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Michael Hall

01642 738504
Job title:
Senior Lecturer (Graphic Design)
School of Science, Engineering & Design
Science, Engineering and Design research

About Michael Hall

Michael Hall

Michael Hall
Senior Lecturer (Graphic Design), School of Science, Engineering & Design
T: 01642 738504
Research: Science, Engineering and Design research

Michael has many years experience in the creative industries and knowledge of the processes involved in originating, developing, designing and producing many forms of creative content. He is professionally known as Mikel Horl and has used this name throughout his career.

Mikel Horl is a graphic artist, writer, designer, publisher and educator. He has originated and produced multiple art objects (artist’s books) since 1982, regularly exhibiting and distributing publications via book fairs, shops and galleries. His books are in the collections of the V&A National Art Library in the UK and the libraries of MOMA, New York and Yale Center for British Art in the USA.

Innovative printed publications have been produced for clients including Waterstone’s, Index on Censorship, TATE, Ted Baker and Arts Council Collection UK.

In London in 1994 Horl co-founded the Angels of Georges Braque (AgB) graphic arts collective with Pete Nevin. AgB exhibited and initiated numerous creative and educational activities in the late 1990s in the UK, the Baltic States and Canada.

Horl has for many years explored the creative potential of sequence and the multiple in creative production and has made and shown graphic works in a range of traditional and digital media. In 2011 he delivered a paper to the Electronic Visual Arts conference in London, proposing new directions for creative publishing. This was followed by an invitation to deliver the Putera Sampoerna Foundation “Narratives in Creative Publishing” seminar, in Jakarta, Indonesia, in July 2012, where Horl said:

“Graphic authorship has been accepted for some time, but we now see the power of narrative in objects, branding, products, events, public relations, advertising, and journalism. In all of these examples the word does not have to be the basic unit of communication”.

Mikel Horl established the MA Future Design and the Digital Arts and Design Academy at Teesside University in 2008 and continues to co-ordinate Art and Design postgraduate study. Horl’s recent and current projects investigate social design, design activism and interdisciplinary art and design. In 2012 Horl collaborated again with Pete Nevin to deliver papers to conferences in Los Angeles and Hawaii, where they announced the establishment of a new Parliament of Social Design.

View Mikel Horl's gallery

Research interests

Horl's primary research interest is centred on the production and dissemination of graphic ideas, addressing the notions of designer as author (Rock), designer as producer (Lupton) and artist as post-producer (Bourriaud). The practice of making and dispersing graphic narrative works is conducted in harnessing digital media and social networks as vehicles for expression, in which the technologies of communication are explored in the development of approaches to graphic authorship. Dialogism, polyphony and heteroglossia (Bakhtin) are investigated through graphic language and forms of digital and printed media. The changing and merging relationships between author, publisher and reader now form a basis for a more collective and interactive enquiry.

Horl has established a number of online groups to develop understanding and appreciation of the importance of authorship, production and post-production in creative practice, thus forming connections between his teaching and his professional activities as artist and designer.

Horl's research is currently leading to extended discussion around the role of artists and designers in society. This is impacting upon art and design curricula in the UK and Indonesia and informing approaches to the idea of "employability" in a broader and more meaningful sense. It is now leading to new graphic publications with new, multiple authors who can appreciate the value and responsibility of creative publishing.

Enterprise interests

As an independent publisher of artists' books and collaborator on numerous creative publishing projects Horl has always taken an enterprising approach, borne out of the need to make each project pay for the next. In recent years the social aspect of the making of graphic art works has become increasingly challenging and through creative interaction with others a number of social enterprise initiatives are being devised.

In 2013 Horl received a HE Social Entrepreneurship Try It or Do It Award from HEFCE and UnLtd towards the establishment of the Parliament of Social Design. This venture was launched in November 2013 as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, an event attended by participants from within and without the university and involving designers from as far afield as USA and Indonesia.


Project websites:

Graphics North Unlimited / Angels of Georges Braque: 

Parliament of Social Design:

View Michael Hall's Publications on TeesRep