Bruce Mau: On the Move with Multiple Practices

Bruce Mau and SEGD CEO Cybelle Jones at the 2023 SEGD Conference Experience Washington DC. Image courtesy of SEGD.

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 3, 2024 —SEGD, the Society for Experiential Graphic Design, continues to shape the future of design with luminaries like SEGD Fellow Bruce Mau at the forefront of innovation and excellence. Bruce Mau is a pivotal figure in the design industry and the SEGD community, known for his innovative thinking and holistic approach to design challenges. Bruce Mau was inducted as an SEGD Fellow in July 2023, joining an illustrious group of 48 luminaries, including Paula Scher, Massimo Vignelli and Denise Scott Brown (to name a few), who are laureates of experience design, and leaders recognized for creating a body of work that epitomizes the highest standards of practice. 

As the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Massive Change Network, a global design consultancy, Mau has spent nearly four decades collaborating with global brands, organizations, and artists to tackle complex problems. His contributions extend beyond design, encompassing education, writing, and art. Mau’s methodologies, including the life-centered design approach, have influenced design practices worldwide. His work has not only shaped the field of design but has also been recognized through numerous awards and publications, including the landmark book “S,M,L,XL,” co-authored with Rem Koolhaas. Mau’s impact on design and society has been so profound that a documentary about his life and work, “MAU,” premiered at SXSW in 2021, bringing design into the cultural spotlight.

Today, SEGD is honored to support the following announcement by Bruce Mau and the Massive Change Network’s newest initiatives, driven by the pursuit of excellence through meaningful and inspiring work.

An Update From Massive Change Network: 

Since being honored in 2023 as a SEGD Fellow, Bruce Mau has been busy as he juggles the NEXUS synthesis of four distinct practices simultaneously: design, teaching, writing and art. 

Designing better futures for all 

Through the Chicago-based Massive Change Network (MCN) design consultancy, Bruce and his life and business partner, Aiyemobisi “Bisi” Williams, and the MCN team have collaborated with clients to envision better futures for their projects, organizations and the planet using a life-centered design approach. 

One facet of his design practice that Bruce deeply appreciates is the opportunity to participate in diverse events through his speaking engagements. A recent highlight was the Brain3 Summit — an event hosted by Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas in collaboration with Massive Change Network — where Bruce spoke about the urgency of exponentially accelerating our capacities to solve the complex problems of our times. 

In addition to the summit keynote, Bruce co-facilitated with Bisi a transformation design workshop for nearly 200 participants to explore innovative, practical ways to translate the latest insights gleaned from the emerging field of brain health into positive action in the spheres of education, health and the workplace. 

Bruce Mau inspires design workshop participants at Brain3 Summit, hosted by Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas. Image courtesy of Center for BrainHealth. Photographer: Grant Miller.
Teaching the next generation of designers 

Together with Bisi, Bruce renewed his commitment to inspiring and creating massive change at scale through the founding of MASSIVE ACTION™, a multidisciplinary global research demo for proof and possibility. In collaboration with actionist friends and institutional partners, MASSIVE ACTION aims to empower 100 million designers with the mindset and tools of life-centered design through programming, workshops and community engagements worldwide. Recently, Bruce was a virtual participant as a speaker at the Unconvention, a program featuring five projects to come out of the University of New South Wales Arts, Design & Architecture (UNSW ADA), the first MASSIVE ACTION partner. 

Also, in the area of academic practice, Bruce’s recently announced position as a professor of practice at The Design School and institute professor at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University (ASU) will allow him to collaborate with students and faculty on cross-disciplinary immersive learning experiences addressing real-world problems. Trips to campus earlier this year are beginning to inform Fall 2024 coursework. The ASU appointment is a homecoming for Bruce, who previously collaborated with the university on designing a brand identity system and creating a comprehensive transformation strategy for a major capital campaign. 

Bruce Mau catalogs more than 250 books which he designed for clients over the course of his career. Image courtesy of Massive Change Network. Photographer: Michael Cicetti.
Engaging with the written word 

Bruce’s deep passion for books extends beyond reading to collecting, designing and writing. Over the past year, he finalized the design of two custom typefaces, amassed and cataloged a collection of the more than 250 books he has designed for clients, worked with an academic institution to design a book celebrating a major milestone at the university and is currently in the process of collaborating with a co-author on a new book. 

Gallery visitors experience “Capturing Accidents,” an innovative study of images by Bruce Mau, published by Factum Arte and Bruce Mau, displayed in conjunction with ARCOmadrid 2024. Image courtesy of Factum Arte.
Making art from accidents 

Finally, Bruce was honored to have his artwork displayed in a solo exhibition entitled “Capturing Accidents” at Factum Arte in conjunction with the ARCO MADRID 2024 art fair in March. The exhibition includes panoramic images Bruce created with the tools embedded in his phone camera. The exhibition title echoes one of 43 precepts that make up the “Incomplete Manifesto for Growth,” Bruce’s 1998 personal statement of what it takes to sustain a creative practice. 

Looking ahead, Bruce anticipates more new work in all four practices, with an emphasis on “new.” 

“7 Vehicular Accidents,” by Bruce Mau. Published by Factum Arte and Bruce Mau. Digital photograph, pigment ink on treated, polished, and waxed aluminum sheet, coated with traditional artist gesso (1.2 x 1.2 meters), 2024. Image courtesy of Bruce Mau and Factum Arte.

About SEGD

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