• Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    The Kohlstedt Keep

    The drama of Lake Superior rivals that of any oceanic system on Earth. Its surface area makes it the largest freshwater lake in the world, in the heart of the Midwest, and its remarkably clean, cold waters are punctuated by sharp rip currents and waves that can top 30 feet. In some places, extrusions of ancient mafic rock reveal the underbelly of the basin, which has been carved by eruptions of molten basalt approximately one billion years ago and the gentle kneading of glacial forms thereafter.  Land side, the lake’s westward buffer, Minnesota, is covered nearly 33 percent by rich packs of coniferous and deciduous forest that also make it…

  • Featured,  Travel

    Sculpted experience

    Museums tucked within nature, sculpture gardens offer unique experiences for those with a love of the outdoors and for the discerning art and design enthusiast that are increasingly appealing in a currently deepening digital reality. The Midwest is home to a variety of sculpture gardens of varying sizes, whether independently owned and operated, or a result of rich, decades-long collaboration between organizations invested in regional arts, design, and environmental wellbeing and education.  Great Lakes By Design takes a moment to marvel at sculpture gardens throughout the Great Lakes region, where visitors can find everything from curated explorations of tropical flora, a carnivorous plant house, and brass-cast depictions of America’s first…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Biophilic design, in study

    In June 2020, Stantec, a global design firm, publicly released the results of a biophilic design research study aimed at identifying the correlation between individual workplace performance and holistic wellbeing conducted through the Healthy Building Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. While the concept of biophilic design has been studied in the healthcare setting, this particular study—sponsored by Stantec’s Creativity & Innovation program—identified some interesting tenets about human health and the body’s response to biophilic design in terms of healing and healing rates in a workplace that requires employees to be creative and innovative.  “We, as an organization, have built our design ethos around the platform…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Preservation by design

    Detroit’s architectural fabric is rich with unique historical structures—some recognizable, others more discreet—that have continually been re-purposed for the modern-day city. They also double as keenly protected sites for historic conservationists, one of which was recently recognized by both the Michigan chapter of the AIA and Michigan Historic Preservation Network for its sensitive design and rehabilitation of two historic buildings located in Detroit’s Corktown and the Greektown neighborhood areas. The firm, McIntosh Poris Associates, is an integral full-service architecture and design force for historic building preservation in Detroit and other areas of service. Since its founding in 1994, McIntosh Poris Associates, based in Birmingham, Michigan, has garnered more than 100…

  • Featured,  Form,  Travel

    The Crosswinds Marsh

    Near the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, a collaborative project nearly 25 years-old continues to hold precedent for environmental design and ecological restoration. The Crosswinds Marsh Wetland Interpretive Preserve in New Boston, Michigan, is one of the largest self-sustaining wetland mitigation projects in the United States, and was a collaboration between SmithGroup, a renowned champion for environmental design, and the nearby Wayne County Airport Authority that was completed in 1995.  Last year, it received a Landmark Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects and has, to date, naturally attracted around 30 mammal species—including deer, muskrat, and beavers—to its more than 1,000 acres, along with 21 reptile and amphibian species,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Diversity in Design

    Earlier this month, Novità Communications, a New York-based media relations firm whose clients include the American Society of Interior Designers, the Architecture & Design Film Festival, and NeoCon, hosted a panel discussion called Diversity in Design: The Time For Change Is Now through its #DesignStandsTogether platform to address diversity issues within the architecture and design industry.   Led by panel moderator Joseph Cephas, senior vice president of Novità Communications, the panel discussed the role of design in social justice solutions as well the lack of diversity in the industry. Panelists for Diversity in Design included Angelita Scott, Ph.D., Allied ASID, IDEC, and assistant professor at Georgia Southern University; Maya Bird-Murphy,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Queries & Theories

    Often the term “climate change” is registered as a broad, looming development that impacts the environment on a global scale. Those active in the discussion of climate action, however, would counter that it encompasses everything from rising oceans and individual mentalities to local communities and cultural heritage sites.  As a forum for breaking into issues of climate change and the roles of climate action, the internationally renowned, full-service architectural and planning firm of Quinn Evans has launched a four-part webcast series called Queries & Theories. The series features thought leaders around the country in robust, 30-minute conversations centered on climate action and the continually evolving urban era in the context…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Historic drive

    In Harbor Springs, Michigan, an unassuming garage exterior holds a microcosm of active space within for a lifetime collection of automotive experience and memorabilia. Historic artifacts and refurbished cars from different eras in the automotive industry weave together a unique and personal account of its heritage. Inside, a lounge, office, curated showroom, garage, and workspace converge into a project that was as rewarding to complete as it was to design. In its surroundings, the approximately 5,000-square-foot garage is described as “urban camo” by its architect, Elaine Keiser, AIA, NCARB, of Elaine Keiser Architect Inc. in Petoskey Michigan. Keiser and her team have built a sweeping portfolio of retail and restaurant…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    NeoConnect

    Since 1969, NeoCon has punctuated each June with its eagerly awaited, three-day showcase of all things cutting-edge design in the commercial interiors industry. International design enthusiasts and design firms—specializing in everything from workplace textiles to ergonomic tech gadgets—converge in Chicago for three days of robust educational programming, informative and engaging keynote presentations from industry leaders, and the latest innovations and emerging talent in the industry.  Though this summer’s NeoCon has been cancelled, returning to Chicago in 2021, its organizers have filled its space with a content-rich virtual hub that will connect the design community for the entire month of June 2020, and beyond. The interactive online platform, called NeoConnect, launches…