Michael Renner


Michael Renner
Professor + Director, Institute Digital Communication Environments
FHNW HGK Basel School of Design

Through research and reflection, Michael Renner’s practical and theoretical design activities explore the meaning of images in the context of digital tools. This “practice-led” approach to design research seeks to further develop existing image creation competencies. By allowing students to gain knowledge through the creation of images, he positions the design process itself as both central research theme and methodology. 

Michael experienced the digital revolution firsthand when he joined Apple Computer Inc. and The Understanding Business in California in 1986 as a newly-graduated graphic designer. In 1990, he founded his own design studio in Basel, collaborating with corporate and cultural clients. That same year, he began teaching information design, design research, and the design process in the Visual Communication Institute at the Basel School of Design; in 1999, Michael was named chairman of the institute.

Michael has lectured and taught workshops in Europe and abroad. He was a member of “eikones,” the Swiss National Center of Competence in Iconic Research, from 2005 until 2013; he has been a member of the European research network “What Images Do” since 2012. 

Currently, Michael serves on the advisory board of Visible Language, is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), and is responsible for a number of design research projects supported by the Swiss Science Foundation.