• 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…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Diversity in Design

    Earlier this month, Novità Communications, a New York-based media relations firm whose clients include the American Society of Interior Designers, the Architecture & Design Film Festival, and NeoCon, hosted a panel discussion called Diversity in Design: The Time For Change Is Now through its #DesignStandsTogether platform to address diversity issues within the architecture and design industry.   Led by panel moderator Joseph Cephas, senior vice president of Novità Communications, the panel discussed the role of design in social justice solutions as well the lack of diversity in the industry. Panelists for Diversity in Design included Angelita Scott, Ph.D., Allied ASID, IDEC, and assistant professor at Georgia Southern University; Maya Bird-Murphy,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Queries & Theories

    Often the term “climate change” is registered as a broad, looming development that impacts the environment on a global scale. Those active in the discussion of climate action, however, would counter that it encompasses everything from rising oceans and individual mentalities to local communities and cultural heritage sites.  As a forum for breaking into issues of climate change and the roles of climate action, the internationally renowned, full-service architectural and planning firm of Quinn Evans has launched a four-part webcast series called Queries & Theories. The series features thought leaders around the country in robust, 30-minute conversations centered on climate action and the continually evolving urban era in the context…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Light inspiration

    Artistic parallels are often drawn to architecture, building on a core function that began as a shelter building practice. It has offered opportunities for the creation of artistic and poetic alludes through structure, and modern materials—and their innovative evolution—have furthered the tradition when things such as acoustics or light are applied to a space.  What began as a poetic exploration of light, shadow, and space manipulation during a thesis project at the University of Michigan for Abhinand Lath, founder and president of Sensitile Systems in Ypsilanti, Michigan, resulted in a patented, groundbreaking architectural innovation. Since then, Sensitile Systems has become an award-winning, internationally recognized manufacturer of glass, resin, and terrazzo…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Navigating what’s next

    State leaders are in the process of lifting restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting businesses of all kinds to rework their strategies for physically inhabiting workspace, as quickly as they had to initially shutter their doors. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, workspace furnishing leader Steelcase Inc. and its family of brands—which include Coalesse, Turnstone, and Designtex, among others—started that strategizing process long ago and have been publishing guides and advice for reworking the workspace to reflect the unique new needs of employees and staff members returning to work. In the firm’s April edition of the guide Navigating What’s Next: The Post-COVID Workplace, it shares strategies that can help organizations navigate…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Historic drive

    In Harbor Springs, Michigan, an unassuming garage exterior holds a microcosm of active space within for a lifetime collection of automotive experience and memorabilia. Historic artifacts and refurbished cars from different eras in the automotive industry weave together a unique and personal account of its heritage. Inside, a lounge, office, curated showroom, garage, and workspace converge into a project that was as rewarding to complete as it was to design. In its surroundings, the approximately 5,000-square-foot garage is described as “urban camo” by its architect, Elaine Keiser, AIA, NCARB, of Elaine Keiser Architect Inc. in Petoskey Michigan. Keiser and her team have built a sweeping portfolio of retail and restaurant…