Vignelli Center
for Design Studies
Rochester Institute of Technology

Michael Burke is 2017 Vignelli
Center Visiting Designer

Designer and professor Michael Burke was in residence at the Vignelli Center during the winter of 2016, and returned for a 2017 residency. In this capacity he presented lectures to graphic design and industrial design classes, collaborated with faculty in design and assisted with curriculum development.




Michael Burke



Burke gave a lecture to Design History Education Seminar, a graduate course.


Burke met at the Cary Library with Dr. John Capps, RIT Philosophy Professor to discuss Otto Neurath and his Isotype portfolio Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft: Bildstatistisches Elementarwerk. Also involved in the dialogue were Vignelli Professor R. Roger Remington, Cary Library Curator Steven Galbraith and Kirk Chilash.


Graphic designer meets philosopher


About Michael Burke


Michael Burke, a major European design scholar, expert on information graphics, author of note, outstanding teacher and international figure in design, is a professor, now retired, at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Schwäbish Gmünd, one of Germany’s leading design schools, where he has been on the faculty for 20 years.


He is presently working on a new book on the history of corporate standards manuals. He studied graphic design and later taught at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design in England, at the University IUAV Venice, Italy, and at the Dessau Department of Design, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Dessau, Germany.


As a design professional he worked with Otl Aicher on the extensive graphics for the 1976 Olympics in Munich.









He was a member of the team in the UK that produced the groundbreaking publication OCTAVO between 1984 and 2001. With colleague Peter Wildbur, he produced the seminal volume INFORMATION GRAPHICS in 1998. Burke was also guest editor of Graphics International, contributing a major article on Herbert Bayer’s WORLD GEO ATLAS. For the London Design Museum, Burke curated a major exhibit on information design. He has also collaborated with Professor Joachim Krausse on basic research on the history of the Isotype movement and Otto Neurath. He has also collaborated with Wellcome Trust in London on interpretive exhibit design.