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Michael O'Shea


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Personal profile


Designer and lecturer in the School of Design at the University of Edinburgh with over 20 years experience as a professional graphic designer. After studying Psychology at the University of Sydney my subsequent design career has been influenced and informed by the social sciences. My research and practice – both professional and academic – explores design that recognises, understands and better reflects diverse human behaviour and wider cultural experience. 

With numerous international awards for design and effectiveness (including D&AD, Mobius, Red Dot, DBA, Roses and Scottish Design Awards) I have been invited to judge student award schemes, participate in D&AD workshops, and talk to students as a visiting lecturer. My design has been featured in a number of publications including A Smile in the Mind (Phaidon), Introducing: Visual Identities for Small Businesses (Gestalten) and Nice to Meet You Again (Victionary).


Research interests

Social awareness and ethics in design, decoloniality and diversity, design informed by social science knowledge, philosophy of design (research-based); design and social history and context (research-based); print-based graphic interpretation and interactivity (practice-based).



BA (Psych)
The University of Sydney


Current projects

Graphic design needs to take responsibility: embedding social awareness and ethics through social science knowledge and pedagogical change (research-based)

100% fact: exploring the persuasive nature of data visualisation (practice-based)

Tony Benn’s mini revolution: progress and change in UK stamp design (research-based)



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