Happy Birthday H. R. Giger!! Swiss Giger was born in 1940 to a chemist. He studied industrial design and architecture at the School of Applied Arts in Zurich. He began working in pen and ink drawings and oil painting, publishing his first poster in 1969. His work is surrealistic and he has published several books, the most popular being Necronimocon, which became the visual basis for the movie Alien. Giger designed the main character, earning the Oscar for Best Visual Effects in 1980. He went on to design for Poltergeist II, Alien 3, Species, etc. He currently lives with his wife in Zurich and works in film, set design and sculpture.