• Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Sustainability Deep Dive

    As a shepherd of product ideas and designs for the human environment, the industrial design industry has a huge impact on the climate crisis and outstretched waste statistics around the world. To unpack this reality and connect through solutions, the Industrial Designers Society of America, or IDSA, kicked off its inaugural Sustainability Deep Dive conference last year, which tackled the complexity of imbuing the product lifecycle with sustainable processes, strategies, and experiences. This month, the conference made its second annual trek across current themes and innovations in industrial design and sustainability, and the resulting programming was a rich exploration of concrete solutions, wonderous and science-backed products, hopeful-but-firm calls to action,…

  • Featured,  Relish

    Skyline coastal

    In an open-air ode to leisure dining as seen in seaside towns along the Iberian Coast, the makers of renowned Chicago destinations like The Violet Hour, Big Star, and The Publican, have launched a new rooftop bar concept offering sweeping views of the Chicago skyline, and a relaxed interpretation of the outdoor cervecerías signature to Spanish and Portuguese coasts. Bar avec is located on the eighth floor of avec’s newly opened avec River North restaurant, and the pair are the newest additions to the award-winning portfolio of One Off Hospitality Group, a hospitality and restaurant management company in Chicago. One Off Hospitality’s portfolio also comprises avec West Loop in Chicago’s…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    Work of Art

    In its location just outside central Minneapolis, the Walker Art Center stands as a storied architectural fixture with a contemporary pulse on national and international arts and design across eras and disciplines, from architecture, visual, and performing, to media arts. Its famous design by Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1971 and modern steel-clad addition designed by Herzog & de Meuron—plus a more recent addition by Minneapolis-based design firm HGA—are joined with the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to form a 17-acre campus that hosts millions of visitors per year. In the summer, this groundbreaking work of architecture’s rooftop is also the site for ten distinctive, artist-designed holes of mini golf. At Skyline…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    The urban home

    In downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, the renovation of the third floor of a historic building transforms a vacant, open space into two individual residences for its owners. Featuring a collaborative design-and-build team, which includes two businesses local to Kalamazoo, Intersect Studio and Buday’s Home Electronics Simplified, the project comprises the restoration of the building while maintaining its charm, as well as tailoring each unit to meet the needs of its resident with the installation of innovative and modern technology. Intersect Studio is a design firm specializing in strategy, architecture, planning, interior design, and experiential branding in Kalamazoo. On this project, the company paired its services and worked alongside Buday’s Home Electronics…

  • Featured,  Form

    Ecosystems of design

    A current marker of the advancements in sustainability and innovative thinking of modern architecture, the AIA’s COTE® Top Ten program entered its 25th year this year, with a slew of new awards for North America’s most ecologically groundbreaking works of architecture. Projects across typologies, from university libraries and the health sciences to commercial adaptive reuse and deep tech—such as Microsoft’s new Silicon Valley campus—hailed from areas across the continent, with two coming from the portfolio of the Toronto-based studio of the Chicago-headquartered Perkins + Will. An international design studio located in one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, Perkins + Will envisions architecture as a vehicle for creating healthier…

  • 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…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Design Corner: Eucalyptus

    Earlier this spring, Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, Michigan released one of its latest handcrafted tile additions: the 4-by-12-inch Eucalyptus art tile, which depicts the gentle draping and verdant growth of Eucalyptus trees in the Pacific Northwest. Motawi, an eclectic art and installation tile crafter, is known for its intricate, handmade tiles inspired by painters, illustrators, lithographers, and designers, from Frank Lloyd Wright and Charley Harper to the letterpress and block printer Yoshiko Yamamoto, whose prolific work in the Arts and Crafts style inspired the addition of Eucalyptus. “Arts and Crafts is a favorite style of mine, and Yoshiko Yamamoto’s designs capture that aesthetic beautifully and intriguingly,” said Nawal Motawi,…

  • 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…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Empathy in industry

    A reusable epinephrine auto-injector; a minimalist household composter; an eco-friendly and contemporary ceramic and glass toaster: there’s no lack of innovation within University of Cincinnati alum Mary Friedl’s expanding portfolio. The industrial designer graduated from the university’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning last May 2020 and promptly won a competition for designing an eco-friendly toaster as a part of the Industrial Designers Society of America’s Sustainability Deep Dive 2020 conference. With an overarching goal for creating empathetic and impactful design work, Friedl has delved into design research and work that promotes health and sustainability, whether through products purposed for medical environments or those of which simply bring people…