Max Bruinsma is an independent design critic, editor, curator, editorial designer and editor-in-chief of Items, the Dutch review of design. He studied art-, architecture- and design history in Groningen and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Since 1985, his critical writings have featured regularly in major Dutch art- and design journals and in a range of international design publications (a.o. Eye, Idea, ID, Blueprint, The AIGA Journal, Étappes, Form). in 1997, he succeeded founding editor Rick Poynor as editor-in-chief of Eye, the international review of graphic design, in London. Before, Bruinsma was editor of the Dutch design magazine Items, published and edited several books on (graphic and new media) design, and taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. In 2003 his book ‘Deep Sites, intelligent innovation in contemporary webdesign‘ was published by Thames & Hudson, in English and French editions.
In 2005, Max Bruinsma curated a major exhibition on the cultural significance of communication design, ‘Catalysts!‘, for the ExperimentaDesign biennale in Lisbon. He is currently curatorial and editorial consultant for the biennale. Bruinsma is co-founder of a new masters course in Editorial Design at the Graduate School of Visual Art and Design, Utrecht, the Netherlands, which also started September 2005. A guest lecturer on contemporary visual culture and design, Bruinsma has presented at numerous art academies and congresses throughout the world, including on-line courses and workshops for several design academies. Besides his work as an art- and design critic and educator, he was a music editor and program maker for VPRO, a Dutch radio and television broadcasting organisation and an advisor on cultural affairs for a great variety of institutions. In 2005, Max Bruinsma received the Pierre Bayle Prize for Design Criticism.
Max Bruinsma’s shortest definition of the design profession is: “Designers are cultural catalysts“.