Michael MacLean
Interdisciplinary Art + Design
Michael MacLean is an interdisciplinary artist, participatory designer, and co-founder of OSO planning + design. He is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia and his practice weaves art, design, community participation, and design-build processes together. Michael's work seeks to better understand and explore how we all connect to a sense of place through our collective memory and experiences. While the content and the concepts of the spaces, installations, urban furniture and public artwork her creates varies greatly, it is the participatory approach that ties his work together. His belief is that when we work together we feel more connected and a feel a strong sense of ownership over our artworks, our spaces, our places.
Through OSO, a community-based studio, Michael and his colleagues adopt an open and community-based approach to planning and design. Their projects range from comprehensive community planning and policy to public art installation and hands-on design-build. Their approach ensures broad community participation and reflects the ideas, values, and dreams of the people they collaborate with. This approach creates tangible action on the ground and makes impact in communities.
Michael holds a Master's of Environmental Design Studies (Design-Build) from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor's in Fine Arts - Design from Concordia University and his work has gained recognition in exhibitions, competitions, and publications. His unique perspective and expertise in participatory design, community-based design-build, and place-based art have shaped his practice, which is deeply rooted in years of community work in Quebec, the Yukon and Nova Scotia. In summary, Michael’s work embodies a commitment to community participation, education, and creating tangible change through collaborative and participatory design processes.