All About Michael

TL;DR: Designer. M.F.A. Graduate from MICA. Current San Franciscan. Forever Native New Yorker. Former Fordham Ram.

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My name, as you may have well surmised, is Michael. I am many things but the one that counts here is graphic designer. It seems to be de rigueur of designers' About Me's to rattle off a list of adjectives, but I think, perhaps, a story would be best.

My dalliance with design went on for years before I fully committed, and commit I did as now here I am with a masters in it. We first met in high school — me: a young ingenue, design: a mysterious aesthetic witchcraft. I didn’t know what design was, but I was curious. I was required to study it per the program I picked in high school so I dabbled. Make a resume; make a business card; make a website. Making was the verb I was using at the time: I didn’t grasp the word design yet, I didn’t know it was an action. I liked it. And then, in not so much a regrettable move but rather one that I would later come to smirk at the irony of, I decided design was not for me. Off I went to liberal arts, where from time to time, at an ever shortening interval, I would look longingly back at design and think about what might have been. I’ve always been a “what’s done is done, let’s move along” kind of guy, and I am glad for my sojourn away as I brought back with me lots of raw material to use and draw from in my design work. Upon my return it occurred to me that I had holes where others had honed skills. So after getting a degree in communications I set about to fill my gaps. I took classes; I did freelance; I interned; I worked; I practiced. Years passed and then I started thinking about graduate school. The thought was like a leak: at first just a trickle and then a full blown waterfall flooding all the floors of my brain. And so I went back to school, to practice some more, and to challenge myself some more, and to learn some more. Now on the flipside of that formidably formative experience, I interact with design in a very different way. I’ve widened: I am both more generous and more strict; I take it more seriously and then also with salt; I understand design's limitations, the limitations of its users, the difference between those, and the construct that all lives within. I’ve spent a lot of time with design, and I am excited by the prospect of more.

Work Featured In

The New Basics, 2nd ed.
Ellen Lupton + Jennifer Cole Phillips

Wired Magazine
As Federal Data Disappears, New Tool Gives Power To Cities