• Creative Endeavors

    SmithGroup designs its future

    Text: R. Collins SmithGroup, a 165-year-old integrated design group formerly known as SmithGroupJJR, announced this week Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2018 it has realigned the firm’s vision to design a better future. The vehicles of the rebranding initiative comprise a simplified name, the introduction of a stylish and efficient new website, and four key goals designed to catalyze the success of its new mission.  “Today we commence the greatest journey our firm has yet undertaken. Our promise is to Design A Better Future for ourselves, for our clients, for our communities, and for the world,” said Mike Medici, president and managing partner at SmithGroup, in the press release. SmithGroup’s four key…

  • Form,  Residential

    Design for Sale: East Jordan, Michigan

      Text: R. Collins Upon elevated, rolling, and Colorado-like terrain, there is an East Jordan, Michigan tract of land, residential structure, and other on-site features that has been listed with Pat O’Brien and Associates Real Estate. The Boyne City- and Charlevoix-based firm is a northern Michigan real estate brokerage dedicated to providing both home buyers and sellers with the resources needed to make informed real estate decisions.  The firm specializes in north and northwest Michigan properties such as that in East Jordan, which is an almost entirely wooded, 718-acre tract of natural landscape with mature hardwood groves and two hunting cabins for year-to-year rental. Shading the property are a bounty…

  • Commercial,  Form

    Experiential luxury

    By: R.J. Weick Buick, the international modern luxury brand of Detroit-based General Motors Co., partnered with Van Dam Custom Boats, a designer and builder of fine wooden boats in Boyne City, Michigan to deliver an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience and lakeside excursion to Boyne City and Walloon Lake on July 17, 2018 through July 19, 2018.  The event, which embodied Buick’s Avenir sub-brand’s definition of experiential luxury, not only highlighted the artistry and advanced technology in the design process behind making the Buick Avenir vehicle line, but also featured the craftsmanship in molding functionality, performance, and beauty in each handcrafted vessel throughout Van Dam Custom Boats’ more than 40-year-legacy.  Set against…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Legacy in design

    Text: R.Collins  As a testament to easy-going summers and northern Michigan’s distinctive natural elements, Architect Ken Richmond, AIA, composed a modern-day wood cabin perched on one of Lake Michigan’s scenic bluffs for a family positioned in Chicago full-time. The three-story home was affectionately named Good Heart Lodge after its location in the Michigan town, Good Heart, and it connects the family to its roots as the third generation to make the area a vacation residence.   “It’s an extension of the old family compound,” Richmond said. “It’s on a really spectacular site, up [on the bluff] overlooking the world.”  Richmond’s full-service architectural and planning firm—Ken Richmond, Architect—also partnered with Scott…

  • Print Edition

    Great Lakes By Design: The Acoustics

    Design Corner The Runwell Turntable Shinola’s sleek machine of aluminum, steel, and wood celebrating pure sound Square One a new solution in space division for the workplace delivered by Indiana Furniture The Maker Project: Maker A Versteel’s Maker A frames bring a strong, intuitive addition to its existing The Maker Project series Cosm the new ergonomic task chair by Herman Miller with a flexible contour Ambienta Sagegreenlife’s multi-functional, modern table lamp integrating plant life The Fulton Rocker HBF’s smart, savvy designed chair celebrating comfort and timeless style Steelcase Showroom the award-winning, newly expanded and redesigned showroom recognized for its innovative solutions for the workplace Design Spotlight Ephemeral element a Chicago-based acoustics consulting firm brings its signature…

  • Form

    Profile: Angela Goodall

    Text: R.Collins Since 2003, Angela and Mike Goodall have been transforming Traverse City-area home and retail spaces into strategically and aesthetically designed environments through their remodeling and interior design firm, Kitchen Choreography. Though the firm has completed more than 800 projects and has established strong relationships with architects, building firms, and many home owners throughout Michigan, Kitchen Choreography was originally established at a time of uncertainty. “I actually studied mathematics in college but I’ve always had a strong culinary and entertainment background,” said Angela Goodall, designer and co-founder of Kitchen Choreography. When the couple bought a house built in the 1890s in Traverse City, Michigan she found her passion for…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Re-envisioning Benzie

    Text: Kyle Gandy The Benzie County Visitors Bureau, or CVB, specializing in tourism and hospitality marketing in northwestern Michigan off the coast of Lake Michigan is revitalizing their brand with the launch of Make it Benzie. With the help from Greenlight Marketing based in Traverse City, Michigan, the organization continues to work on redesigning their name, logo, photos, videos, and other multimedia to support their mission of drawing visitors to the area and communicating the experience of Benzie County.  To convey a story, whether through a logo or billboard, there is a level of intention and thought needed for the respected medium to accurately communicate the intended message to its…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Arbor reborn

    Text: R.Collins  In the early 2000s, when the invasive Emerald Ash Borer beetle sparked an epidemic in southeastern Michigan, many trees native to the region had to be cut down and replaced. Then, about five years ago, Jenny Barger, co-founder and director of sales and marketing at Live Edge Detroit, received a coffee table composed of ash wood and beautifully exposed Emerald Ash Borer etchings from her brother Joe Barger.  The table sparked a business idea that would bring a new supply of natural materials to Detroit’s do-it-yourself and sustainable design scenes, and shortly thereafter, Live Edge Detroit was born. With support from their father, Mike Barger, who is a…

  • Form

    Outdoor oasis

    By Kyle Gandy The summer heat is an old acquaintance with residents of the Midwest; the abundance of lakes restores a balance, yet not everyone is fortunate enough to live directly near a body of water. Retractable Solutions Inc., located in Lansing Michigan, however, believes their customers can feel as if they are on vacation in their own backyard.  “From my experience, customers want their outdoor living space to seamlessly extenuate the back of their home. Our slogan is ‘blending indoors now’ so you can flow out your patio doors or your glass wall and get to your porch,” said Jeff Nash, owner of Retractable Solutions. “I think more people…