• Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Abbreviated design

    In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the full-service architectural, interior, and product design firm Via Design Inc., whose work appears throughout the city’s commercial and residential sectors—and their many sub-categories—has added a new brand to its identity.  Since its establishment in 1989, the firm, which is headquartered downtown, has continually added services to its repertoire, including sustainable design, furniture procurement and design, and an expansive in-house architecture and interior design library featuring samples and resources compiled from around the world. Recently Via Design’s service offerings have been joined by Abbreviated Design, an online home décor shop curated by the firm’s own professional designers.  “[The brand] still has the same themes as Via,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    Modern retrospective

    In December 2019, the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan unveiled three textile and craft-centric exhibitions that will run until March 2020 exploring how innovative people and teaching methods influenced design for generations. One of the exhibitions showcases the lifework of one of Detroit’s formative figures in interior and textile design. The exhibit, titled “Ruth Adler Schnee: Modern Designs for Living,” posits designer Ruth Adler Schnee’s prolific, influential, seven-decade career and pivotal—if underrepresented—role in design history in a bright and full account. “I think a lot of times her textiles are looked at in isolation and maybe that is what gets lost, is that she is most famous for her textile designs; and rightly…

  • Architecture,  Featured,  Form,  Print Edition,  Residential

    A waterfront study in contrast

    This private waterfront residence located on the shore of Lake Michigan is the culmination of the combined creative and technical talent of Sears Architects, Cannarsa Structure and Design, and Zahn Builders Inc. In a region where certain vernacular styles often reign, it is evident upon first glance—the subdued white stucco exterior combined with bold, dark windows—this home is truly a study in contrast.  Contemporary lines are married with traditional features; an iconic floor-to-ceiling fireplace defies expectations and boundaries through the use of cinder block; intricate and sophisticated light fixtures and furnishings are interspersed with others more crisp and minimalist-inspired; and an 18-foot-high main living room is grounded with concrete floors,…

  • Featured,  Print Edition

    Great Lakes By Design: Ergonomics

    Contents: Design Corner Motawi | a handcrafted art tile studio adds to two collections inspired by formative figures in American midcentury art and design Design Spotlight A Better Chicago | a multidisciplinary collaboration looks to elevate and to support the city’s design legacy, community, and resources with a new comprehensive initiative aligned with the debut of NeoCon 2020 Natural advantage | the innovative work in biomimicry that led to the design solution of Tubercle Technology and the recognition as 2018 finalists for the European Inventor Award Movement evolution | the innovative new headquarters of the YMCA of the Great Twin Cities positioned in the heart of downtown Minneapolis Form Timeless…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Driving curve

    Hailed as the “Versailles of Industry” during its debut in 1956, the General Motors Design Dome and Auditorium was an unprecedented architectural feat for the automotive industry designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen, with the collaboration of Harley Earl.  For more than 60 years, the iconic structure on the nearly 710-acre GM Technical Center in Warren, Michigan has come to stand as a symbol for innovation and style—reflective of the very industry and purpose it serves. It is a historical landmark where industry, engineering, design, and manufacturing minds have the ability to propel automotive design into the future; pushing the boundaries of style, form, and function. While its campus has…

  • Featured

    Playful planar

    The Rapson Thirty-Nine Collection is a masterful composition of lyrical, clean lines and a planar form incorporating both comfort and functionality. The furniture line not only leaves an impressionable mark as an authentic reflection of mid-century modernism, but also manages to capture the spirit of internationally-renowned architect and designer Ralph Rapson’s original concepts.  The dynamic and artful furniture pieces, which were made possible through collaboration between Leland International and the Rapson family, are part of the Grand Rapids-based firm’s Guild collection and feature a lounge chair, guest chair, benches, and stools inspired by original drawings completed by Rapson in the late 1930s. Leland International is known for creating high-quality, design-focused…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Print Edition

    The Architects: Brian Barkwell, AIA

    In the past, architecture has been defined as a vocation, a field of both technical and creative study, and a conduit in which an individual can impact lives and leave a legacy. Yet, its potential to influence, create, inspire, disrupt, and include speaks to a larger import than a simple, concrete interpretation. Its significance is elusive, fluid, and subjective; as varied as the talented minds and hands practicing the craft in the region, building upon the existing built fabric and landscape.  In this continued series, Great Lakes By Design Magazine had an opportunity to learn more about some of the architects practicing in the Great Lakes region—and what drives them…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    The Architects: Thomas R. Mathison, FAIA

    In the past, architecture has been defined as a vocation, a field of both technical and creative study, and a conduit in which an individual can impact lives and leave a legacy. Yet, its potential to influence, create, inspire, disrupt, and include speaks to a larger import than a simple, concrete interpretation. Its significance is elusive, fluid, and subjective; as varied as the talented minds and hands practicing the craft in the region, building upon the existing built fabric and landscape.  In this continued series, Great Lakes By Design Magazine had an opportunity to learn more about some of the architects practicing in the Great Lakes region—and what drives them…

  • Featured,  Form

    Woven home

    For Co-Founders and Principal Designers Melinda Cahill and Suzanne Glavin of North Shore Nest Ltd. in Glenview, Illinois, their shared passion for great design can be distilled into a single driving mission: create spaces that provide depth and individuality for clients to live beautifully every day.  “Design is really about enjoyment for yourself and your home; your sanctuary. It is the backdrop of your life and we love putting that together for people. It is really a great joy,” Glavin said.  “A well-designed space in your home, if it is done purposefully, will be a space that you add into your life, you use, and it will be enjoyable. That…