• Design Spotlight,  Print Edition

    Dream boat

    Water, in its many forms, could be considered a first and final frontier. A fundamental element of survival, its freshwater bodies are a priceless resource and have led to vast, complex cities developed at its shorelines. Its waterways have proven to be vital conduits for the transportation of commercial goods and services, and in the Great Lakes region, offer a sprawling, interconnected aquatic playground for recreational boating elements. In Manitowoc, Wisconsin, there is a company that has built a legacy of designing and building custom, handcrafted vessels since the mid-1800s with the launch of small 20-to-30-foot fishing boats for local commercial fishermen. For the next 156 years, the company would…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Purposeful rebuild

    Though the idea of sustainability is often associated with environmental impact, an organization in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood is adding social and economic sustainability to the circuit. Rebuilding Exchange is a nonprofit, social enterprise that strives to create value in its surrounding communities by repurposing discarded building materials—from architectural salvage down to plumbing fixtures—and responsibly developing Chicago’s underserved communities through education and job training opportunities. Rebuilding Exchange was founded in 2009 by Elise Zelechowski, current chairperson at Rebuilding Exchange and director of social impact at ThoughtWorks, in collaboration with the Delta Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to solving complex environmental issues in the region. What began as a small organization with the…

  • Form,  Print Edition

    A royal renovation

    In Evanston, Illinois—a city defined by its tree-lined sidewalks and collection of homes—architecture is a diverse language. Beaux-Arts, Prairie, Italianate, Victorian, Arts and Crafts, and Queen Anne are dialects spoken across intersections and around block corners, passing down their stories through iconic massing, decorative ornamentation, gables, brick and stone, gently sloped rooflines, and the occasional tower or turret. In the renovation of this particular Queen Anne residence, a style known for its irregular roof shapes, bay windows, dramatic massing, and multiple gables and dormers, the homeowners envisioned a design respectful of the heritage in its walls and wove in dynamic elements reflective of their young family lifestyle. Once the home…

  • Form,  Print Edition

    Revived colonial

    “When you work in older homes, whether [people] are going to keep the same essence or want to be a little avant-garde—do something transitional or modern on the inside, but maintain the outside— there is stuff going on in that house from the past. Most people like to find out what is going on, and we kind of disassemble and reassemble—it is a great experience,” said Michael Menn, AIA, CGR, CAPS, CGP, principal architect at Michael Menn Ltd. in Northbrook, Illinois. Michael Menn Ltd. is an architectural and planning firm providing design-and-build services to clients throughout Chicago’s North Shore and the greater Phoenix, Arizona areas. The private practice was initially…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Redesigning identity

    The Detroit area has long been a metropolis of creative endeavors, from art and architecture, to music and culinary pursuits. For six decades, Skidmore Studio has been integral in this development as an illustration-turned-branding-and-design firm that seeks to nurture the region’s creative talent, while also employing an empathetic and flexible approach to problem-solving.  Recently, the firm utilized this process to perform its own visual rebranding in tandem with its 60th anniversary, replacing largely introspective brand elements with outgoing designs. “Its new visual personality focuses on clarity and flexibility, with new, minimal typography replacing the classic Skidmore Studio logo, which was comprised by the letter “S,” for Skidmore, and an intersecting…

  • Featured,  Form

    Shingle-style adaptive

    When creating a new residence, adaptability is a valuable term during each stage of the process, especially for the architect, whose task is to deliver a home balancing practical and aesthetic goals. Sometimes a difficult task, achieving this ideal balance can also be highly memorable and, in the case of the team of designers at Sears Architects, something that is reflected on during other projects for years to come. Sears Architects, an architectural and planning firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the design team behind a 2013 residential project on the city’s eastern side that highlighted the firm’s affinity for producing adaptable designs—an element that continues to distinguish it in…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Awarded motif

    During the 2019 Hospitality Design Expo, or HP Expo, on May 16 to May 18, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Brentano Inc.’s centerpiece fabric of the Sovereign collection was honored by the International Interior Design Association, or IIDA, with a Product Design, Textiles award. The fabric, known as Quill, was recognized for its color palette and historical inspiration. The HD Expo is an annual tradeshow created by Hospitality Design magazine, where both international and national hotel chains are represented and is attended by some of the hospitality industry’s most influential designers, developers, purchasing firms, and ownership groups. This event combines the debut of many new innovative design products on the…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Solutions in upcycle

    For six years, the annual Wege Prize competition has explored and developed one specific design concept: to redesign the way economies work. Each year, the Wege Prize holds an international design competition featuring collegiate teams from around the world, of which, each aim to create ways of converting linear economic models into circular, regenerative ones. Teams create different approaches to developing these solutions, often in the form of products, business models, or services that are organically restorative by design. The Wege Prize is organized by the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s, or KCAD, Wege Center for Sustainable Design, with the support of The Wege Foundation.…