Greiman, April: DESIGN QUARTERLY 133: DOES IT MAKE SENSE? Cambridge: MIT Press / Walker Art Center, 1986.

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DESIGN QUARTERLY 133

DOES IT MAKE SENSE?

April Greiman

April Greiman [Designer]: DESIGN QUARTERLY 133: DOES IT MAKE SENSE? Cambridge: MIT Press/Walker Art Center, 1986. First edition. A fine poster (folded as issued) enclosed in a nearly fine folder with trivial soiling to white uncoated folder. Poster is unmarked and very clean. A profoundly influential design piece and rare. Out-of-print.

3' x 6' rare two-sided poster enclosed in publishers 8.5 x 11 folder. Had it only shown the capabilities of Macintosh design circa 1986, "Does it make sense?" would have been memorable. By also exploring the philosophical and personal ramifications of digital design, this piece reached greatness. Since then, Ms. Greiman has remained on the forefront of digital design and its inherent possibilities. She reminds us that there's more to computer-based design than owning a software package.

From the AIGA web site: Greiman saw "Design Quarterly #133 as an opportunity not only to present her digital work but to ask a larger question of the work and the medium: Does it make sense? Reading Wittgenstein on the topic, she identified with his conclusion: "It makes sense if you give it sense." She says, "I love this notion which exists in physics as well -- that the observer is the observed, and the observed is the observer. The tools and technologies begin to dictate what and how you see something, or how the outcome is predictable. These ideas bring back the kid in me, that very pure curiosity."

Greiman's piece challenged existing notions of what a magazine should be. Rather than the standard thirty-two-page sequence, she reformatted the piece as a poster that folded out to almost three by six feet. On the front is an image of Greiman's digitized, naked body amid layers of interacting images and text. On the back, colorful atmospheric spatial video images are interspersed with thoughtful comments and painstaking notations on the digital process -- a virtual landscape of text and image . . . .

"Does It Make Sense?" was also an astounding technical feat. The process of integrating digitized video images and bitmapped type was not unlike pulling teeth in the early days of Macintosh and MacDraw. The files were so large, and the equipment so slow that she would send the file to print when she left the studio in the evening and it would just be finished when she returned in the morning . . . Greiman didn't like the way her right breast looked. The reproduction process had flattened her and the light was strange. So, in what may well be the first MacDraw breast replacement; she cloned and flopped her left breast and placed it on the right side of her body.

Design Quarterly began as Everyday Art Quarterly, published by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis starting in 1946. The editorial focus aimed to bring modern design to the masses through thoughtful examination of household objects and their designers. Everyday Art Quarterly was a vocal proponent of the Good Design movement (as represented by MoMA and Chicago's Merchandise Mart) and spotlighted the best in industrial and handcrafted design. When the magazine became Design Quarterly in 1958, the editors assumed a more international flair in their selection of material to spotlight.

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