Special Edition of the Aspen Times (1971)

The Special Edition of Aspen Times was produced with the intent of creating a participatory record of the 1971 iteration of the International Design Conference in Aspen. Blank modules upon which participants could respond to events were placed in conference packets and distributed. The results collected, then printed on the Aspen Times offset press, were made available at the end of the week. The project was designed by Sheila de Bretteville.

The text is placed into skewed columns – corresponding to the diagonal templates distributed at the conference – across the newsprint page. The body is organized by days (Sunday to Thursday), a section on Design Games, Film, and Miscellaneous. This brief delineation belies the document’s more chaotic principle and attempt to channel non-hierarchical open processes. Text is oriented in multiple viewing positions and one may need to uncomfortably tilt one’s head or awkwardly turn the page one-hundred and eighty degrees to address the different positions. Mostly handwritten (reproduced through the offset press process) at times words may indeed be strenuous to decipher. Furthermore, content and tone of the reflections vary as much as the impressions left by the hand. The everyday of IDCA 1971 is represented as this accumulation of multiple voices flirting with dissonance.