Coming from a family of scientists, Michel Tortel developed an interest in research at an early age. He studied architecture as a means of pursuing his research into form and technology. After qualifying, he founded a company to produce lighting, and then his own design agency. This was successful from early on, most notably through the production of a range of lights for Habitat. The agency has designed numerous collections and products for major names in European manufacturing. At the same time it has continued to develop its work in the design of spaces and urban projects. Michel Tortel has also lectured at ENSET, Créapole and Strate Collège.