• '71 Barracuda Front End Facelift Concept," 1968, Donald Hood, American; crayon, gouache, ink, felt marker, prismacolor, pastel on vellum. Collection of Robert L. Edwards and Julie Hyde-Edwards.
    Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Detroit style

    Between the mass production of accessible, timeless car designs, and the artistic innovation that pushed the automotive industry into each new age, Detroit’s influence on American car design, technology, and manufacturing has remained since the turn of the 20th century when Henry Ford touched down his Detroit Automobile Company and Charles Brady King test drove the first self-propelled carriage along Woodward Avenue, reaching speeds up to five miles per hour. In homage to this remarkable past, the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, or DIA, is unveiling a special exhibition, “Detroit Style: Car Design in the Motor City, 1950-2020,” which will capture groundbreaking, artistic, and transitional moments in Detroit car design…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    Building Harley-Davidson

    For more than a century, the Harley-Davidson Motor Cycle Company, a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson Inc., has been an icon of American motorcycle design, both classic and innovative, with the company’s upcoming—and long-awaited—release of its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, being no exception. Harley-Davidson is also known as one of the only American motorcycle manufacturers still in existence from the industry’s formative decades, and the company’s current headquarters on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee is a testament to its longevity.  Construction on today’s iteration of the Juneau Avenue complex—originally the company’s factory—began in 1910, the same year Harley-Davison’s iconic bar and shield logo was first used. Recently, flat files containing a collection…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Modern polish

    In Hudsonville, Michigan, the specialty proto-design shop at Banyan Tree Fabworks is known for creating custom furnishings out of unique historic machinery and vintage artifacts. From steel tables and wine racks supported by massive industrial gears, to woodworking jointers fashioned into sleek, modern desks; the firm’s entire portfolio represents the experimental nature of repurposing some of the 20th century’s most hard-working artifacts. To date, however, one of its prized works of experimental design success is a rounded bar made from a preserved 1955 Cadillac Series 62 sedan. “I think what makes this [project] unique is we really pushed the boundaries of what our capabilities are,” said Greg Davis, vice president…