Michèle Champagne,

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Michèle Champagne
est une designer

avec un profil artistique. Diplômée de l’Institut Sandberg à Amsterdam, elle encadre sa pratique graphique comme une forme d’enquête publique. Elle explore l’histoire de la créativité, la littéracie médiatique et comment la positivité obligatoire aiguille la culture et l’édition contemporaine. Ses travaux dessinent des méandres entre la recherche, l’écriture et le design d’édition à travers les médias.
        Michèle a pu exposer à De Brakke Gronde, Design Academy Eindhoven, Droog, Schellens Fabriek et De Verdieping aux Pay-Bas. Elle a pu enseigner et donner des conférences à l’Université du Québec à Montréal, à l’Université Harvard et à Maryland Institute College of Art.
        Avec Artexte, sa recherche et son écriture ont pu examiner comment le bonheur et l’affect positif se font prendre par les infrastructures de mesure et de surveillance numérique. Sa refonte de Hazlitt, la revue littéraire numérique de Penguin Random House Canada, a été primée Site web de l’année par les Prix du magazine canadien.
         Au Canada et aux Pays-Bas, ses partenaires et collaborateurs ont aussi compris l’auteur Daniel Canty, Centre pour les droits numériques, le photographe Philip Cheung, Droog, Estuaire, l’artiste Ken Lum, Fondation Mediamatic, Metahaven, Institut Strelka et VPRO, un diffuseur public néerlandais.
       Michèle écrit sur la culture positiviste et visuelle de l’art, du design et de l’architecture. Elle a déjà publiée chez Back Office à Paris, C Magazine à Toronto et Failed Architecture à Amsterdam, ainsi que The Gradient par le Walker Art Center et Volume par la Foundation Archis.

Anglais, English,


Michèle Champagne
is a designer 

with an artistic profile. A graduate of Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam, she frames her graphic practice as a form of public inquiry. She focuses on the history of creativity, media literacy and how mandatory positivity shapes culture and publishing today. Her work wanders between research, writing and publication design across media.
         Michèle has exhibited at De Brakke Gronde, Design Academy Eindhoven, Droog, Schellens Fabriek and De Verdieping in the Netherlands. She has taught and lectured at University of Québec in Montréal, Harvard Graduate School of Design and Maryland Institute College of Art.
         With Artexte, her research and writing examined how happiness and positive affect get tangled in the infrastructures of measurement and digital surveillance. Her redesign of Hazlitt, a digital literary magazine by Penguin Random House Canada, won Website of the Year from National Magazine Awards. 
        In Canada and the Netherlands, her partners and collaborators also include author Daniel Canty, Centre for Digital Rights, photographer Philip Cheung, Droog, Estuaire, artist Ken Lum, Mediamatic Foundation, Metahaven, Strelka Institute and VPRO, a Dutch public broadcaster.
        Michèle writes about the positivitist and visual culture of art, design and architecture. She has published with Back Office in Paris, C Magazine in Toronto and Failed Architecture in Amsterdam, as well as The Gradient by Walker Art Centre and Volume by Archis Foundation.

Études, Studies,


Master of Design, 

Gerrit Rietveld Academie, 
Sandberg Instituut,
2011, Amsterdam, NL

Bachelor of Design, 

OCAD University, 
Faculty of Design,
2005, Toronto, CA

Certificate of
Information Design, 

University of Toronto, 
Faculty of Information,
2001, Toronto, CA

Digital rights with an emphasis on rights,


Centrefordigitalrights dot org,

Centre for Digital Rights,
September 2019 to March 2020, 
Toronto, CA 

Art direction for the visual identity and internet presence of the Centre for Digital Rights, a non-profit that advances public awareness of digital rights and technology. Founded by Jim Balsillie, the centre promotes digital literacy among internet users and marginalized communities, as well as best practices, laws and regulations among policy makers. To reflect the centre’s urgent mandate, the graphic direction takes visual and editorial cues from news and internet aesthetics. Site written with Neve Peric and developed by Nicolas Roy at Folklore Inc. Built with Panneau and web hosted in Canada, 

Sidewalk Labs, smiles and similitudes,


Where The Image Flows,

Failed Architecture,
October 2019,
Amsterdam, NL

Writing and art direction for Failed Architecture, a critical architecture platform in the Netherlands. The text and imagery took the form of a media critique which examined the dominance of Sidewalk Labs’ public relations in Toronto. The text wondered, What’s in an image from Sidewalk Labs? It’s all there: Kids, kites and kayaks. Warm timber towers and Bruegel similitudes. Justin Trudeau smiles and Boris Johnson design blunders.

La clé du bonheur est dans le mot clé,


Life, Smile, Publication,

Spring 2018 to 2019,
Montreal, CA

Research residency on the happiness industry, its vocabulary and legibility. Research invited study and dialogue around the question, What happens when happiness gets tangled in the infrastructures of measurement and digital surveillance? One thing that happens is conceptual chaos. The words used to describe things—happiness, well-being, emotions, moods, feelings—become fast and loose, creating a situation where political and economic interests can be conflated with the advancement of subjective well-being. Design and writing for an absurdist happiness glossary (ongoing),

New (typo) graphic terrains,


Artexte, Art Metropole,
Gallery 44, InterAccess, UQAM,
2016 to 2019,
Montreal, Toronto, CA

Initiation and direction of an international platform for art, design and computation. Critical talks, lively workshops and collaborative publishing were its core activities, the kinds of cross-domain and cross-media activities that went missing from Canadian universities at the very moment they were needed most. Contributors included Daniel Canty, Stephanie Davidson (Bloomberg.com), Cedric Flazinski (N O R M A L S), Jon Gacnic, Jürg Lehni, Zach Lieberman, Ken Lum, Tracy Ma (Bloomberg Businessweek), Dimitri Nieuwenhuizen (LUSTlab) and Mindy Seu. TXT, A-B-Z’s international typography summer school, was co-organized with Garry Ing and Greg J. Smith,

Le mirage du bonheur n’est pas bon,


Propriétés Positives,

School of Design, UQAM,
Fall 2017,
Montreal, CA

Initiation and teaching of Propriétés Positives, a two-week masterclass on the positive psychology of space and mouvement for UQAM’s event design program. The course invited study and creation around the question, What happens when positivity gets grafted onto public space? The tone and form of student projects ranged from the bureaucratic and totalitarian to the silly and satirical. A jury selection of the project Mirage was realized on school grounds for Nuit Blanche. Invited to teach by UQAM professor Céline Poisson,

Absurdly eclectic and writer-centric,



Penguin Random House,
Summer 2014,
Toronto, CA

Redesign of Hazlitt, a digital literary magazine with an independent editorial mission. Hazlitt centered the views, opinions and reports of emerging and established writers and journalists. E-book cover design for Hazlitt Originals, a digital imprint of fiction and non-fiction singles. Prototype delivery of Hz, a custom image editing tool meant to replace Adobe Photoshop and built with Processing. Hazlitt won Website of the Year from National Magazine Awards,

Design dialogue makes haste,


That New Design Smell
no. 0,
Sandberg Institute,
2010 to 2011,
Amsterdam, NL

Research on the negative effects of positive thinking and positive psychology on design practice and publishing. Writing, editing, art direction and publication design for a web-to-print magazine blending design criticism with Internet comments. Contributions included interviews with Geert Dumbar and Daniel van der Velden from Metahaven, and essays by Femke Herregraven and Anja Groten. On-line discussion forum developed by Lennart Bruger and built with WordPress. Winner of Best Student Prize from Dutch Graphic Culture Foundation. Recognized by Items magazine’s ‘Best Dutch Design Graduates’ issue,

Literary furniture and other survival tools,


Russia Consumes,
Droog, Metahaven, Strelka Institute,
2010 to 2011,
Amsterdam, NL, Moscow, RU

Cultural research expedition in Moscow on the nature of contemporary Russian consumption habits across socio-economic strata, from inner-city soup kitchens to luxury malls on the outskirts of private towns (Russia Consumes). Design for a literary furniture collection with survival instincts, including a bed wrapped in cinematic silk and a parachute made with a lifetime of t-shirt texts (Fantastical Investments). The collection was exhibited at Droog in Amsterdam,

All the design that’s fit to print,


De Verenigde Sandbergen
no. 64,
Sandberg Institute,
Amsterdam, NL

Design and writing for a print magazine that doubled as a catalogue for Sandberg Institute’s graduation exhibition at De Brakke Grond, a Flemish cultural center in Amsterdam. A variety of graduate projects engaged in media criticism and the design reflects this by borrowing from and the style sheets of the The New York Times, one of the world’s most powerful media institutions. Co-designed with Lauren Grusenmeyer and printed by SSP Drukerij. First Prize winner of Coupe magazine’s International Image and Design Awards,

Là d’où nous venons,


Daar Zijn Wij Van
VPRO Broadcasting,
Hilversum, NL

Design and editorial direction for a three hundred page annual report conceived of as ‘an archive of public voices’ where the pages are laced with public letters, postcards, emails, press clippings and Internet comments. The voices are positive, negative, indifferent and obsessed with VPRO, underscoring the public broadcaster’s active role in Dutch public discourse. The report was partnered with a letter from the director, a social responsibility report, postcard series and custom cardboard box. Co-designed with Brigiet van den Berg and printed by SSP Drukerij. First Prize winner in the Best Annual Report category from the Dutch Graphic Culture Foundation,

Social networks before silicon valleys,


Mediamatic Travel,
Mediamatic Foundation,
Amsterdam, NL

Art direction and design for a do-it-yourself social network for traveling creatives. Mediamatic Travel created an open-source social network as an alternative to the Silicon Valley network, one built on the cross-border and cross-domain interests of artists, designers and architects, rather than the interests of American advertisers. The network was built with AnyMeta. Design for a custom display typeface and plugin built with Javascript. Design and public program support for the network launch events and exhibitions during Amsterdam Art Biennale,

Tic, Talks,


École de design à l’UQAM, CA
GDC, Manitoba, CA
Harvard GSD, US
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, US
OCAD University, CA
Print Room, NL
Sandberg at Mediafonds, NL
SBC Gallery, CA
Typographische Gesselschaft München, DE
University of the Arts London, UK

Tutor, Teachings,


École de design à l’UQAM, CA
OCAD University, CA
York University, CA

Writing, Wits,


Articles, CA
Back Office, FR
C Magazine, CA
De Verenigde Sandbergen, NL
Failed Architecture, NL
Print, US
The Gradient, US
The Graphic Design Reader, UK
Volume, NL

Exhibition, Sites,


De Brakke Gronde, NL
De Verdieping, Trouw, NL
Design Academy Eindhoven, NL
Droog, NL
Schellens Fabriek, NL
Vondelbunker, NL

Crédits, Credits, Balcaen, Jo-anne. Still from Screaming Girls, 2005, CA; Cheung, Philip. Old News, 2019, CA; Nieuwendijk, Jordy van den. Portraits for Make Ready’s The Surveyor, 2015; Piper, Adrien. Colored People (Scarlett with Embarrassment), 1991, US; Rankin, Scott. Sidewalk Surveillance, 2019, CA; Reveley, Willey. A Inspection House, 1791, UK; Wong, Norman. Reportage for Apex magazine, The Road to Jazz Fest, 2014, CA.