“The integration of different media—web, print, video—is very successful in this hybrid design journal. The atmosphere is open and spontaneous. This is how a design magazine should feel like.”

Sulki and Min Choi, Core77 Design Award, 2012, KR

“This is a platform for design discourse that vividly conveys conversations in their raw, unpolished forms.”

— Kyungsun Kymn, Core77 Design Award, 2012, KR


That New Design Smell is an experiment in smart and fun conversations on design. It takes the form of a critical design magazine driven by dialogue, rather than monologue. It experiments with open content production, where criticism engages an active online public. Dialogue is edited and published as a printed magazine you can hold in your hands.

The magazine began as a thesis proposal at Rietveld Academie’s Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam with the objective of thwarting design’s mandatory optimism, lame designer lingo and ‘likedy-like’ mafia. While there are several obvious approaches to infusing critical thinking in design, some are too easily dismissed. More monologues from professionals are known to be ignored. Academics used to own criticism, but now—with blogs and forums—it belongs to everyone. Yet, more often than not, design blogs are short, shallow and trite. Professional blogs may be smarter, but their public relations are too obvious.

As an alternative, That New Design Smell introduces an independent venue for design criticism and dialogue in a post-medium fashion—it offers a dirty yet diligent dialogue online and a batterie-free product in print.

That is all, M.

Twitter news



“That New Design Smell is an outstanding example of exciting work that creates a platform for true dialogue that can engage people beyond the immediacy of a print magazine.”

— Allan Chochinov, Core77 Design Award, 2012, USA

“That New Design Smell… magazine, divided between web and print, is conceived and edited by Michèle Champagne, an ambitious Canadian MFA graduate from the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, with a crisp, “flight attendant” persona and a nicely cultivated sense of irony. Her aim, she says, is to encourage dialogue, not monologue, by folding comments made online back into the printed magazine.”

— Rick Poynor,, 2011, UK

“Rick Poynor at Design Observer notes Issue 0 of That New Design Smell, a publication created by Michèle Champagne, and intended to be an online/print hybrid. Probably what’s going to get the most attention is what I guess will be a recurring feature mocking the useless comments found on other sites. This is clever in the sort of snarky-cute way that’s sure to bring in traffic. Which isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with cleverly snarky-cute; I just wouldn’t bother to bring up this site unless I had something else to recommend. And what I recommend most of all is this brief photo essay on “Roundtable Harmony.”

— Rob Walker,, 2011, USA

“Sous l’impulsion de Michèle Champagne —quel beau nom— étudiante au très excitant Sandberg Instituut, un nouvel espace d’échange théorique focalisé sur le design par exemple graphique, ouvert à tous et aussi aux plus pointus, vient de s’ouvrir. That New Design Smell —quel beau nom— un espace numérique accueillant et exigeant de ping pong théorique aboutissant automatiquement à de possibles éditions en ligne. Un genre de rêve…”

— Thierry Chancogne, 2 ou 3 choses…, 2011, BE



Featuring co-conspirators and contributors:
Daniel van der Velden / Metahaven,
Gert Dumbar, Cedric Flazinski,
Anja Groten, Femke Herregraven and
Jason Mortlock
126 pages; 200 x 270 mm
50 limited editions—€10—Sold out
Printed by Imprint Digital



Core77 Design Award, Visual Communication
2012, USA

Grafische Cultuurstichting, Studentenprijs Grafish Ontwerpen
2011, NL

Aalto University, “Critical Studio Field Trip”
2011, FI

Glasgow School of Art, Neil McGuire
2011, SCO, Max Bruinsma
2011, NL

NOG Nationale, “Champagne wint Studentenprijs”
2011, NL

Items Issue nº 5, Dutch Design Graduates selection
2011, NL

Quint Issue nº 8, Fares Bounassif
2011, UAE

Herman Miller Lifework, Cerentha Harris
2011, USA, “That New Design Smell”
2011, CA, Tina Roth Einsenberg
2011, USA, Rick Poynor
2011, UK, Rob Walker
2011, USA, Charlotte Cheetham
2011, FR

2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle, Thierry Chancogne
2011, BE



That New Design Smell is a semi-annual publication with a vague and relatively spontaneous schedule: one issue for the winter-spring season, and one issue for summer-fall.



‘The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades’
Sandberg Institute design events
Curated by Nina Folkersma
8–10 July 2011—Opening 8 July 2011, 20.00
Vondelbunker, Amsterdam, NL
Vondelbunker’s beatnik history



‘Something In The Air’
Print Room presentation and exhibition
Curated by Lysiane Bollenbach, Sonia Dominguez
11 Sep–9 Oct 2011—Opening 11 Sep 2011, 14.00
Print Room, Rotterdam, NL



Unless otherwise noted, the Creative Commons license we’re using is: “Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0),” which allows you to share and remix the content we write wherever, as long as you give us credit and don’t use it commercially without contacting us first.

By publishing your thoughts on our site, you agree to grant us a: “Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)” license, which allows us to share and remix the content you write wherever, we give you credit and we can use it commercially without contacting you first (mostly for selling and promoting the magazine).



That New Design Smell was conceived and realised by Canadian designer Michèle Champagne during her Masters degree at Sandberg Institute Amsterdam’s design department at Rietveld Academy. Big up to all contributors, tutors and co-conspirators. Thanks to Lennart Bruger, Cedric Flazinski, Daniel van der Velden, Gert Dumbar, Jason Mortlock, Anja Groten and Femke Herregraven, as well as Annelys de Vet, Rob Schroder, Nina Folkersma, Anke van Loon and Jan-Kees van Kampen. And a special thanks to Beverley Leeks and Normand Champagne for their emotional and financial support.


  • THOUGHT BY EDITOR — 2012/09/25 @ 07:22

    Someone slaps you silly. Someone opens your eyes. Who is it? Someone steps on your feet. Someone makes you cry with condemnation, anger and laughter. Who could it be? Well, hell. It’s That New Design Smell!

  • THOUGHT BY DANIEL YOUNG — 2012/07/17 @ 18:27

    Using the flashing of lights , type or other visual material to attract attention is the design equivalent of grabbing a person by their ears, arms or hair in order to get their attention. It is an offensive assault and should be banned and condemned.

  • THOUGHT BY BENNI — 2011/07/26 @ 17:20

    A great Idea

  • THOUGHT BY ADMIN — 2011/07/15 @ 10:17

    Hi James, You can mail us at and we’ll go from there. M.

  • THOUGHT BY CERENTHA — 2011/07/15 @ 00:28

    Love the idea of this. Not sure about the name. Sure the blue flashing effect will drive people away. Love that this exists. Thank you. Cerentha

  • THOUGHT BY JAMES PALLISTER — 2011/07/14 @ 18:45

    So…how do i get hold of a copy? Does one exist yet? Lots of Love, James Pallister, London UK

  • THOUGHT BY DANIEL — 2011/07/01 @ 19:14

    The global design community needs this. Thank you for the great CONTENT.