• Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Accessibility in design

    For the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Sunday, July 26, 2020 marked its 30th anniversary. It is an exemplary piece of legislation that continues to strengthen and evolve in field, from architecture and interior design to public policy. In the design industry alone, the introduction of the ADA 30 years ago resulted in standard changes for newly built public spaces, ultimately increasing accessibility in the sense that people with disabilities were specifically considered throughout the process.  Before the law was passed, design elements in public spaces often considered common today—such as lever door handles instead of circular knobs, wide hallways, extended restrooms, and ramps—were not required.  “There are so…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Contribution in landscape

    Since its founding in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects has been in place to advance landscape architecture in areas like sustainability, education, and advocacy. Each year, the society inducts several fellows to further this mission, as awardees are chosen based on their exceptional contributions to landscape architecture.  This year, Brenda Williams, PLA, ASLA, NOMA, principal and director of preservation planning at Quinn Evans in Madison, Wisconsin, was nominated by the Wisconsin chapter of the ASLA for the ASLA 2020 Class of Fellows, one of 19 designers chosen throughout the United States. Williams is recognized as a national leader in the field, specifically in the conservation of cultural and…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Crafted collection

    Room & Board, the iconic Minneapolis-based furnishings designer, throughout the years has pulled inspiration from revived design movements like Arts and Crafts, and Shaker styles as it creates furniture with tried-and-true design principles reinterpreted for modern living, as well as commercial markets.  Its residential offerings range from mattresses and ottomans to wall clocks and chandeliers, and they also contain conscientious initiatives like The Urban Wood Project—a partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, that sources urban harvested, reclaimed wood—and a general preference for working with small artisanal and business outfits to bring designs to life. The firm also has a branch dedicated to commercial interior furnishings, called…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Upcycle and silk

    With millions of tons of textiles being produced around the world each year—and a similar amount ending up in landfills, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency—fashion labels and industry entrants have become increasingly creative with what would be considered their “waste” fabric, though countless practices would need to be reversed to create a sustainable industry. For one Toronto-based fashion brand, a comprehensive investment in the sustainable fashion movement manifests in garments crafted from one sustainable, often overlooked material: traditional South Asian saris.  When Priya Mohan founded the brand sariKNOTsari, it was in the wake of a rich period working in the Canadian antiques market and sourcing items for…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Connection point

    Discovery, expression, and connection: they are concepts that define the role resource centers can play at both the local community and international level. Resources, regardless of type—natural, physical, human, or speculative—by definition are assets to be drawn upon for functional needs, and the spaces built around them, in support or in preservation, offer a place of collaboration, education, and experience.  From the literary temples of poetic, philosophic, and historical work—and the modern library that has evolved from it to meet ever-evolving needs of communities—and the more intangible boundaries that house the ecological conservation of parks and oceans, to the places that house the creative work of industry, resource centers, like…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Artful tile

    Since its founding in 1992, Ann Arbor, Michigan-based firm Motawi Tileworks has been redefining the role of tile installations in residential and commercial spaces with its artful, handcrafted tile designs. Depictions of a snowscape at dawn, Amaryllis in bloom, and indigo tulip buds are only some of the designs offered through its extensive art tile collection, which is also highly influenced by Mid-Century artistic figures like Frank Lloyd Wright and the illustrator and conservationist Charley Harper. It is also an installation tile collection that includes intricate relief tiles, moldings, and liners.  Late June 2020, Motawi Tileworks released two new vibrant art tiles inspired by Charley Harper and the studio’s existing,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Biophilic design, in study

    In June 2020, Stantec, a global design firm, publicly released the results of a biophilic design research study aimed at identifying the correlation between individual workplace performance and holistic wellbeing conducted through the Healthy Building Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. While the concept of biophilic design has been studied in the healthcare setting, this particular study—sponsored by Stantec’s Creativity & Innovation program—identified some interesting tenets about human health and the body’s response to biophilic design in terms of healing and healing rates in a workplace that requires employees to be creative and innovative.  “We, as an organization, have built our design ethos around the platform…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Preservation by design

    Detroit’s architectural fabric is rich with unique historical structures—some recognizable, others more discreet—that have continually been re-purposed for the modern-day city. They also double as keenly protected sites for historic conservationists, one of which was recently recognized by both the Michigan chapter of the AIA and Michigan Historic Preservation Network for its sensitive design and rehabilitation of two historic buildings located in Detroit’s Corktown and the Greektown neighborhood areas. The firm, McIntosh Poris Associates, is an integral full-service architecture and design force for historic building preservation in Detroit and other areas of service. Since its founding in 1994, McIntosh Poris Associates, based in Birmingham, Michigan, has garnered more than 100…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Color forecast

    As part of NeoConnect’s summer exhibition series, the platform recently hosted an informative presentation on the latest developments affecting changing, global society’s color consumption on June 24, 2020. The presentation, “2021 CMG World Color Forecast: From Beyond the Telescope to Under the Microscope,” was hosted by NeoConnect, presented by the Design Center by theMART, and moderated by two professionals from the Color Marketing Group, or CMG. The not-for-profit international association is designed for and by color design professionals and aims to create accurate and relevant color and trend forecast information through an interconnected global network of members.  Peggy Van Allen, president at CMG and a designer and Color Anthropologist with…