• 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…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Modern polish

    In Hudsonville, Michigan, the specialty proto-design shop at Banyan Tree Fabworks is known for creating custom furnishings out of unique historic machinery and vintage artifacts. From steel tables and wine racks supported by massive industrial gears, to woodworking jointers fashioned into sleek, modern desks; the firm’s entire portfolio represents the experimental nature of repurposing some of the 20th century’s most hard-working artifacts. To date, however, one of its prized works of experimental design success is a rounded bar made from a preserved 1955 Cadillac Series 62 sedan. “I think what makes this [project] unique is we really pushed the boundaries of what our capabilities are,” said Greg Davis, vice president…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Detroit Month of Design

    In 2015, Detroit was designated the first—and only—UNESCO City of Design in the United States. Since then, Design Core Detroit, the driving organization behind its designation, has been consistently developing efforts to nurture an even more vibrant and inclusive national and global design capital. Last year, the organization launched its Detroit City of Design Action Plan, which aims to position Detroit as a global leader in the practice of inclusive design. To honor the city’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design, the organization also transformed the annual, five-day, Detroit Design Festival into a month-long celebration of creativity for September 2019, deemed the Detroit Month of Design, or MoD. MoD…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Film, developing

    David Alexander, a Chicago-based freelance-one-stop-shop filmmaker and videographer, has a background in everything from architecture and music videos to documentaries. Alexander has captured numerous high-income residential properties in the Windy City, including spaces like Lake Point Tower—a high-rise that houses condominiums overlooking Navy Pier and the rest of the cityscape—among others. It was about 10 years ago when Alexander was working as a car salesman, part of an industrial rock band, and renting out rooms in his house, when his passion for filmmaking sparked when a tenant-and-friend happened to show him a college project. “I was doing fine at Mercedes for six years, but I was desperate to get out…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Orchestral light

    For architectural lighting designer Gwen Grossman, LC, IALD, and IES, lighting is the design element that can finish an entire experience. Within any setting, it can shape and highlight details, create cohesion, and even alter mood. This, combined with the collaborative nature of designing with light, makes the process similar to theatrical production, which is foundational in Grossman’s background with time spent designing theatrical lighting.  “What drives me is the collaboration and creating something with the architect and our team that provides a space—whether it’s for students or restaurants, or corporate interiors—with a total experience,” said Grossman, principal and founder of Gwen Grossman Lighting Design in Chicago, Illinois. Gwen Grossman…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Print Edition

    Sophy serenade

    In the early decades of the 1900s, Hyde Park, Chicago hospitality was illustrated by its hotels of grand, architectural statement. The Sherry, The Flamingo, The Shoreland, and Del Prado had reputations for not only welcoming local residents and visitors alike, but also for hosting renowned figures such as Duke Ellington, Amelia Earhart, Elvis Presley, Eleanor Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, and Yogi Berra to imbibe in the cultural, artistic, and intellectual tour-de-force social epicenter along the shores of Lake Michigan. It was—and remains—a South Side Chicago neighborhood whose soul is deeply rooted in diversity and a celebration for arts, music, literature, science, and knowledge. Its landscape is a rich fabric…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Purposeful rebuild

    Though the idea of sustainability is often associated with environmental impact, an organization in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood is adding social and economic sustainability to the circuit. Rebuilding Exchange is a nonprofit, social enterprise that strives to create value in its surrounding communities by repurposing discarded building materials—from architectural salvage down to plumbing fixtures—and responsibly developing Chicago’s underserved communities through education and job training opportunities. Rebuilding Exchange was founded in 2009 by Elise Zelechowski, current chairperson at Rebuilding Exchange and director of social impact at ThoughtWorks, in collaboration with the Delta Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to solving complex environmental issues in the region. What began as a small organization with the…