• Design Spotlight

    Iron and ivory

    “There was something consistent no matter where I studied and that was the principles of Vitruvius, who was an architectural philosopher in the Roman Empire. He really stressed good design is focused around three main components, which is feasibility, beauty, and durability; so essentially function, beauty, and strength,” said Kayla Pongrac, principal, designer, and co-founding partner of Iron and Ivory in Ontario, Canada. “That is the philosophy behind our brand.” Iron and Ivory is an interior design firm with a collaborative environment led by Co-Founding Partners Pongrac and Rnea Garrah from its two locations in Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario. At its core, the small firm embraces a philosophy inspired by…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Tactile language

    In the 1990s, Founder and Artistic Director Iris Wang noticed sunlight through a cascade of maple leaves outside of her kitchen window, which doubled as her studio at the time for the humble warehouse operations of Brentano Inc. It would serve as the catalyst for the small company as Wang then blended a painted Japanese-inspired maple leaf with a series of sketched horizontal lines derived from bamboo shades—putting Brentano in the black and well on its way to becoming the international textile house and fabric source that it has become today.  “In the past there were a lot of fabrics that were only pretty to look at, but you couldn’t…

  • Travel

    Motion in choreograph

    “We are an idea-based firm. We can pivot off of any design problem and I think program is really just a vehicle to test ideas,” said Dwayne MacEwen, AIA, principal and creative director at DMAC Architecture P.C. in Evanston, Illinois. “Whether it is a hospital or a restaurant, I think you need to understand how it functions and it works, but it is still a vehicle to test some ideas and what is a food design for that particular problem or space.” When the Midtown Athletic Club and the Hotel at Midtown opened in 2017 at the intersection of Elston, Damen, and Fullerton Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, it reflected a…

  • Design

    The seasonal garden

    By: R.Collins  As autumn continues to envelop Michigan landscapes, the time has come to prepare for the winter months and the blooms to come after the snow thaws.  Sarah Sella, landscape designer at Alfresco Landscapes LLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said introducing seasonal plants to the garden in the fall when the rainfall is cool and steady and the hot temperatures have dissipated, allows plants a gentle environment in which to take root.  “Now is the time to plant your spring flowering bulbs,” Sella said. “Sometimes people want daffodils in the spring time and then, suddenly, it’s spring already and you’ve missed your window of opportunity. They have to be…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Prospective learning environments

    Text: R. Collins  As technology and modern knowledge become intensely packed into our personal spheres, grade schools and collegiate institutes—the spaces we tend to rely on to make sense of it all—carry an immeasurable importance in the present and future of learning. Whereas in the mid-twentieth century teaching practices promoted linear, regimented teaching styles, which popularized images of front-facing desks bolted to the ground, school design now must cater to the ways in which different types of students absorb and interpret information, explained Peter Baldwin, AIA, NCARB, president and principal at AMDG Architects in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  With a diverse educational design portfolio featuring projects in West Michigan school systems—such…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Travel

    Art on theMART

    By: R. Collins On September 29, 2018, theMART, formerly known as The Merchandise Mart, will host a series of curated digital artworks projected across nearly 2.5 acres of its exterior riverside façade after dusk around 7:15 p.m., launching an inaugural program known as Art on theMART.  The inaugural exhibition will showcase the works of renowned artists Diana Thater, Zheng Chongbin, Jason Salavon, and Jan Tichy; exploring genres and subject matter while using the digital model as a springboard for visual arts in the 21st Century. The artists were selected and commissioned by Art on theMART in consultation with a curatorial advisory board shaped by theMART and the City’s Department of…

  • Design,  Design Spotlight

    Traverse City Tuscan

    Text: R. Collins For many, the home is a dwelling space, which enables those inside to be their truest selves every time they return—a permanent fixture accumulating important artifacts from everyday life, which in turn tell an individual’s story. This was true for a condominium unit project nestled along the scenic Boardman River in Traverse City, Michigan and its owners, who contracted local interior designer Angela Goodall to create a comfortable home environment showcasing their international taste. As a founder of the project-based, Traverse City-based design firm known as Kitchen Choreography, which has more than 800 projects completed, Goodall is experienced in producing creative solutions for each project to allow property owners the fullest utilization of…

  • Design Spotlight,  Print Edition

    Royal house

    Picture an aging automotive warehouse: a one-story, raw space of cement block and steel beams with industrial troughs and drains set into the floor. Then Imagine the same space as a sleek, state-of-the-art recording studio with sound systems catering to high-profile musicians, distinct areas carved out for both creativity and relaxation, a full-service kitchen, an indoor basketball court, and glassed-in transparent garage. This is the vision Detroit-native Roger Goodman realized when returning to his hometown several years ago, bought an old warehouse in the industrial corridor along Royal Oak’s Delemere Avenue, and transformed it into Royal House Recording Studio. Goodman engaged Saroki Architecture—an award-winning, 20-person, boutique firm—to deliver his vision…

  • Print Edition

    Great Lakes By Design: Raising The Bar

    Design Corner Alexander Girard, Architect – author and adjunct associate professor weaves a comprehensive story about the textile visionary considered by some as an unknown pioneer in midcentury design Heirloom Houses – writer and designer presents an architectural monograph of 15 beautifully crafted homes by Wade Weissman Architecture Inc. Mad Scientist Table – a set of adaptive tables inspired by the modern day mad scientist Medium Duffle – the chic, denim-inspired version of the classic duffle bag  Design Spotlight Regal luxury – the newest addition to the Buick sub-brand fleet of sleek, luxury-trimmed vehicles The agrihood – the mixed-use development project designed as a green sanctuary in Chicago’s West Loop Gateway neighborhood Iron and ivory – an Ontario-based interior design firm…