The architect, as an archetype, often brings to mind grand visions of their creations in the image of cathedral ceilings, towering skyscrapers that redefine skylines, engineering marvels of geometric form, and innovative compositions that transcend vernacular boundaries. Their role, at times, is considered both storied and elusive, but there is a vital and immediate value they bring as contributors to society that is reflected in the spaces that can inspire the heights of the human spirit.
It is in the details, in the everyday spaces where people live, learn, work, and play, and in the human element that evokes delight as one engages with place. It is in the libraries that serve as a vital community resource of knowledge and culture, the hospitals and wellness spaces that heal, the parks and greenspaces that nurture, the facilities that craft and innovate, the civic and cultural spaces that serve as catalysts of conversation, and the homes that capture personal narratives.
They often take on the challenge of designing a better future in which good design is accessible to all as they realize resilient, flexible, empowering, and high-performing sustainable spaces for their clients. And there is something aspirational about the idea of place in the built landscape, as each building has the potential to stand for, provide, and evoke something more, in which memory, ideals, stories, and beliefs are passed on in a medium of function and aesthetics.
In this 2022 edition, Great Lakes By Design Magazine once again had the opportunity to speak with a few of the practicing architects in the region to learn about their own story, their own journey, and the challenges and the opportunities that inspire them.
Kavitha Marudadu, AIA, LEED AP
DMAC Architecture & Interiors | Evanston, Illinois
For Kavitha Marudadu, AIA, LEED AP, architecture has a powerful potential to impact everyday life. It has the ability to shape experience and evoke emotion, and when the design considers a sensitivity to both context and the human element throughout the entire collaborative process and journey, it can result in meaningful spaces (Read more)…
Pamela Lamaster-Millett, AIA
Searl Lamaster Howe Architects | Chicago, Illinois
In the digital age of rapid technology advancement and immersive virtual landscapes, Pamela Lamaster-Millett, AIA, envisions a future in which the industry embraces architecture’s inherent permanence and continues to advocate for the importance of the tactile experience in physical spaces (Read more)…
Dan Iacovoni, RA
Cornerstone Architects Inc. | Grand Rapids, Michigan; Traverse City, MIchigan
Dan Iacovoni, RA, has an affinity for the technical side of architecture, where cantilevered steel designed in a specific manner can redefine what is possible and individual foundations integrated into floors and walls can mitigate sound vibration for performance spaces. It is in the details of a building that ensure its structural performance and resilience, and for Iacovoni, who has spent a majority of his more than 37-year-career in the architectural field managing projects, it is the construction administration phase he finds most rewarding throughout the collaborative and iterative design process (Read more)…
Ben Franceschi, AIA
Mathison | Mathison Architects | Grand Rapids, Michigan
To Ben Franceschi, AIA, architecture is a fundamental tool for making decisions that can impact the lives of those who inhabit designed spaces. It is in the details, the poetic moments, and appreciation of site that can lead to thoughtful solutions that inspire—and it is the social architectural element, or relationships, built throughout the process that often define a project (Read more)…
Joseph Filipelli, AIA
North House Architects | Grand Haven, Michigan
Buildings, like stories, often reflect the world in which they are built. It is in the thoughtful material and form, and the intentional organization of space and position in landscape that physical narratives are crafted, leaving behind symbols and record of the many who once used it—from public libraries and commercial corridors that speak to cultural norms, to hospitality venues and residential retreats that lend insight into social life. And for Joseph Filippelli, AIA (Read more)…
Shannon Easter White, AIA, NCARB
FUNchitecture LLC | Flint, Michigan
While considered simple in her own words, Shannon Easter White, owner and founding principal of FUNchitecture LLC of Flint, Michigan, is driven by an architectural philosophy that embraces an authenticity, a permanence, and an element of joy in both the process and the end result. Defined by a commitment to fun, it is a philosophy that goes beyond surface-level happiness to the depth and complexity inherent to human-centric design (Read more)…
First published in The Architects, Great Lakes By Design: Architectonics