• Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Lakefront Prairie oasis

    On the western shores of Lake Michigan, a composition of brick and stucco, leaded glass windows and overhanging eaves, emerges from its sloped landscape in an artful celebration of geometric abstraction. Surrounded by planted sumac and prairie grasses on a blufflike dune ecosystem, the home is respectful of the iconic Prairie Style where principles are adapted for its site, purpose, and time. There is an integration with its landscape as its rectilinear form intentionally wraps around a 150-year-old oak tree and opens out toward the lakefront in an expression of waterfront living. Its simple, natural palette celebrates the discipline of ornament and artistry of craftsmanship from artisan tiles and hand-carved…

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    Refractory

    For Refractory’s inaugural body of work and inception—forged at a moment of unprecedented change—its muse sings of a reverence for a frontier unbridled by time, when mountains were new, sandstone buttes clustered, continents drifted, and oceans receded. It speaks of mountain ranges, canyons, basins, and plateaus, shaped by deep-rooted geologic pressures and carved by powerful movements of rivers and wind. It gestures to the fire of transformation, the resilience of form and creature, the presence of materiality, and the harsh grace of natural forces. It embraces the rugged honesty of erosion, the celebration of unusual moments of irreverence, and a dedication to craft as integral to design—set in a region…

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    Designed for flight

    In 1986, WACO Aircraft Corporation’s first WACO YMF Classic biplane rolled off the assembly line complete with two open cockpits, stacked wings, radial engine, and handcrafted design in faithful homage to a golden age of flight. Based on the design of the popular 1930s biplane and crafted using techniques from the 1920s and 1930s, WACO Aircraft Corporation’s WACO YMF Classic was not a rebuild or a build kit of the vintage aircraft, but rather a modern production with the latest avionics under the original WACO-type certificate, certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA. WACO Aircraft Corporation, which was founded in 1983 in Lansing before relocating to Battle Creek, Michigan,…

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    The Caterpillar

    In Core City, Detroit, urbanism is defined in unconventional terms. For the creative and technical minds behind the neighborhood development at the intersection of Grand River Ave. and Warren Ave., it is about investing in intentional and thoughtful ideas grounded in reality to create a place rather than a market or projects motivated by demand. It is about renovating and activating land that has been vacant for decades in a manner that not only honors the history, people, and space characteristic of the surrounding city, but also enhances and preserves the environment through developing as little real estate as possible. Core City envisions a depopulated urbanism, where public spaces like…

  • Design Spotlight,  Form,  Print Edition

    In conversation: Jason Keen

    Visual Artist, Photographer Detroit, Michigan With an award-winning portfolio of work, Jason Keen is a Detroit, Michigan-based photographer who documents the built environment and has spent the last decade capturing the iconic design and architectural work of firms like Gensler, Stantec, Smithgroup, Olson Kundig, ROSSETTI, Mathison | Mathison, Moody Nolan, PLY+, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects or LOHA, McIntosh Poris Associates, HOK, and INFORM Studio, to name a few, garnering recognition from a number of well-known outlets and renowned organizations. Great Lakes By Design Magazine recently had the opportunity to speak with him about what drew him to the field, his inspiration, and his work on capturing the space, light, and landscape…

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    Kemba Braynon, AIA, NOMA

    Senior Architect Quinn Evans | Ann Arbor, Michigan   Stories are often a powerful tool and intangible link of past, present, and future. They speak to the collective cultural memory as well as the personal, and the preservation of which can often leave an influential echo in the minds of those who come long after they have been written. In architecture, stories and narratives can be found in each building and every space within the built and natural landscape in an often visual and tactile form—or in the intentional use of the abstract space; from architectural vernacular, exterior stylistic dialect, and interior design language, to its surrounding context, and the…

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    Jackie Koo, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP, NOMA

    Founder, Owner, Principal KOO | Chicago, Illinois   In architecture, as in literature, arts, and other social sciences, there is a wealth of traditions, movements, applications, and analyses—avant-garde, thought-provoking, and otherwise—that have shaped their respective fields throughout time and have challenged scholars and practitioners alike to consider the world and communication around them anew. For many, architecture is a form of communication, a language written through form, function, and material—and for the deconstructivist, the exploration of tension and potential contradiction. For Jackie Koo, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP, NOMA, founder, owner, and principal of KOO in Chicago, Illinois, it was the combination of philosophy and the examination of architecture that first…

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    Trina Sandschafer, AIA, LEED AP

    Vice President; Design Principal; Team Leader Corporate, Hospitality, Residential Kahler Slater Inc. | Chicago, Illinois   Scale, proportion, light: For Trina Sandschafer, AIA, LEED AP, vice president, design principal, and team leader of corporate, hospitality, and residential at Kahler Slater in Chicago, Illinois, they are often the defining elements of her architectural philosophy and client-based design approach. It is in the deft, informed use of them and understanding their nuanced, interdependent relationships, while centering client needs, that can ultimately deliver well-defined architecture. “Central to my architectural philosophy is to study scale, proportion, and light and to use them wisely. They are still free to use and so if you can…

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    Catalyst for innovation

    In 1956, Arthur Kornberg, American biochemist, realized a pursuit in biochemistry that forever changed the landscape and nature of biology. Kornberg’s discovery of DNA polymerase I not only led to the 1959 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine—shared with Severo Ochoa for his discovery of RNA polymerase—but also served as a catalyst for a biotechnology revolution. Kornberg’s exploration in enzymes and innovative work isolating DNA polymerase—and synthesizing DNA in a test tube—would ultimately lead to the development of genetically engineered drugs to treat illnesses like cancer and autoimmune disorders, pave the way for gene sequencing, and inspire generations in scientific discovery, process, and curiosity. His work would also lead to…