• Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Abbreviated design

    In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the full-service architectural, interior, and product design firm Via Design Inc., whose work appears throughout the city’s commercial and residential sectors—and their many sub-categories—has added a new brand to its identity.  Since its establishment in 1989, the firm, which is headquartered downtown, has continually added services to its repertoire, including sustainable design, furniture procurement and design, and an expansive in-house architecture and interior design library featuring samples and resources compiled from around the world. Recently Via Design’s service offerings have been joined by Abbreviated Design, an online home décor shop curated by the firm’s own professional designers.  “[The brand] still has the same themes as Via,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    Modern retrospective

    In December 2019, the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan unveiled three textile and craft-centric exhibitions that will run until March 2020 exploring how innovative people and teaching methods influenced design for generations. One of the exhibitions showcases the lifework of one of Detroit’s formative figures in interior and textile design. The exhibit, titled “Ruth Adler Schnee: Modern Designs for Living,” posits designer Ruth Adler Schnee’s prolific, influential, seven-decade career and pivotal—if underrepresented—role in design history in a bright and full account. “I think a lot of times her textiles are looked at in isolation and maybe that is what gets lost, is that she is most famous for her textile designs; and rightly…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Print Edition

    The Architects: Brian Barkwell, AIA

    In the past, architecture has been defined as a vocation, a field of both technical and creative study, and a conduit in which an individual can impact lives and leave a legacy. Yet, its potential to influence, create, inspire, disrupt, and include speaks to a larger import than a simple, concrete interpretation. Its significance is elusive, fluid, and subjective; as varied as the talented minds and hands practicing the craft in the region, building upon the existing built fabric and landscape.  In this continued series, Great Lakes By Design Magazine had an opportunity to learn more about some of the architects practicing in the Great Lakes region—and what drives them…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    TRETOW crafted

    In Milwaukee, TRETOW LLC is adding its own signature to design and fabrication in the area with its contemporary aesthetic and flexibly pragmatic design solutions.  Apart from an early appreciation for art and design, Ryan Tretow, designer and owner, credits a value for craft and a family familiarity of trade work for his path into both design and fabrication. His practice, which became a full-time endeavor in 2016, brings both services in-house to closely refine projects from start to finish, as well as offer a diverse range of turn-key design solutions to the Milwaukee market.  “I was always drawn to taking a project all the way from an idea to…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Healthful interiors

    The International Interior Design Association’s eighth annual IIDA Healthcare Design Awards continue to honor and celebrate the originality and excellence of current designs shaping interior healthcare spaces around the world.  Beside those based in the southern and eastern United States, this year’s winning firms and projects—announced in late September—also bring the Great Lakes region into the spotlight.  “With this annual competition, we witness the latest innovation and transformation within the healthcare design world,” said Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the IIDA, in a press release.  “This year, the winning projects focused on both function and overall end user well-being, offering elegant, creative…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Light and lake

    To the north of Frankfort, Michigan on the coast of Lake Michigan, Angela Goodall, owner at Kitchen Choreography LLC, had the opportunity to take creative control of interior spaces for a remodel project transforming a classic northern Michigan cottage into an elegantly orchestrated residence with some surprising design elements. The newly remodeled home, finished in July 2019, includes three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a loft overlooking its main living area, and a bonus suite over the garage.  The homeowners originally contacted the firm Heartwood Custom Builders Inc. and architect Robert Yvon for the remodel, and for the interiors Yvon recommended Goodall’s project-based design firm Kitchen Choreography, which the designer owns with…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    ADFF: Toronto

    “I always thought there was this intersection of architecture and film. It started for two reasons: one is that film is a great way to talk about architecture. There are ways you can see and feel the space in three dimensions. You can tell the backstory and the future story,” said Kyle Bergman, founder and director of the Architecture & Design Film Festival.  “[Second], it is a way to expand the dialogue. As artists we talk amongst ourselves all the time. It’s dynamic, but film is an opportunity to expand on who comes to the conversation,” Bergman added.  For its 11th season, the Architecture & Design Film Festival, or ADFF,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Precious bonds 

    There is something both timeless and romantic to the narrative of precious stones and metals. It is an industry that has transcended as its artisans and designers instill their skill and passion into every polished diamond and each finely wrought metal. There is a story to be told, one of nuanced characteristics that make each stone and metal unique, and of artistry as hands carefully weave beauty and delight into each finished piece of fine jewelry. It is expressive and emotive, in both its wearing and its crafting.  For Dana Rebecca Gordon, founder and jewelry designer of Dana Rebecca Designs in Chicago, Illinois, jewelry has an ability to connect with…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    Building Harley-Davidson

    For more than a century, the Harley-Davidson Motor Cycle Company, a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson Inc., has been an icon of American motorcycle design, both classic and innovative, with the company’s upcoming—and long-awaited—release of its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, being no exception. Harley-Davidson is also known as one of the only American motorcycle manufacturers still in existence from the industry’s formative decades, and the company’s current headquarters on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee is a testament to its longevity.  Construction on today’s iteration of the Juneau Avenue complex—originally the company’s factory—began in 1910, the same year Harley-Davison’s iconic bar and shield logo was first used. Recently, flat files containing a collection…