Michael Brenner is currently Design Director at Beyond Words Studio. The studio sits at the intersection of journalism, design and data visualization.

Dear past, thanks for all the lessons, dear future I'm ready now.

Michael is a designer and teacher. Prior to joining Beyond Words Studio in 2015, Michael founded and operated Content Context from 2009-2015 a socially engaged multidisciplinary design studio in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Its core focus was on projects with a social perspective for clients in the cultural, governmental and educational sectors.  

From 2010-2015 he taught at the Willem de Kooning Acadmie in Rotterdam. Where he has been involved at the academy on several levels in both the graphic design and lifestyle departments. As one of the primary initiators of the international track he helped develop the course’s vision and content that is required for all first year international design students. He was also involved in the content development and implementation of the 2013-15 re-design of the WDKA education structure within the graphic design department. In 2015 he joined the lifestyle department where he re-designed and implmented new content and strategy for the fourth quarter's curriculum.

Prior moving to Rotterdam in 2009 he worked at MGMT. Design in Brooklyn, New York from 2007-2009. While there he had the opportunity to work with Al Gore on his his book Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis the follow up title to An Inconvient Truth. Before this from 2005-2007 he worked at Tsang Seymour Design where he worked on a multitude of projects for New York Cities biggest cultural institutions from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Guggenheim, MOMA and New Museum and Neue Gallerie in addition to some of New York's most renouned art galleries in Chelsea. Also while in New York he was one of the initial content curators fo AIGA's design blog DesignNY which has now become Design Envy. Michael started his design career at Winterhouse Studio in Falls Village, Connecticut under the direction of William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand, 2004 – 2005. 

Design is about people working together to connect the dots.

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 empathy.

Each job has its own content and context.

First research and study then ask a lot of questions before starting.

First explore in search of the improbable, then design.

Not everyone is a rocket scientist.

Not afraid to make mistakes.
Learn from them and use them as a departure point.

Inspired by constraints.

Everything created is a tool for communication.

From some of his past and current work collaborations he's had the great pleasure and opportunity to create work with some pretty incredible people.

Al Gore
Architecture for Humanity
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Bruegel: Foundation for the improvement of economic policy
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
Errol Morris
European Youth Forum
Guggenheim Museum New York
ICP (International Center of Photography)
Institute for Network Cultures
League of Young Voters
New Museum of Contemporary Art
New York Studio School
Parsons the New School for Design
Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles
Rizzoli, New York
TENT. Rotterdam
Times Square Alliance
United Nations
Volume, Archis Publishers
World Bank
Yale School of Architecture


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All work copyright 2017