A. Garrard Macleod’s Talk at the Fourth International Design Conference


The International Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado was started in 1951 by a Chicago executive, head of the Continental Container Corporation of America, Walter Paepcke and his wife Elizabeth. Paepcke’s idea was to found a conference where leaders in design could freely discuss design philosophy in practical and theoretical terms, for the good of humanity. Will Burtin, an internationally acclaimed designer, was in charge of the programs for the conference for several years.  In 1954, Dr. A. Garrard Macleod was invited by Will Burtin to participate in the panel presentation on “How Can We Improve Communications with Our Fellow Man?”.  The theme of the conference was “Planning the Basics of Design”.  The session took place on Friday June 25, 1954.  Other speakers in the session included Jack Roberts and Ted Parmalee (not included in the recordings below).

A. Garrard Macleod and Will Burtin worked together for many years, first on Upjohn’s medical publication, Scope, and then on the spectacular exhibits, The Cell, The Brain, The Chromosomal Puff, and some others.   A. Garrard Macleod was the medical and editorial adviser on these projects, Burtin the designer. At the time of the Aspen panel presentation,  A. Garrard Macleod was still editor of Scope, which Upjohn published through 1957; the exhibit phase of his work for Upjohn was still to come. I think that the 1954 conference was in the spring or summer. I remember mother (who accompanied father to the conference) telling of the fun she and father had during some conference down time of riding up and down on the Aspen ski lift–spectacular views of the mountains and valleys!  I don’t know anything about Jack Roberts; but Ted Parmalee was one of the partners who started UPA cartoons, including Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoingBoing; they also did some delightful cartoons for an interesting 1950s-era black and white film starring Rex Harrison and his then wife, Lily Palmer called “The Four Poster.” (Notes and recording from Garrard Davis Macleod)

Jack Gauntlett (l), Will Burtin (c), A. Garrard Macleod (r)

Jack Gauntlett (l), Will Burtin (c), A. Garrard Macleod (r)


A. Garrard Macleod and Margaret Macleod

A. Garrard Macleod and Margaret Macleod












Below is the recording of A. Garrard Macleod’s talk with an introduction by Will Burtin:



Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

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