• Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Sustainability Deep Dive

    As a shepherd of product ideas and designs for the human environment, the industrial design industry has a huge impact on the climate crisis and outstretched waste statistics around the world. To unpack this reality and connect through solutions, the Industrial Designers Society of America, or IDSA, kicked off its inaugural Sustainability Deep Dive conference last year, which tackled the complexity of imbuing the product lifecycle with sustainable processes, strategies, and experiences. This month, the conference made its second annual trek across current themes and innovations in industrial design and sustainability, and the resulting programming was a rich exploration of concrete solutions, wonderous and science-backed products, hopeful-but-firm calls to action,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    Work of Art

    In its location just outside central Minneapolis, the Walker Art Center stands as a storied architectural fixture with a contemporary pulse on national and international arts and design across eras and disciplines, from architecture, visual, and performing, to media arts. Its famous design by Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1971 and modern steel-clad addition designed by Herzog & de Meuron—plus a more recent addition by Minneapolis-based design firm HGA—are joined with the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to form a 17-acre campus that hosts millions of visitors per year. In the summer, this groundbreaking work of architecture’s rooftop is also the site for ten distinctive, artist-designed holes of mini golf. At Skyline…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Design Corner: Eucalyptus

    Earlier this spring, Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, Michigan released one of its latest handcrafted tile additions: the 4-by-12-inch Eucalyptus art tile, which depicts the gentle draping and verdant growth of Eucalyptus trees in the Pacific Northwest. Motawi, an eclectic art and installation tile crafter, is known for its intricate, handmade tiles inspired by painters, illustrators, lithographers, and designers, from Frank Lloyd Wright and Charley Harper to the letterpress and block printer Yoshiko Yamamoto, whose prolific work in the Arts and Crafts style inspired the addition of Eucalyptus. “Arts and Crafts is a favorite style of mine, and Yoshiko Yamamoto’s designs capture that aesthetic beautifully and intriguingly,” said Nawal Motawi,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Empathy in industry

    A reusable epinephrine auto-injector; a minimalist household composter; an eco-friendly and contemporary ceramic and glass toaster: there’s no lack of innovation within University of Cincinnati alum Mary Friedl’s expanding portfolio. The industrial designer graduated from the university’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning last May 2020 and promptly won a competition for designing an eco-friendly toaster as a part of the Industrial Designers Society of America’s Sustainability Deep Dive 2020 conference. With an overarching goal for creating empathetic and impactful design work, Friedl has delved into design research and work that promotes health and sustainability, whether through products purposed for medical environments or those of which simply bring people…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    From the clay

    Inspired by her experience working in agriculture, Carrie Hause, owner and artist of Held Ceramics in southeastern Michigan, shapes uniquely textured pottery reflective of the natural world. Her work is also informed by a pottery educational background from Pewabic Pottery, a working pottery and National Historic Landmark pottery founded in Detroit in 1903, and its ceramic arts classes; and from Oakland Community College courses in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It is this combination of ceramic education and agricultural work that has led Hause to cultivate a small business driven by functional works of art that nurture plant life. “I like to use some unique surface textures. All my work is plant-focused…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    Momentum in medium

    Uplifting, multi-modal, and expressing hope amid challenging times, the exhibition “Illuminate” by Springboard Arts Chicago—one of Wicker Park’s latest arts tenants—brought a timely curation of fresh artworks to the gallery’s opening in November 2020 through February 2021. This spring, the gallery has built off its inaugural exhibition with a new exhibit, “Momentum,” which embraces the challenges that “Illuminate” brought to light, using them as a catalyst of change and for fueling forward motion. “We had to keep moving forward. We’re in a time in our world when there are lots of walls put up; we’re stopped sometimes, because COVID is stopping us and all sorts of things that we would…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    NeoCon designs anew

    Beginning this month, the world’s leading expo for the commercial interiors industry, NeoCon, will convert the major disruptions of this past year into a robust virtual spring and summer programming series leading up to the expo’s physical return to theMART in Chicago from October 4th through 6th, 2021. The online programming series will begin March 24th and run through the physical event in October, centering on the increasingly relevant theme of “Designing Anew.” Besides offering the NeoCon community opportunities to remotely dip into an array of live sessions, expanded virtual modules, and topical events, NeoCon’s virtual prelude seeks to connect design professionals and enthusiasts with invaluable education, networking opportunities, and…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Exploration in organic

    Elegantly minimal and a composition of precise and savory intersection of wood and metal, the growing, ready-made collection within the Edgework Creative furniture portfolio are versatile and accessible in nature. The creative fabrication studio based in Columbus, Ohio, embraces a mission to make quality, handcrafted furniture a part of everyday life, bringing functional and beautiful furnishings to modern residential and commercial modalities. Using their fabrication abilities in millwork and woodwork, the team has built a portfolio tackling complex custom projects for clients and have since expanded their work into a ready-made collection more than 20-pieces-strong, which ranges from contemporary, but multi-styled, dining tables; to seating, desks, and accent pieces like…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    A Designed Life

    Creative, persuasive, stimulating, and versatile; design and its many sub-fields have long been applied to large-scale world issues in politics, economics, and culture. The 20th century is rich in examples of design’s influence in the shaping and the response of relevant world events, from the economical office building boom that helped spur the International Style, to the ideological and aesthetic movement of Midcentury Modernism that traversed seas—from Le Corbusier to the Eames—to popularize in the United States with its functional post-war sensibilities. One of these relevant moments of globally responsive design, however, has often been left out of the American midcentury design lexicon. In the early 1950s, in an attempt…