• Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Invisible, by design

    Though the portfolio of the design-driven, multidisciplinary firm of M1DTW Architects in Detroit, Michigan reflects a distinct breadth of commissioned works from the design of objects, artifacts, identities, and spaces, there is a commonality to the principles and tenets woven throughout each project. There is a sensitivity to resource and material, an intentionality to use and reuse, and a drive to push the boundaries of its creative practice to ultimately deliver spaces, objects, and materials that are nuanced, minimalist, and dynamic. “We think a lot about the role that design can play in people’s lives. I think while it is front-of-mind for me and it is the thing we work…

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    In contemporary-modern exhibition

    In a renovated, bowstring truss building in Skokie, Illinois, a joint venture between (northern) Western Exhibitions and WHO Modern officially opened its doors this past weekend to celebrate the launch of its shared space featuring contemporary art, midcentury modern design, vintage furniture, and decorative objects. The opening event, which took place on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, celebrated the work of Geoffrey Todd Smith, a Chicago-based artist, and marked the debut of a new community destination initially envisioned by long-time Skokie-resident, Zach Williams, collector and building owner. The creative brainchild of Williams, the space brings together iconic designs and contemporary artwork by artists from Western Exhibitions’ 20-year-long history, and is backed…

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    Design language

    In the renovation of this Lincoln Park House in Chicago, Illinois, the intentional composition of light, texture, and material is an ode to the contemporary, where understated elegance and playful undertones breathe character and life in a series of curated moments. It reflects a design language distinctive to its homeowners, defining lifestyle and taste, while highlighting existing interior architectural vernacular in respectful homage. The original three-story skylight and refinished maple wood floors speak to the home’s identity, while custom-designed details like the fireplace, new wine room, and rich accents, wallcoverings, and patterns tell a new narrative. To reimagine the roughly 4,400-square-foot, four-story space, the homeowners looked to the design expertise…

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    Work culture designed

    For more than 30 years, Farmington Hills, Michigan-based design firm Davis & Davis has been transforming interior spaces with a foundational belief in the compelling and persuasive power of design. Since its founding by Michelle Davis and Howard Davis in 1990, the firm has refined its portfolio and design process by engaging clients in their own design programming, taking care to emphasize the unique narratives of each client, no matter their industrial identity. “This results in innovative space planning, optimized function, and an enhanced team experience that gives employees a sense of ownership and autonomy, while also supporting collaboration, innovation, and productivity,” said Michelle Davis, principal and design director of…

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    Rustic-modern retreat

    Overlooking Long Lake in Traverse City, Michigan, a home originally built in the mid-1990s was recently transformed into a rustic-modern, home-away-from-home for a couple and their growing family, a remodel designed by New Leaf Interiors of Traverse City. An interior design studio founded in 2010 by Gretchen Knoblock, owner and design director, New Leaf Interiors works toward helping clients realize their dream spaces, utilizing in-house capabilities such as kitchen and bath cabinetry selections, an array of finish options, and many furniture and home accessories lines. The firm’s services also include space planning assistance and visual representation of a client’s vision through sketches, the creation of concept boards, CAD drawings, and…

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    Chicago celebrates DESIGNNIGHT 2022

    AIA Chicago, the second largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, kicked off its new DESIGNNIGHT 2022 on September 12th, 2022 in Chicago’s famed Millennium Park at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The night comprised a free public awards event and overall celebration honoring the numerous design achievements of Chicago’s diverse and internationally renowned architectural community. Included in the celebration were the inaugural Lerch Bates People’s Choice Award—presented in collaboration with the Chicago Architecture Center—the AIA Chicago Lifetime Achievement Award, the chapter’s new Decarbonization Award, the Roberta Feldman Architecture for Social Justice Award, and the Design Excellence Awards, which were restructured to recognize projects of all scales, from small- to…

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    LoveITDetroit

    In 2015, Detroit’s creative potential was recognized on an international stage with its designation as a UNESCO City of Design. It is a designation that not only recognizes a long history and legacy of creativity and innovation, but also a forward-thinking vision championing design-driven businesses and their role as a cultural, social, and economic catalyst in a larger regional and global community. Design Core Detroit, the steward of that initiative, has outlined strategies to activate and develop Detroit as global leader in inclusive design, celebrating its community of designers across industry sectors, and sharing a larger story of the significance of and the accessibility of design. For years, Design Core…

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    The boardwalk connection

    “I look at design as a creation of how humans interpret the natural world. I think there is this connection between the natural world and the built environment, and it is up to us—those in the design field—to interpret what that is, and to create our own values on how we intersect the natural world and the built environment,” said Ernest C. Wong, PLA, FASLA, APA, founding principal and president of site design group, ltd. “I think the general public takes design for granted. They go to places—the parks we design—and say ‘oh, it was just here.’ Nobody really thinks about the effort it takes to design this space. They…

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    Next to Lead

    One of 17 ethnically diverse women selected to participate in the American Institute of Architects’, or AIA’s, leadership pilot program called Next to Lead, Ellie Ziaie, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, senior associate and architectural designer at BKV Group practicing in the Minneapolis region, has a proven history of leadership throughout her design career. Ziaie’s interest in architecture grew from the realization that at a young age, she exceled at math and sciences and was also drawn to art, fashion, and interior design. Having considered a spectrum of future career choices—including engineering, architecture, and interiors—Ziaie noted where she landed combines those passions, ultimately being the perfect match for her. “The…