NESHAN, The Iranian Graphic Design Magazine

Member of International Council of Design ico-D

English | فارسی

Neshan 27

Face to Face

Made in Space; An Interview with April Greiman

Majid Abbasi

What was your first experiences on design from early years of the digital age?
I was working first in video early 80s and then went onto using video ‘paintboxes’ (used by the broadcast industry) to begin to explore new imagery and new media. It was easy to move into using Macintosh 128K then in 1984 because I was a bit fluent with computers for design.

Which projects have you designed with your Mac?
The only professional works published were two posters for “Lacia Museum Fashion Show” and “Society of typographic Arts” plus Design Quarterly Magazine for the Walker Art Center on my 512k Mac.

Please tell me about your role as a guest designer for “Design Quarterly”?
This opportunity is perhaps one of the two most important for me. Mildred (Mickey) Friedman, curator of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis invited me to do an entire Design Quarterly issue on my work. Rather than make a magazine of my previously published projects, a sort of retrospective, I chose to tackle something new technologically as well as conceptually- integrating a ‘personal’ agenda as an artist with a graphic design format.
Using my professional video equipment and new software and hardware from Apple I composed a full-sized portrait of myself and handed off to the printer a stack of dot-matrix printed paper with a low resolution, 512k image. It was both terrifying and exhilarating. Learning something new in technology and exposing myself personally to demonstrate a transmedia idea.

How did your graduation from the Basel School of Design support you ideas in design? What was Wolfgang Weingart’s role in your education years?
My very special training of ‘eye and hand’ in the Basel school enhanced both my intuitive sensibilities in tandem with my skillset and discipline. Weingart and his youthfulness, encouragement, and playfulness at that time were the perfect medicine in a rigid environment.

What is “Does it make sense?” tell us?
Struggling as an artist in a designers world and being heavily criticized for this I wrestled with what made sense. In my readings of a journal from architect Ludwig Wittgenstein I found an interesting and personally satisfying, relevant quote- if you give it a sense it makes sense.
I think that the artist/designer always brings ones own agenda to the work or project at hand. Part of my quest was asking myself- what makes sense.

Why we know April Greiman as “Trans-media Artist” rather than graphic artist?
Because it is factual! I have been working in various media for a long time; video, photography,graphic design, environmental, three dimensional, and fine art. A good idea programmed out over various media in time and in space!

You showed your photography experiences for 20 years in 2006. Please tell us more about its concept “Drive-by Shooting”.
The goal was, and remains, to change ones perception about what we perceive while in motion, in time using new technology. There are many surprising to me transformations and phenomena that emerge while shooting while in motion.

“Made in Space” - your design studio’s name - somehow illustrate your way of thinking in design. Where does your 3D ideas come from?
I have always seen everything as an ‘object in space’ from the days in Basel. SO the spatial metaphor has always been at the fore of my thinking and seeing. I also wanted to be an architect (in high school) and always saw the world, even 2-d as spatial.

For decades, you were working on large scale of architectural and environmental design projects. Why do you prefer this more than graphic design?
I often am intrigued by having a concept and then changing it with scale and material.

How does light become volume for you?
If  you look at the images from “Drive by Shooting”, you will see a perceptual, and even a transformation from energy into light and then transformed into pixels. I don’t have a scientific answer for this, as I am not a scientist!  One has to look at the individual images in the series.

Would you please tell us more about your ideas about creating your own spa and retreat, “Miracle Manor” in heart of desert?
It is kind of design using environment as a medium for retreat and of course enjoy.
From the beginning, we designed Miracle Manor to be a truly unique experience.
Not quite a traditional retreat center, not precisely a spa, it resides between the two, offering visitors a placid, self-directed journey to relaxation.
Our main criteria for the renovation and addition to the Manor has been, from the beginning, that the ‘design be transparent to the experience:’ a place where everything our visitors experience, from the temperature of the water to the quality of light filtering through the windows, was designed to soothe and inspire.
Whether you’re an executive or an artist, escaping the city and experiencing a new milieu is crucial to personal and professional development.

Finally, what is the design for environment?
no good answers to above.

Majid Abbasi

is design director of Studio Abbasi active in the international community, based in Tehran and Toronto. He leads a variety of design projects for start-ups, non-profits and educational organizations worldwide. Majid actively contributes to the international design scene as an instructor, jury member, curator and writer. He has been editor-in-chief of Neshan, the leading Iranian graphic design magazine since 2010. Majid has been members of Iranian Graphic Designers Society (IGDS) since 1998 and Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) since 2009.

Design, Graphics and Environment

Majid Abbasi

> more


Visual And Verbal Homogenization

Reudi Baur

> more

Iranian Contemporary Design


Ali Afsarpour

> more


Re-perceiving Urban Space Undergoing Change

Pegah Ahmadi

> more


Royal Express

Iman Raad

> more

Design Today-1

Dark Matters; Welcome to Our Universe

Kambiz Shafei

> more

Design Today-2

Space, Form, and Content/ Project Projects Studio

Behrouz Hariri

> more


Bruno K. Wiese - Visual ideas

Jens Mueller

> more


Alexander Rodchenko "The future is our one and only goal"

Olga Severina

> more


In-Between Color, Sound and Space

Pouya Ahmadi

> more