• Creative Endeavors

    Rebuilding a brand 

    Text: R.J. Weick In celebration of its 45th anniversary milestone in 2017, Birchwood Construction Company invested in an extensive re-branding initiative to update the company’s logo and communication to accurately reflect its values and dedication to a relationship-based approach to the homebuilding process. The refreshed brand, which was unveiled and announced early 2018, not only incorporates a new crest-shaped logo inspired by the company’s emphasis on family and longevity—reminiscent of the heraldic coat of arms of old—but also a tagline and ongoing messaging that taps into the core of what drives the Birchwood Construction team: relationships. Tom Adams, chief business officer and partner at Birchwood Construction, said it is known…

  • Creative Endeavors

    The woven path

    By R.J. Weick Lloyd Flanders Inc. has become known as a premier outdoor furniture designer and manufacturer built upon a dedication to great design and craftsmanship. For more than 110 years, the Menominee-based company has cultivated a reputation on par with its innovative patented loom process; high-quality, durable materials; and timeless, handcrafted furniture. While its collections impart a sense of well-balanced function and style—integrating visual aesthetics with comfort-scale seating—it could be argued its position in the industry is based upon a single, interwoven cellulose strand. In the early 1900s, which was a time when cane-wrapped frames was a choice method for crafting furniture, Founder Marshall Burns Lloyd developed a rather…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Finished luxury

    Text: R.Collins The Minnesota-based company known for pushing the solid surface envelope continues its legacy by offering innovative finish options and expanded designs—and its Michigan-based partner is bringing it to the table. Since entering the quartz market in 2000, Cambria has been changing the functionality and style of kitchens worldwide. Founded by the Davis family and known for producing and engineering natural quartz in the United States, the company has recently introduced two additions to the kitchen design market: a new breakthrough surface finish option known as Cambria Matte and an expanded Marble Collection with five new designs. For years a glossy marble countertop—such as Cambria’s standard Cambria High Gloss—could be…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Evolution of sustainability:

    Text: R. Collins a look at the development of an international competition focused on sustainable design. Within today’s complex economies lies an inner-voice belonging to sustainability as it tries to make itself heard. The A to B mindset that governs much of our business and systems-thinking also plays a significant role in the direction of our economies, which often lead products through the same cycle: raw materials compose a product, then the product is recycled, and the waste is disposed. For four years, the Wege Center for Sustainable Design at The Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, organizes an annual student design competition…

  • Creative Endeavors

    The appliance factor

    Text: R. Collins For many, the west Michigan region has become known for its craft beer retailers, music venues, and art festivals; and while it can often leave some other industries overlooked, there is an award-winning, high-end appliance and electronics retailer making a name for itself—and for the area. Bekins, the Grand Haven-based certified member of the Custom Electronics Design & Integration Association, has not only expanded with a showroom location in Grand Rapids and facility in Coopersville, but also has become known throughout its 42-year-history as one of the places homeowners can go for a well-rounded appliance and electronic purchasing experience. President and Owner Scott Bekins of Bekins and…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Print Edition

    American hardwood

    Text: R. Collins At the custom wood working studio known as Cento Anni, design, engineering, and manufacturing principles work in unison to create an efficient work process delivering elegant custom designed products. The studio often works with reclaimed hardwood items to make new products, which is mirrored in the studio itself. The Holland, Michigan facility had originally been uninhabited for 15 years before it was also reclaimed by its co-owners. Original text: R.J. Weick in Great Lakes By Design, volume 1, issue 1. Photos courtesy: Cento Anni    

  • Creative Endeavors

    Custom-built sound

    Text: R. Collins Photography: David DeHaan/Furry Mic Media Grand Rapids, Michigan can be a relatively quiet city. Usually, it is equal parts work, play, and windy weather; but on the morning of Saturday, May 20 the uncharacteristic chorus of gusty engine growls introduced Grand Rapids to a unique collection of high-end, performance, and exotic cars fit for Las Vegas. Outside the well-known Downtown Market, an eclectic mix of vehicles and their owners gathered under a shaded pavilion for visitors to meet. Cars and Coffee Grand Rapids was founded in 2015 by co-founder Andy Siradakis, a Specialty Equipment Market Association and International Show Car Association member. Siradakis, who is an award-winning designer…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Print Edition

    Hands

    While a designer’s vision can take on many forms and the work may vary substantially from one industry to the next, there is one constant that often remains: hands. Whether it is the artistic presentation of cuisine, the curve of ink on paper, or the stitch of thread in fabric, hands become the very extension—and often delivery of expression—of the design work. [ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”4″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_imagebrowser” ajax_pagination=”0″ order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]

  • Creative Endeavors

    Art of furniture

    A designer’s passion and work in the furniture industry continues to take form. Dale H. Campbell, award-winning furniture designer and industry veteran, has a saying when it comes to the original lounge chair and ottoman designed through a partnership with Kindel Furniture Company in 2015: “Designed in Michigan, made in Michigan, enjoyed everywhere.” In 2015 Campbell and Kindel, which is a family-owned furniture manufacturer based in Grand Rapids known for 100 percent American-made furnishings since its establishment in 1901, collaborated through the Designer Artist Series to create and co-brand original furniture designs. Campbell was the first designer to participate in the program series with the company. “Kindel is one of…