Michèle Champagne,

Recherche, Design,

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Michèle Champagne
est chercheuse et designer 

Elle dessine des méandres entre la recherche, l’écriture et le graphisme à travers les médias. 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 Centre 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 livres, des magazines, des draps littéraires et des présences web avec le Centre pour les droits numériques, Droog, la revue Estuaire, la Fondation 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.

Anglais, English,


Michèle Champagne
is an independent 
researcher and designer.

She meanders the field 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 Centre 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 designs books, magazines, literary beds and websites with the Centre for Digital Rights, Droog, Estuaire journal, Mediamatic Foundation, Metahaven, Penguin Random House Canada, Strelka Institute and VPRO, a Dutch public broadcaster. Her redesign of Hazlitt magazine for Penguin won 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

Digital rights with an emphasis on rights,


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

Design and writing 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, smiles and similitudes,


Where The Image Flows,
Failed Architecture,
October 2019,
Amsterdam, NL

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

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 around the question, What happens when happiness gets tangled in the infrastructures of measurement and digital surveillance? One thing that happens is total conceptual chaos. The words used (and abused) to describe things—happiness, well-being, emotions, moods, feelings—start to lose any semblance of meaning. Poster design and writing for an absurdist happiness glossary (ongoing),

New typographic terrains,


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

Initiation and direction of an international platform dedicated to art, design and computation. Lively talks, workshops and collaborative publishing were its core activities. 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

Teaching Propriétés Positives, a masterclass on the positive psychology of social space and mouvement for UQAM’s graduate event design program. The course invited study and creation around the question, What happens when positivity 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 and writer-centric,


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 haste,


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 publication 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 and 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 habits across socio-economic strata, from inner-city 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-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 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 before 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,

Logan, Jason. Illustration for Apex magazine, 2014, CA; Rankin, Scott. Illustration for BlockSidewalk.ca, 2019, 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.