Michael Burke returns to RIT as Vignelli Center’s visiting scholar

International design authority to share expertise in graphic and information design

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Michael Burke, an international design expert, returns to RIT this semester as the Vignelli Center visiting scholar.

Michael Burke, an international design expert, is returning to Rochester Institute of Technology this semester as the Vignelli Center visiting scholar.

Burke, a major design scholar and author, will present lectures, work with faculty and students, and share his expertise in graphic and information design over several weeks at RIT.

“We are very pleased that Michael Burke will be joining us to continue the visiting design scholar initiative at the Vignelli Center for Design Studies,” said R. Roger Remington, RIT’s Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design. “We could not have selected a more worthy, experienced and capable person of note for the program. His presence and contributions will advance the center’s goals of educational programming, globalism and collaboration.”

Burke’s career between practice and teaching design has spanned England, the United States and Germany. In addition to studying graphic design and later teaching at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design and at the Central School of Design in England, he taught at Ohio State University and in Canada at the Nova Scotia College of Design.

A previous lecturer at RIT, Burke has delivered presentations at the Dessau Department of Design, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Dessau, Germany, where he is an honorary professor. He also has participated as a visiting scholar/designer at the University of Venice in Italy. He is a professor emeritus at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Schwäbish Gmünd, one of Germany’s leading design schools, where he was on the faculty for 22 years.

As a design professional, Burke worked on the graphics for the 1976 Olympics in Munich with Otl Aicher. He also was a member of the United Kingdom team that produced the groundbreaking publication Octavo between 1984 and 2001. Together with colleague Peter Wildbur, he published the seminal volume Information Graphics in 1998. Burke also served as 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 titled “You Are Here.” He also has collaborated with Joachim Krausse studying basic research on the Isotype symbol language and has worked with James Peto at the Wellcome Trust in London on interpretive exhibit design on medical subjects.