Michael Hersrud is a surface designer, print maker and graphic artist focused on practice-based research, with a specific interest in form-based experimentation as a mechanism to explore graphic phenomena and examine the process of making. In his digital design practice he explores algorithmic, iterative and systematic drawing procedures as a means to recreate and remix graphic vocabularies, intertwined between complexity and simplicity.
Michael received his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2006, a BFA from Minnesota State University, Moorhead in 1996, and pursued non-degree earning course work at the University of Oregon and Brown University MEME. Michael previously taught at RISD and Michigan State University, and is currently an Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar — an international division of VCU School of the Arts, part of Qatar Foundation.
In his teaching he specializes in design technology, visual narrative, experimental print processes, time-based design, experiential processes, and senior thesis development. His academic scholarship investigates design pedagogy, specifically related to curricular innovations, playful human interactions, digital/analog methods & processes, collaborative & student-centered environments, and 'extra-disciplinary' design praxis. Within the department, he mentors 70+ students to engage in contextual and cultural design research in a 3-year program.
Michael was born in Fargo, North Dakota and grew up in a rural neighborhood on the Minnesota side of the border. Since then, Michael has had the opportunity to travel to 60+ countries on several unique adventures; off-road driving through wadis in Oman; riding the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to Mongolia; driving the perimeter of Iceland; spending 8 days on a boat in Galápagos Islands; hiking the top of Huayna Picchu in Peru before sunrise; partaking in Slovenian food festivals; wandering through centuries of Islamic architecture in Istanbul, attending “Omizutori” an annual Japanese Buddhist festival at the Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan; and viewing several Moorish architectural sites throughout Spain, to name a few. These travels have been hugely influential in learning about people, culture, craft, creativity, environments, conditions, context, and ways of living from a global perspective.  
Work Prior (to Graduate School)
Prior to working full-time in academia, Michael was a senior designer at Minnesota Public Radio and worked on brand campaigns with Prairie Home Companion and several other shows, and co-founded a small interactive & print design agency 'Frixsion' in Minneapolis in the late 90's which is now dissolved. He was a freelance designer in both Minneapolis, MN and Portland, Oregon where he worked on various branding and R&D projects for Nike ACG, Best Buy, Intel, Target Corporation, and the Walker Art Center. 
Work Now (Design Consultation, Service and Innovations)
Within the VCUQatar, Michael is a design consultant for several ongoing initiatives to improve administrative systems, workflow, curriculum and the student environment. Recently he participated in a 2-year curricular redesign think-tank between Qatar and Richmond that is now in the final stages of submission to be implemented in the fall of 2019; he has collaborated with colleagues and students design workshops to helps restructure classrooms and improve studio life for students; he has lead initiatives to design and develop print & production spaces for student needs and faculty research; assisted with planning and implementation of international visiting artists programs and workshops; improved upon internal systems for promotion processes; co-developed VCUQatar's first online faculty reporting system in collaboration with colleagues and facilitated by an external vendor; he has consulted with the university to develop better systems of print production; he has redesigned, and is teaching, a graphic design history course that investigates ‘now and then’ with different weekly themes in an activated learning & research environment.
In partnership with VCU Arts Qatar and Qatar Foundation, Michael has collaborated on several design initiatives in Doha, Qatar including; 'One Second' a National awareness campaign project with VCUQatar and the Qatari Government Office Ministry of the Interior in an attempt to change local driving behaviors, specifically in regard to reckless driving by young adults and the importance of child safety seats; 'Tasmeem Synapse' brand development & motion ID for an international art & design conference in the Middle East responding to community collaboration and entrepreneurship; 'Art & Medicine' book publication based on a collaborative project between VCUQatar and Weill Cornell Medicine; and 'The Donkey Lady' an illustrative folktale book, based on stories collected in the Arabian Gulf. 

Michael is a member of People of Print, College Art Association, and the AIGA.


Curriculum Vitae 2017 (abridged)

Michael Hersrud
Born: Fargo, ND, USA, 1973
Citizenship: USA
Work Address: Education City, VCUQatar, PO Box 8095, Doha, Qatar
Contact: / /  +974.3339.4707

Virtual: /

Education (Degree Earning)
MFA. Rhode Island School of Design, RISD. Department of Graphic Design. 2006.
BFA. Minnesota State University, Moorhead, MSUM. Studio Art w/ emphasis in Graphic Design Studio. 1996.

Special Educational Experience (Non-Degree Earning)
Brown University.  Exchange Program w/ RISD. Graduate Courses. Multimedia & Electronic Music Experiments. 2005
University of Oregon. Post Baccalaureate Study. Letterpress Printmaking & Digital Media Courses. 2004.

Academic Appointments
Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar. Full-Time Faculty, Associate Professor. Department of Graphic Design.
Time-Based, Interactive, Graphic & Multidisciplinary Design. 2009-Current.
Michigan State University. Department of Graphic Design. Full-Time, Assistant Professor, Tenure Track. Motion Graphics, Interactive Design, and Experimental Printed Media. 2006-2009.
Rhode Island School of Design. Faculty of Record, Adjunct. Letterpress Printing.
Department of Graphic Design. 2004-2006.

Prior Professional Employment
Quango Inc. Creative Director. Interactive & Interface Designer, Brand Consultant. Portland, Oregon. 2002-03.
Minnesota Public Radio. Art Director. Senior Designer, Brand Consultant, Minnesota Monthly Magazine (MPR) Publication Designer. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 2001-02.
Frixsion Design Studio. Co-Principal. Branding, Motion & Interactive Director.
Minneapolis, Minnesota. 1998-2001.
Larsen Design. Junior Designer. Identity, Environmental, Wayfinding, Interactive & 2D Animation. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 1997-99.
John Ryan Company. Junior Designer. Environmental, Wayfinding, Motion & User
Interface. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 1996-97.

Specializations & Interests
Multidisciplinary Design, Graphic Design,  Time-Based Media & Motion Graphics, 2d Animation, Experiential Design, Interactive & Interface Design, Web & Application  Design, Writing & Curation,  Design Technology,  Design Pedagogy,  Descriptive Research, Visual & Cultural Ethnography,  Typography, Print Design, Letterpress, Artist Books & Publication, Photography, Animation,  Large Scale Print & Poster Design, Documentary Filmmaking, Experimental Printmaking (plotter drawings, Risograph, digital inkjet, UV printing), Fabrication Lab (laser cutting, vinyl cutting, UV printing, wood shop), Physical Computing (basic Arduino & Processing), Conference Organizer & Designer.

Special Awards & Grants  (While Employed at VCUQatar)
Hersrud, Michael. Experimentation with Parametric Drawing & Print Processes.  Faculty Research Grant Award ($3,755). January, 2016. Juried.
Hersrud, Michael., Levi Hammett, Richard Lombard, & Simone Muscolino, Co-Chairs. ”Tasmeem International Art & Design Conference 2015, Play!”. (Retitled ‘3ajeeb!’). Proposal Accepted, Spring 2014. Internally Peer reviewed proposal awarded $804,712. (School of the Arts)
Wanas, Al Hussein., Felicity Ulmer (Student Presenters). “Orality to Image: Traditional Qatari Narratives and Visual Media”. Research Project Awarded. Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) UREP Competition. Tornado Tower, Doha, Qatar. March 2013. Project Faculty Mentors: Michael Hersud, Paine Patty, Donald Earley & Jesse Ulmer. (Awarded third place out of 88 entries. The project resulted in the publication  “The Donkey Lady: and Other Tales from the Arabian Gulf”). (National)
Hersrud, Michael. Distinguished Achievements in Teaching Award. Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar. Awarded by Dean Allyson Vanstone. Recommended by Graphic Design Chair Muneera Spence. 2011. (School of the Arts)

Significant Creative or Scholarly Achievements (While Employed at VCUQatar)
Hammett, Levi & Michael Hersrud . “Speculative Praxis: Expanding Traditional Graphic Design Practice for Emerging Economic Contexts”. Eleventh International Conference on Design Principles & Practices. Design Principles & Practices Knowledge Community. Institute without Boundaries, George Brown College. Toronto, Canada. 2017. Peer-Reviewed, Accepted.
Himsworth, Thomas. Amy Andres, Dr. Alan Weber, & Dr. Stephen Scott. “Art & Medicine: A collaborative project Between Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar & Weil Cornell Medicine Qatar”. Creative Director & Publication Designer. Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar. (Professional Practice & Consultation)
Hersrud, Michael. Uncharted Territories: Visions of Quasi-Stellar Objects (series of artist books and plotter drawing prints). VCUQatar Faculty Exhibition. Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar. January 2016. Select Work. External Jury.
Hersrud, Michael, Levi Hammett, Richard Lombard, & Simone Muscolino, (Co-Directors); Meike C Caan (Communications Director), Sara Shabaan (Designer), Lauren Mass (Writer). “#TakeMeWithYou: A Snapshot of Tasmeem 2015 3ajeeb!”. VCUQatar Communications, Doha, Qatar. August 2015. (Self Published)
Hersrud, Michael, Levi Hammett, Richard Lombard, & Simone Muscolino, (Co-Chairs). “3ajeeb!: Tasmeem Doha International Design Conference” (Design Festival). Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Doha, Qatar. (International). Spring 2015.
Hersrud, Michael. “More Than Bricks and Mortar: The Damongo Project”. Documentary, Digital Video, 91 min. Completed 2013. Screenings included: Architecture & Design Film Festival. Winnipeg Film Group. Winnipeg, Manitoba. May, 2014. Screening. Official Selection, Juried Selection. (International), and Tasmeem International Art & Design Conference 2013, Hybrid Making. HBKU, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar. March 2013. Screening. Juried Selection. (International)
Hersrud, Michael, Patty Paine & Jesse Ulmer. “The Donkey Lady: and Other Tales from the Arabian Gulf”. Publisher: Berkshire Academic Press. February, 2013. English. Hardcover & Softcover: 264 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1907784125. Book Publication. Co-Editor & Design Coordinator. (International)
Hersrud, Michael, Levi Hammett. “Bordering the Empty Quarter”. Online Curatorial Project. 2010-present. ( Self-Initiated Blog. (19,000 views)
Hersrud, Michael. “Awel el Satr”. Tasmeem International Design Conference 2013: Hybrid Making. Group Exhibition. Student Center Theatre, HBKU, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar. March-April, 2013. Installation., Juried. (International)
Hersrud, Michael, Patty Paine & Jesse Ulmer. “The Donkey Lady: Graphic Literature”. Tasmeem International Art & Design Conference 2013, Hybrid Making. HBKU, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar. March 2013. Presentation. Peer Reviewed. (International)
Hersrud, Michael, Levi Hammett. “Decentralizing the Classroom: Utilizing Network Theory, Collaborative Teaching, and Agile Development to Create a Soft-Structured Learning Environment”. Design Research Society 2012: Bangkok 2(2012):670-682. Print. Peer Reviewed Journal. ISBN 978-616-551-568-9. Peer Reviewed. (International)
Hersrud, Michael, Levi Hammett. “A Case Study on Interactive and Time-Based Design from Doha, Qatar: Exploring New Methods for Teaching Technology-Centric Courses in Graphic Design”. Design Education 2.0: Teaching in a Techno-Cultural Reality. College Art Association Conference, Los Angeles, CA., USA. 2012. Paper Presentation. Audio Recording. Peer Reviewed. (International)
Hersrud, Michael., Basma Hamdy. Mearsk Road Safety Campaign Project, 'One Second' Campaign. The Center for Research, Design & Entrepreneurship VCUQatar. Team members included alumni, Lama A. Dheays, Rana Rwaished  and Haneen Sharif. Patricia Dugan, Lead Project Manager, Roger Griffiths & Roman Turczyn, Managing Directors and Peter Chomowicz, Dean of Research VCUQatar. 2012–13. Design Consultant and Creative Director. (School of the Arts)
Hersrud, Michael. “Reshaping the Web: Influences on Front-End Design”. Refresh Qatar Symposium. VCUQatar, Doha, Qatar. September 2011. Presentation. Invited.  (Community)
Hersrud, Michael. “Assembling Words & Pictures from My Life in Doha”. Diode Poetry Journal, Volume 4 Number 2, Winter 2011. Published Online ( Invited. Peer Reviewed (National)
Ruddick, Kyle, Brandon Litman. “One Day On Earth: Survival” (Documentary Film). Co-Cinematographer w/ Levi Hammett. Contributed Footage. Doha. 2011. Selected. (International)
Hersrud, Michael., Levi Hammett. Communication Team Co-Director, Identity Team Co-Director, Co-Web Developer. Tasmeem International Art & Design Conference 2011, Synapse. (School of the Arts)
Hersrud, Michael., Simone Muscolino. Motion Graphics Title Sequence & Motion Identity. Tasmeem International Art & Design Conference 2011, Synapse. (School of the Arts).
Hersrud, Michael, Levi Hammett. “Students Design World Cup Train Ticket Machine”. Qatar Foundation Telegraph, issue 26, 10 February 2011, p8. Magazine Article. Print. Invited.

Bibliography: Interviews, Reviews & Citations (While Employed at VCUQatar)

Mills, Margaret. “The Donkey Lady and Other Tales from the Arabian Gulf ed. by Patty Paine, Jesse Ulmer, Michael Hersrud”. (Review. pp. 152-153. Marvels & Tales, Volume 29, Number 1, 2015. Project Muse. (Marvels & Tales is a peer-reviewed journal that is international and multidisciplinary in orientation.)
Spence, Muneera. “Tasmeem 3ajeeb Was All About Shifting Perspectives.” (Review), pp 48-51. Glam Interiors + Design, Oryx Publishing, Doha, Qatar. (National) 20 April, 2015. Magazine. (National)
Roll, Rich. “RRP 144 Casey Neistat’s absolute disregard for failure — and the imperative to define your own path.” (Discussion, Tasmeem 3ajeeb!) RRP (Rich Roll Podcast), (International) 27 April, 2015.
Domus. Dubai Art & Design. Maria Luisa Palumbo. April 2015 (Tasmeem Exhibition in Dubai) (International)
A Couple of Putts. Tasmeem 3ajeeb! Artist-Designed Mini Golf – Doha, Qatar. Online. April 10, 2015.(National)
BQDoha. Art Smart, Tasmeem Design Conference. April 2015 Issue. Magazine, Print & Online. ( (National)
A Couple of Putts. Mini Golf Middle East. Online. April 3, 2015. (National)
Qatar TV. Tasmeem 3ajeeb! Debuts. VCUQatar Interview. TV Broadcast. Aired 3:30pm, March 13th, 2015. (National)
QFRadio Interview. Tasmeem Co-chairs. Producer, Neha Rashid. Radio Broadcast. On air live, 2pm, March 4th, 2015 (Community)
QFRadio. VCUQatar Opens Tasmeem Doha 2015. Radio Broadcast. March 15, 2015. (Community)
Qatar Tribune. VCUQatar to host Tasmeem Doha theme '3ajeeb!' from March 8 to 12. Newspaper & Online. March 8th, 2015. (National)
The Peninsula. VCUQ launches Tasmeem Doha. Newspaper. March 11th, 2015. (National)
ArtsQatar. Tasmeem Doha 2015 3ajeeb! - تصميم دوحة 2015 - عجيب . Online.  March 8th, 2015. (National)
OFFF Qatar 2015 by Mucho. Web. Vimeo. (International)
Jam Factory. My Trip to Qatar. Gavin Strange. Online.  March 15, 2015. (International)
A Couple of Putts. Mini Golf Middle East. Online. November 27, 2014. (National)
Qatar is Booming. “Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Selects VCUQatar Student Designs”. Cultural Pictograms for the 2022 World Cup. Online. February 8, 2014. Interview. (National)
VCUQatar News. “Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Selects VCUQatar Student Designs”. Cultural Pictograms for the 2022 World Cup. Online. February 9, 2014. Interview, (Community)
Beaverford, Kelley. “More Than Bricks and Mortar: Lessons in Design and World Citizenship”. Chapter 3 pp 41-51. “Perspectives on Social Sustainability and Interior Architecture”. ISBN 978-981-4585-38-5. Published by Springer 2014 (National)
The Best American Poetry. “Meet the Press: Karen Schubert in Conversation with Patty Paine”. Online. December 2014 (International)
Issa J. Boullata. “The Donkey Lady and Other Tales from the Arabian Gulf” Book Review. World Literature Today , Vol. 87, No. 6 . Online. November 2013. (International)
VCUQatar, Context 2012-2013 : Issue 3 (pp. 27). Research, “Branding the Big One: VCUQatar Graphic Design Students Submit World Cup Designs”. Magazine. (Community)
VCUQatar, Context 2012-2013 : Issue 3 (pp. 32-33). Research, “International Learning Opportunities”. Magazine. (Community)
VCUQatar, Context 2012-2013 : Issue 3 (pp. 60). Research, “Faculty Achievements”. Magazine. (Community)
Doha News. Book Launch: The Donkey Lady and Other Tales from the Arabian Gulf. Online. April 23, 2013. (National)
Doha News. “MOI rolls out  ‘One Second’ campaign to tackle road accidents in Qatar”.  Online. May 2013. (National)
VCUQatar, Context 2012-2013 : Issue 2 (pp. 10). “The Story of One Second”. Magazine. (Community)
VCUQatar, Context 2012-2013 : Issue 2 (pp. 16). Research, “The Donkey Lady and Other Tales from the Arabian Gulf Wins 3rd Place in QNRF”. Magazine. (Community)
VCUQatar, Context 2012-2013 : Issue 2 (pp. 56). Research, “Faculty Achievements”. Magazine. (Community)
Qatar TV. The Donkey Lady, Upcoming Book Release. Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. Aired March 2013. Interview (Michael Hersrud). (Community)
VCUQatar, Context 2011-2012 : Issue 1 (pp. 9). “The Donkey Lady and Other Tales from the Arabian Gulf”. Magazine. (Community)
VCUQatar, Context 2011-2012 : Issue 1 (pp. 35). “Faculty Achievements”. Magazine. (Community)
Peter Martin. Development of 2011 Tasmeem Doha Identity System, "Design Edition” Interview, Qatar Foundation (QF) Radio, Doha, Qatar. March 2011. Interview. Recorded Radio Broadcast (Michael Hersrud & Levi Hammett). (Community)
Laura Ann O'Shea. “Future Thinking for Qatar World Cup: A Touch Screen Design for A Rail Transit System”. "The Connection" Interview, Qatar Foundation (QF) Radio. February 2011. Interview. Recorded Radio Broadcast  (Michael Hersrud & Levi Hammett). (Community)
VCUQatar. From Orality to Image: Traditional Qatari Narratives and Visual Media, UREP Grant Project, Faculty Mentor. “VCUQatar project awarded UREP grant”, March 3, 2011. Interview. Online. (National)
The Foundation. “Telling the Tale of Qatar” (pp24-25). Issue 27 March 2011. Interview. (National)

Faculty of Record (While Employed at VCUQatar)
Design Technology, Print & Screen (GDES 202). Sophomore, Required. Fall 2009-14.
Imaging One, Digital Imaging Techniques for Communication (GDES 214). Sophomore, Required. Fall 2013.
Visual Narrative, Time-Based & Sequential Storytelling (GDES 346). Junior, Required. Spring 2010-15.
Interaction One, Explorations in Experiential and Interactive Media (347). Junior, Required. Fall 2009-14.
Interaction Two, Information, Interface, & User-Centered Design (GDES 367). Junior, Required. Spring 2009-15.
Systems in Design, Investigation of Complex Communication Structures (GDES 343). Junior, Required. Fall 2012.
Print Two, Advanced Print Media & Collaborative Design (GDES 365). Junior, Required. Spring 2013.
Motion Graphics & Time-Based Design, Experimentation of Moving Images & Sound (GDES 491o). Senior, Elective. Spring 2013-14.
Visual Interface Design, Investigations of Human-Centered Design (GDES 567). MFA, Elective. Spring 2012. Invited to develop and teach a special topics course in the MFA program by MFA Director Constantin Boym.

Innovations in Teaching & Curriculum Development
Hersrud, Michael., Levi Hammett, & Mahmoud M. Abbas. “GDES Studio Redesign & Production Lab” (Proposal & Implementation). Summer 2014.
Shifting Sands. Collaborative Teaching. A Year-Long, Five Week Rotational Course Model. Co-developed & Participated in a Curricular Experimentation w/ Graphic Design Faculty. 2012-2014.

Service to the Profession (While Employed at VCUQatar)
Cumulus Hong Kong 2016: Open Design for E-very-thing. Invited Abstract Reviewer. Hong Kong Design Institute. November 2016.
Tasmeem International Art & Design Conference 2013, Hybrid Making. Conference Core Planning Committee, GDES Liaison. VCUQatar. 2013.
Draw Bots Workshop with Ashley Pigford. Tasmeem International Art & Design Conference 2013, Hybrid Making. Mathaf Contemporary Museum of Art. Workshop Liaison. 2013.
Tasmeem International Art & Design Conference 2011, Synapse. Core Team Member. Co-Chairs, Muneera Spence & Pornprapha Phatanateacha. Liaison for Alice Twemlow, Conference Moderator and Keynote Speaker. VCUQatar. 2010-2011.

"Guns-n-Roses" Arabic text

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