• Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    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…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    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…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    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…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    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…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    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…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Crafted legacy

    Despite the rise of industrialization in the 19th century and the technological revolution of the late 20th century, craftsmanship has endured. It is an art and craft of making; bridging the gap of alienation between maker and material left in the wake of growing assembly lines, mass-scale production, consumer culture, and an age of digital landscapes. Even as machines replaced hands, craft and craftsmanship has been celebrated—quietly, deliberately—alongside increasingly automated processes and systems. For craftsmanship and the custom-made object—whether functional or purely artistic—taps into a history and shared human narrative that has been told throughout time. Each piece of metal, wood, textile, and fabric touched by the hands of those…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Re-framing the view

    In 1823, a Baltimore-based businessman ran an advertisement for the sale of a Wire and Wheat Fan Establishment in the “The American Farmer: containing Original Essays and Selections on Rural Economy and Internal Improvement with Illustrative Engravings and the Prices Current of Country Produce, Vol. IV.” In it, J. Grafflin listed the sale of wheat fans, rolling screens, and “assorted wove wire for windows and other purposes,” and R. Sinclair, who purchased the establishment, indicated he intended to keep the “ready-made, all kinds of wove wire, suitable for rolling screens, safes, riddles, sieves, and wheat fans.” While other entrepreneurs and inventors would quickly sell, advertise, and file patents—such as Bayley…

  • Architecture,  Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Ted Lott, AIA, LEED AP

      Lott3Metz Architecture LLC Owner, Principal Grand Rapids, Michigan There is a moment in good design when a bell tone rings out pure and true as the nuanced elements of form, function, and context come together to make a project truly sing. It is in this instance, which may not happen every day or in every project, that Ted Lott, AIA, LEED AP, owner and principal at Lott3Metz Architecture LLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan finds moments of joy. “Design is a form of communication. It certainly is a language that can be used coarsely or elegantly, and there is certainly a commodity aspect to it, which is often times in…