Michael Hersrud

Associate Professor


+974 4402 0690
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Time-Based and Interactive Media


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.


Michael Hersrud is a multidisciplinary designer combining haptic and digital processes using print, typography, photography, interactive & time-based media. In his visual research and inquiry, Michael investigates methods, processes and form generation in design praxis; time-based & interactive design pedagogy; digital tools and the influence of technology in design communication; and the vernacular of ‘place’ through an exploration of documentary and visual narrative.

Michael graduated with an MFA in Graphic Design from RISD in 2006. Previous to that, he engaged in Post-Baccalaureate work at the University of Oregon and received a BFA in 1996 from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. In addition to graphic design, Michael has studied letterpress & serigraph printmaking, analog photography, book arts and digital media, as well as collaborative work in the Multi-media and Electronic Music Experiments program at Brown University.

Currently, Michael is producing a short documentary on a project that took place in Damongo, Ghana. In addition, he is curating a blog-format website showcasing experimental time-based media, as well as maintaining a personal website ‘surfacearea.org’ that features work from his visual research.


Research Interests

I view myself as a factotum of the digital era. Design in our current global and digital culture calls upon us to be versed in many many areas of knowledge and become interim experts as we wander from project to project. Boundaries that once defined one discipline from another are now expanding, collapsing and intermixing. Because of this, and within my own creative practice, I often pursue a multiplicity of creative avenues that interweave materials, media and creative disciplines, that are interconnected through diverse inquires into the ‘context of culture’. Overtime, many of my projects have explored notions of visual ethnography and descriptive research as a means to collect information and produce creative outcomes.

The territories I pursue in my work varies from documentary filmmaking, to experiential installations, to book collectives, to experimental cartographies, to graphic computational form generation, all resulting in investigations that often combine analog and digital processes. My inquiries span from individual to collaborative initiatives, and examine three areas of design; one,design process’ to explore old/new technology and create meaningful, expressive and connotative visual imagery; two,design narrative’ to visually communicate stories both didactically and poetically to allow viewers to learn something new or imagine possibility; and three,design thinking’ as a means of praxis and discourse relative to classroom and community engagement. The combination of these areas becomes the pathway that leads me from one project to the next, with slight divergences along the journey. 

Teaching Experience

Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar. Full-Time Faculty, Assistant 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.

Previous Professional Experience

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
Minneapolis, Minnesota. 1996-97.


  1. Print/Process: Analog and Digital Hybridization in a Creative Context, Digital Hype Conference, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA, Public Lecture and Workshop, 2009
  2. In Transition: Process and Participation as Design Praxis, Creative Bridges: Forming Interdisciplinary Bridges and Cognitive Connections, Sponsored by Quango Interactive, Portland, Oregon, USA, Public Lecture, 2009
  3. Social Advocacy Prints and Posters, Exhibtion, Graphic Design Alum Salon: 40 Years of Graphic Design Graduates, MSUM, Moorhead, Minnesota, USA, Official Selection, 2009
  4. Faculty Show Poster, How Design Magazine Award Committee Top Ten Posters in 2009, How Magazine, Official Selection, 2009
  5. Letter/Form: A Kinesthetic Approach to Typographic Design Education, Co-Authored by Michael Hersrud and Ashley Pigford, TypeCon 2008: Punk’t, SOTA (The Society of Typographic Aficionados), Buffalo, NY, USA, 2008
  6. Footage: Surveying the City (Documentary 2007), Pixelerations: FirstWorks Festival of Digital and Interactive Media, New Performance and Experimental Cinema, Providence, RI, USA, Official Selection, 2008
  7. Fragments: Homage to the Futurists, de:(Konstruct) Experimental Typography Exhibition, Grand Valley State University, Grand Valley, MI, USA, Official Selection, 2008
  8. Extending the Classroom: Translating Fieldwork Into Creative Outcomes in a Design Curriculum, AIGA National Conference on Design Education, Nashville, TN, USA, Selected Speaker, 2007
  9. Footage: Surveying the City (Documentary 2007), Da Vinci Film Festival, Da Vinci Days, Corvallis, OR, USA, Official Selection, Juried Festival, 2007
  10. Dairy Interactive Typeface, Typeface Collaboration Between Levi Hammett, Michael Hersrud, Susie Niellsen, Interactive Design by Levi Hammett, Exhibited at Festival de Arte Digital, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, Official Selection, 2007
  11. Windy (Animation 2006), Fargo Film Festival, Fargo, ND, USA, Official Selection, 2007
  12. Dairy Interactive Typeface and Poster, Typeface Collaboration Between Levi Hammett, Michael Hersrud, Susie Niellsen, Poster Concept and Design by Michael Hersrud and Levi Hammett, College Art Association National Conference, CAA Exhibition of Select Work, Boston, MA, Official Selection, 2006
  13. Phenomenon of Form Performance: Experiments in Digital Sound, Body Movement and Reactive Environments, Collaboration Between Ashley Pigford, Michael Hersrud and Brian Knoth, Performance Workshop Theatre, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA, Public Performance, 2005


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)