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updated: October 2019
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Non-linear is a portal of design inquiry established by Michael Hersrud. His creative practice explores algorithmic, audiovisual, digital drawing, language, layering, looping, sound, surface & systematic structures to translate & transcribe liminal spaces. Through the act of making, his work investigates graphic attributes of shapes, patterns, illustration and images, and how they can be remixed into new visual languages for printed materials, publications, wearables, screen-based environments and interactions.



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extended bio ︎





Michael’s work is primarily process driven and generated through ‘planned intuitive accidents’ by misusing common design software and pushing the limits of programmatic features and effects. Although his studio practice requires rigorous iterations and attentive editing, the work often brings into question the relationship between the hand of the maker and automated digital tools (design by improvision).

His design endeavours often respond to, and draw from, a mash-up of interests involving intersubjectivity, cultural literacy, borders, identity, global networks, speculative technologies, automation, transhumanism, religion, cosmology, economy, synchronicity and tracing precedent. Additionally, Michael’s dérive global travels and life as an expatriate residing in the Middle East has a continuous reflexive impact on his perceptions of humans, behaviors, artifacts and architecture.

Currently, Michael is collaborating with his colleague, and Director of Foundations, Simone Muscolino to prompt an interest in sound design culture in Qatar and the Arab region. Together they have initiated
Sonic Jeel a start-up record label as an umbrella for experimental audiovisual production.

Recently, he has exhibited grant funded work at W+K+Gallery (Wieden+Kennedy) in Tokyo, Japan; Doha Fire Station in Qatar; Dubai Design Week; OFFF Market in Barcelona, Spain; and Tasmeem Doha International Art & Design Festival in Qatar. He has participated in the letterpress Typographic Summer Program with Dafi Kühne in Näfels, Switzerland; and the Gamma Music Institute in Torino, Italy. He is a member of People of Print.

Michael graduated with an MFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2006 and completed coursework in association with Multimedia and Electronic Music Experiments program at Brown University. He is currently an Associate Professor at VCUArts in Qatar — an international division of VCU Richmond and part of Qatar Foundation — for over 10 years with 13+ years of academic experience. Michael grew up in Minnesota (USA) and has worked as a freelance designer and digital/analog graphic artist for 20+ years.

In addition to Michael’s creative practice, his scholarship investigates
student-centered teaching and making through pedagogical-based examination. Domains of inquiry are revolve around curricular development, modes of student engagement and critical analysis, cultural production, experimental image making, precedent inquiry, playful interactions, sound design, and 'extra-disciplinary’ design praxis.

Michael has participated in academic conferences for the Design Research Society
(DRS Bangkok), AIGA Design Educators (Nashville, TN), TypeCon (Buffalo, NY), Design Principles and Practices (Institute without Boundaries, Toronto, and St Petersburg University, Russia), and the College Art Association (CAA Los Angeles).

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