design
through the ages and presents historical
and new forms of data visualizations on
a 26-meter-long world history timeline.
The exhibition runs from February 20
until September 2, 2010.
‘Schuller has undoubtedly created
a gorgeous text with an engaging
layout, smart typography and well-
selected accompanying photographs
and illustrations, but the true merit
of the book is not as a design object
but as a brilliant consideration of
the intersection of information
Greg J. Smith, Serial Consign
‘In this brilliant book one can detect veins both of ‘protestant’ asceticism (systems, simplicity) and permissive, anti-authoritarianism (computer
hacking, freedom of speech).’
David Crowley, Creative Review
‘The book introduces quality into the great mass of information, in a sphere in which the hub of online knowledge, the renowned Wikipedia, is developed partly with contributions from all its users, without exception.’
Massimo Marra, Domus
Read our books
‘Amsterdam in documents is a masterpiece (...), a sort of branch of the City Archives Amsterdam.'
Dick de Scally, AT5
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