Anders Ib Michelsen

Anders Ib Michelsen

Associate Professor

I have worked with  visual culture studies and art history in Denmark and internationally since the early 1990s, in the beginning with a focus on appropriation, installation, conceptual, and postcolonial art, as art critic and independent curator, among them as co-curator of one of the first postcolonial art exhibitions in Denmark, Interzones, Copenhagen and Uppsala 1996. I have worked with art, design and culture from an interdisciplinary and cross-topical approach and has been involved in research activities in Europe, Brazil, Somalia, and Australia; projects, conferences, keynotes, seminars, networks, publications. Themes such as the relation between art and design, visual culture and creative industries, and artistic and creative resources in the developing South. My work as art historian focus on strengthening the field by testing it in a variety of contexts. Visual culture has in such an understanding opened a very large interface between artn history and the multiple contemporary meanings of the visual. The potential of art history has developed substantially, inside and outside the institutions traditionally related to the field, and this is an important resource for the future.

Key topics: the visual, art, culture, design, innovation, urbanization, with a particular interest in;

  • Basic theoretical issues: ontologies, theories, epistemologies and method, with a focus on creativity.
  • Practices that bring research into participatory and innovative impact with private, public and non-profit stakeholders outside the university; project-focus - design management, development of creativity in the Global South, architecture and urbanization, innovation and creative industries.

I Involve my research with a broad experience as project leader, curator, critic, journalist, manager, innovator, consultant and cultural activitist and have often organized my teaching with external partners, from civil activists such as the Trampoline House over the commercial broadcaster TV3 and programs on  The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, to online teaching at James Cook University, Australia.


Building, Urbanization, Climate: PI, 2018 – ; research, teaching, development and knowledge transfer; focusing on artistic and creative resources in the developing South in architecture and urbanisation, in the Horn of Africa, in partnership with Abaarso Tech University, Hargeisa and collaboration with Dreyers Foundation, Copenhagen; The C. L. David Foundation and Collection, Copenhagen; Danish Institute, Damaskus; Dahabshiil, Hargeisa and Shuraako Foundation, Hargeisa; supported by The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, DANIDA, and SCI-Arc, Los Angeles ( Most recent event: workshop January 2020: , and See also research-monograph in progress, Tracing Somali Architecture, 

Visual Practice: 2018 – ; Foreign Coordinator,  research project in art and visual practices, with Contemporary Scenarios of the Image and the Visual Culture, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. See Youtube-channel, Trans Visual CAPES-PRINT PUC-Rio:

Book projects in progress

Trans Visual: an aesthetic economy. Leiden and Boston: Brill 2021.

Tracing Somali Architecture ( (2021).

Recent books

Transvisuality: The Cultural Dimension of Visuality (Volume 3): Purposive Action: Design and Branding (published 2019)

Verner Panton. Environments, Colors, Systems, Patterns (published 2018)

Architecture, Drawing Topology (Published 2017)

Selection of recent keynotes

Colonial and PostColonial World Literature: Postcolonial Perspectives, University of Delhi 2018, 15-18 March 2018, New Delhi, India; invited to panel on global crowd sourcing. 

Birth Centenary of legendary architect Padmashree Laurie Baker, Department of Architecture College of Engineering, Trivandrum, India 2018. Invited speaker. 

XVth Edition of the International Seminar on Literary Studies: Literature and Arts in Bodily Presence, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2019. Invited keynote.


Research activities in Europe, Brazil, Somalia, and Australia; conferences, keynotes, seminars, networks. Co-organizer of conferences, seminars, and meetings, from the international conference SocioAesthetics: A Symposium On Aestheticsculture and social life, UCPH 2009, to the seminar The para-visual: the politics of distributed observation. International seminar with Professor Celia Lury Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies University of Warwick, PUC 2019. Accredited for 117 publications, including 21 books (books and collections) registered at CURIS, University of Copenhagen. Among them the best selling Designmaskinen. Design af den moderne verden [The Design Machine. Design of the Modern World], articles on the most read list of Sage, Thesis Eleven Critical Theory and Historical Sociology, and the monograph Verner Panton. Environments, Colors, Systems, Patterns. Phaidon, London 2018. Currently finalizing a second ph.d (dr.phil), Trans Visual: an aesthetic economy, on the relation between dynamic topologies of contemporary culture and creative forms of the visual, to be published at Brill in 2021. It develops and complements the three volume collection Transvisuality. The cultural Dimension of Visuality that I initiated and co-edited for Liverpool University Press, 2013-2019 and the volume on Socioaesthetics. Ambience - Imaginary, that I co-edited for Social and Critical Theory, Brill in 2015.  


As Head of Studies and Chair of the Study Board at Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen 2007-2011 I headed the creation of the departmental framework for all study programs (BA and MA) continuing out of the four independent departments making up the sections of Department of Arts and Cultural Studies. I presided over the establishment of a joint study board, a strategic education plan, a reformed study administration, MA-thesis contract system, accreditation strategies, quality assurance formats, alumni initiatives, a pedagogical development plan, establishment of a system of elective topics on BA and MA-level across the department with a focus on entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation in collaboration with external partners (making it possible to specialize in these topics with the academic background of the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies), internationalization approaches, including, “Joint Master - Erasmus Mundus in Performing Arts Studies”, the first Erasmus Mundus program in Danish Humanities and the international, interdisciplinary, MA-program in urban studies, 4Cities (, in collaboration with universities in Brussels, Vienna, and Madrid.

Short CV

Anders Michelsen; Associate Professor in art history with a focus on visual culture, PhD, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, 2007 - ; Coordinator of the first master program in Visual Culture Studies in Scandinavia 2002-2009; Consultant/lecturer, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation 2002- ; Head of Studies, Chairman of Study Board, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies 2007-2011; Chairman of PeaceWare Somaliland, 2009 - 2012; affiliated Copenhagen School of Global Health 2010-2012; mobility-coordinator for PhD-students, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil-UCPH 2010-2018; steering committee, Centre for Advanced Migration Research (AMIS), University of Copenhagen 2012 - ; External Lecturer, Institute of Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape 2012-2018; adjunct professor, Arts and Creative Media, James Cook, Australia 2014 - 2016; Affiliated with 4Cities, MA in urbanization, UCPH, 2018 – ; Foreign coordinator, Contemporary Scenarios of the Image and the Visual Culture), Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2019 – ; Visiting professor, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2019; Visiting professor, University of Piauí, Brazil, 2019. 

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