Graduate Lecture Series: Michael Brenner

The Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies and the MFA/MA in Collaborative Design + Design Systems are proud to present a lecture by Michael Brenner, Head Designer for DATA4CHANGE!

Michael Brenner is Head of Design at Data4Change, a nonprofit organization that defends human rights with data. Data4Change works with a wide array of civil society organizations, activists and human rights defenders and creative talent collaborating at the intersection of data, design, technology and journalism on projects that forge real change and have lasting impact. Michael has over 15 years of experience working as a designer specializing in data visualization and information design. Before joining Data4Change Michael was the Design Director of Data and Design studio Beyond Words Studio (formerly Information is Beautiful Studio) in London. Prior to this he ran his own studio and design collective in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, ContentContext. He also taught at the Willem de Kooning Academy Graphic Design and lectured in the Fashion department about design, communication and lifestyle trends. Prior to this he has collaborated and led on projects for organizations such as the UN, World Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, Guggenheim Museum, MOMA, New York Times, Cooper Hewitt, Al Gore and the Queen of Thailand.

Michael’s approach and practice to design focuses on creating tools and experiences to amplify voices, messages and ideas. It is holistic and research-driven with the intent to clarify and engage with an audience to create perspective. Design is about people working together to connect the dots.

Each job has its own content and context.
Research first and then explore with questions to gain further insight.
It’s important to search for the improbable, then design.
Not everyone is a rocket scientist, keep it simple.
Mistakes are inevitable, learn from them and use them as departure points.
Inspired by constraints.

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