• Creative Endeavors

    Designing hope

    Behind the initial design process, is a purpose; and even desire in its truest form. It involves configuring objects and materials into solutions, which can result in potentially life-changing outcomes. When Lauren Liebler, an engineering and Computer Aided Design, or CAD, instructor at Petoskey High School in Petoskey, Michigan introduced a new project to her Career and Technical Education Drafting class in November, the goal was to achieve a previously unreachable solution to assist Stella Malpass, a six-year-old elementary student at Petoskey Sheridan Elementary, in her daily life. Born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, or AMC, which is a musculoskeletal disease affecting joint movement; Malpass experiences difficulties when dressing. After years…

  • Featured,  Form

    Naturally nautical

    Among the many unique—and sometimes unexpected—happenings associated with homebuilding, one of the most intriguing can be a finished home’s likeness to those who caringly coax it into existence. A lakeside project finished in Bridgeman, Michigan by the residential restoration, renovation, and new construction firm known as Mark Scott Homes enveloped the personality of one homeowner as a serene and hospitable gathering place set atop a Lake Michigan dune. “The unique thing about our portfolio is that there are really no two houses that are alike. We have a wide variety of styles,” said Jason Fischer, project designer at Mark Scott Homes in Niles, Michigan. “The personalities of the homes usually…

  • Design Spotlight

    Commerce Design: Detroit

    The inaugural competition announces 10 winning projects in a celebration of design and highlight of innovation in business across the city’s neighborhoods. Text: R.J. Weick   Design Core Detroit, a non-profit organization championing design-driven businesses, and AIA Detroit officially announced the 10 winning projects of the inaugural Commerce Design: Detroit competition during a special ceremony held Oct. 25, 2018 at the Garden Theatre on Woodward in Midtown. The competition not only recognizes brick-and-mortar commercial projects submitted jointly by business owner and design team, but also celebrates entrepreneurism and the value of design throughout the City of Detroit, Highland Park, and Hamtramck neighborhoods in the last five years. Of the 37…

  • Creative Endeavors

    The appliance factor

    Text: R. Collins For many, the west Michigan region has become known for its craft beer retailers, music venues, and art festivals; and while it can often leave some other industries overlooked, there is an award-winning, high-end appliance and electronics retailer making a name for itself—and for the area. Bekins, the Grand Haven-based certified member of the Custom Electronics Design & Integration Association, has not only expanded with a showroom location in Grand Rapids and facility in Coopersville, but also has become known throughout its 42-year-history as one of the places homeowners can go for a well-rounded appliance and electronic purchasing experience. President and Owner Scott Bekins of Bekins and…

  • Form

    Treasuring Rosewood

    By: R. Collins   When time takes its toll on natural landscapes and their existing ecosystems, there are innovative techniques available with the ability to slow the process using materials that blend into the background. For the Park District of Highland Park in Chicago, there was a vision to save a landscape in such danger of being lost: Rosewood Beach. Newly renovated in 2015, Rosewood Beach—once a rugged and eroding segment of the Lake Michigan shoreline—has already won multiple accolades for the success of its rebirth, such as the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association 2016 Best Restored Beach award, and the 2016 Chicago Building Congress Merit Award. The beach…

  • Form

    Considering the sun

    By R. Collins moss Design takes a holistic approach to its diverse projects and its design studio. Some designers pursue the art of design to follow in the footsteps of those who have come before them. Others enter the industry so they can do things their own way, which is the case for Matt Nardella, AIA, LEED-AP, of moss Design studio in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, who created the full-service architecture and design studio to integrate his own design process into the continued building of the city. Come the recession in 2008, Nardella took the restricted job market as a much-needed opportunity to work for himself. After hiring a…

  • Travel

    Guarding an icon

    Text: R. Collins When vacationing on the sunny shores of Lake Michigan, visitors can sometimes forget how essential historic buildings are to the makeup of northern Michigan, such as the Point Betsie Lighthouse. Resting on a dune-laden stretch of Lake Michigan’s shoreline, the classic figurehead is located just south of the Manitou Passage. To those wearily navigating the waters of Lake Michigan after dark in the early 1900s, Point Betsie was often a symbol of relief and the conclusion of a difficult journey. Now it is a symbol of historic preservation and timelessness. To those who have made restoring Point Betsie their passion, a respect for its previous crews and…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Print Edition

    American hardwood

    Text: R. Collins At the custom wood working studio known as Cento Anni, design, engineering, and manufacturing principles work in unison to create an efficient work process delivering elegant custom designed products. The studio often works with reclaimed hardwood items to make new products, which is mirrored in the studio itself. The Holland, Michigan facility had originally been uninhabited for 15 years before it was also reclaimed by its co-owners. Original text: R.J. Weick in Great Lakes By Design, volume 1, issue 1. Photos courtesy: Cento Anni    

  • Creative Endeavors

    Custom-built sound

    Text: R. Collins Photography: David DeHaan/Furry Mic Media Grand Rapids, Michigan can be a relatively quiet city. Usually, it is equal parts work, play, and windy weather; but on the morning of Saturday, May 20 the uncharacteristic chorus of gusty engine growls introduced Grand Rapids to a unique collection of high-end, performance, and exotic cars fit for Las Vegas. Outside the well-known Downtown Market, an eclectic mix of vehicles and their owners gathered under a shaded pavilion for visitors to meet. Cars and Coffee Grand Rapids was founded in 2015 by co-founder Andy Siradakis, a Specialty Equipment Market Association and International Show Car Association member. Siradakis, who is an award-winning designer…