Michèle Champagne,

Recherche, Graphisme,

    +001 647 834 1507

Fil, Français,


Michèle Champagne
est chercheuse et graphiste 

Elle dessine des méandres entre la recherche, l’écriture et le graphisme imprimé et numérique. Elle étudie la culture visuelle, la rhétorique positive et l’industrie du bonheur comme une forme de surveillance numérique. Elle écrit pour Back Office à Paris, C Magazine à Toronto et Failed Architecture à Amsterdam, ainsi que The Gradient par Walker Art et Volume par Archis.

Diplômée en design de l’Institut Sandberg aux Pays-Bas, Michèle a été professeure invitée et conférencière à l’École de design à l’Université du Québec à Montréal et à l’École supérieure de design à l’Université Harvard.

Elle conçoit des chemins d’enquête, des livres, des magazines, des draps littéraires et des présences web avec Artexte, le Centre pour les droits numériques, Droog, Estuaire, Mediamatic, Metahaven, Penguin Random House Canada, l’Institut Strelka et VPRO, un diffuseur public néerlandais. Sa refonte de la revue Hazlitt pour Penguin a été décerné Siteweb de l’année par Les prix du magazine canadien. Elle vit à Montréal.


    English, Line,

Michèle Champagne
is an independent 
researcher and graphic artist.

She meanders the fields of research, writing and graphic design across media. She studies visual culture, positive rhetoric, and the happiness industry as a creature of digital surveillance. She writes for Back Office in Paris, C Magazine in Toronto and Failed Architecture in Amsterdam, as well as for The Gradient by Walker Art and Volume by Archis.

Michèle has a Master of Design from Sandberg Institute in the Netherlands, and has been guest professor and lecturer at School of Design at University of Quebec in Montreal and Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

She creates research expeditions, books, magazines, literary beds and websites with Artexte, Centre for Digital Rights, Droog, Estuaire, Mediamatic, Metahaven, Penguin Random House Canada, Strelka Institute and VPRO, a Dutch public broadcaster. Her redesign of Hazlitt magazine for Penguin won Magazine Website of the Year from National Magazine Awards. She lives in Montréal.

Études, Studies,


Master of Design,
Gerrit Rietveld Academie,
Sandberg Institute, Design Department,
2011, Amsterdam, NL

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

Certificate of Information Design, 
University of Toronto,
Faculty of Information Studies,
2001, Toronto, CA

Exhibits, Sites,

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

Tutor, Teaching,

École de design à l’UQAM, Montréal, CA
MICA, Baltimore, US
OCAD University, Toronto, CA
York University, Toronto, CA

Writing, Wits,

Articles (Artexte), Montréal, CA
Back Office, Paris, FR
C Magazine, Toronto, CA
De Verenigde Sandbergen, Amsterdam, NL
Failed Architecture, Amsterdam, NL
Print, New York City, US
The Gradient (Walker Art), Minneapolis, US
The Graphic Design Reader, London, UK
Volume (Archis), Amsterdam, NL

Tic, Talks,

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

All eyes

    on the happy file,

“A Solo Space For All To See,”

NewCities Foundation,
Spring 2020,
Montreal, CA

Writing and photography direction for The Big Picture, a publishing venue by NewCities. Writing reflected on the question of, What happens when digital surveillance becomes “good for you,” so to speak? When it’s good for your health, happiness, and well-being? The query reflects on the “home” as an increasingly public and surveilled space, something the Covid-19 pandemic and “Google Urbanism” are slated to exacerbate. Edited by Emily Gribbin. Invited to write by Greg Lindsay, NewCities’ Director of Applied Research,

Digital rights, 
    with an emphasis
    on rights,

Internet Identity,

Centre for Digital Rights,
Fall 2019 to Summer 2020,
Toronto, CA 

Design, writing and photography direction for the Centre for Digital Rights’ visual identity and website. Founded by Jim Balsillie, the non-profit promotes digital literacy among internet users, as well as best practices, laws and regulations among policy makers. Site written with Neve Peric and developed by Nicolas Roy at Folklore Inc. Built with Panneau and hosted in Canada,

Sidewalk Labs,
    and similitudes,

“Where The Image Flows,”

Failed Architecture,
October 2019,
Amsterdam, NL

Writing and collage for Failed Architecture, a platform for architecture criticism based in Amsterdam. The text and imagery took the form of a visual audit that examines Sidewalk Labs’ public relations in Toronto—and how it came to dominate journalism worldwide. What’s in an image from Sidewalk Toronto? It’s all there: Kids, kites, kayaks and yellow butterflies. Warm timber towers and Bruegel similitudes. Justin Trudeau smiles and Boris Johnson blunders.

La clé du bonheur, 
    est dans le mot 

Life, Smile, Publication,

Spring and Summer 2018,
Montreal, CA

Research residency on the happiness industry, its vocabulary and legibility. Research invited study around the question of, What happens when happiness gets tangled in measurement and digital surveillance infrastructure? One thing that happens is total conceptual chaos: The words used to describe things—“happiness,” “well-being,” “moods,” “emotions” and “feelings”—start to lose any semblance of meaning. Poster design and early writing for an absurdist happiness glossary (ongoing),

New typographic



2016 to 2019,
Montreal, Toronto, CA

General direction for an international school dedicated to art, design and computation. Lively talks, workshops and publishing were its core activities, and partners included Artexte, Eye journal, InterAccess, Gallery 44, UQAM and Walker Art. Contributing faculty included Daniel Canty, Steph Davidson, Cedric Flazinski, Jon Gacnic, Jürg Lehni, Zach Lieberman, Ken Lum, Tracy Ma, Dimitri Nieuwenhuizen and Mindy Seu. TXT, ABZ’s typography summer school, was organized with Garry Ing and Greg J. Smith,

Visit a-b-z.co,

Le mirage du
    bonheur n’est pas

Propriétés Positives,

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

Teaching a masterclass on the positive psychology of social space for UQAM’s graduate event design program. The course invited study and creation around the question of, What happens when mandatory positivity comes to dominates public space? A jury selection of the project Mirage was realized for Nuit Blanche. Invited to teach by UQAM professor Céline Poisson,

Absurdly eclectic


Hazlitt magazine,

Penguin Random House Canada,
Summer to Fall 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, from Margaret Atwood to Scaachi Koul and Anshuman Iddamsetty. 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 built with Processing. Hazlitt won Website of the Year from National Magazine Awards,

Design dialogue makes


That New Design Smell no. 0,

Sandberg Institute,
2010 to 2011,
Amsterdam, NL

Research on the negative effects of positive thinking and psychology on design practice and publishing. Writing, editing and design for a web-to-print magazine blending design criticism with Internet comments. Contributors included Geert Dumbar and Daniel van der Velden from Metahaven, as well as Femke Herregraven, Anja Groten and Cedric Flazinski. 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,
    other survival tools,

Russia Consumes,
Fantastical Investments,

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

Cultural research expedition to Moscow on the nature of contemporary Russian consumption across socio-economic strata, from urban soup kitchens to luxury malls near 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-shirts (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 stylesheets of the The New York Times. 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 voices rife with VPRO-addressed letters, postcards, emails, press clippings and Internet comments. The voices are positive, negative and obsessed with VPRO, underscoring the public broadcaster’s active role in Dutch discourse. 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

    silicon networks,

Mediamatic Travel,

Mediamatic Foundation,
Amsterdam, NL

Design for a do-it-yourself social network for traveling creatives. As an alternative to the Silicon Valley network, Medamatic created a public network for creative guides working in and traveling to Cairo, Colombo, Kabul, Toronto and Timbuktu. Even Beirut and Budapest. The network was built with AnyMeta. Design for a custom display typeface built with Javascript. Design and public program support for the network launch events and exhibitions during Amsterdam Art Biennale,

Crédits, Credits,

Rankin, Scott. 
Illustration for BlockSidewalk.ca, 2019, CA;

Logan, Jason. 
Illustration for Apex magazine, 2014, CA;

Wong, Norman. 
Visual reportage for Apex magazine, “The Road to Jazz Fest,” 2014, CA; 

Nieuwendijk, Jordy van den. 
Portraits for Make Ready’s The Surveyor, 2015;

Cheung, Philip.
Photo documentation of A-B-Z’s TXT summer school, 2018, CA;

Young, Ryan.
Visual reportage for Apex magazine, Shin Yoshikawa and “The Art of the Cutaway,” 2014, CA.