• Creative Endeavors

    Film, developing

    David Alexander, a Chicago-based freelance-one-stop-shop filmmaker and videographer, has a background in everything from architecture and music videos to documentaries. Alexander has captured numerous high-income residential properties in the Windy City, including spaces like Lake Point Tower—a high-rise that houses condominiums overlooking Navy Pier and the rest of the cityscape—among others. It was about 10 years ago when Alexander was working as a car salesman, part of an industrial rock band, and renting out rooms in his house, when his passion for filmmaking sparked when a tenant-and-friend happened to show him a college project. “I was doing fine at Mercedes for six years, but I was desperate to get out…

  • Featured,  Form

    Restoration icon

    Since its establishment in 1889, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago’s Grant Park neighborhood has been an integral piece of the area’s architectural record and community engagement efforts. Many know the theatre for its distinctive original architecture by one of Chicago’s most influential design pair, Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, but it is also known for an extensive restorative effort that began in the 1960s and continues today. In July 2019, the League of Historic American Theatres recognized the Auditorium Theatre for its restorative and programmatic achievements thus far, presenting it with the award for 2019 Outstanding Historic Theatre at the LHAT’s National Conference in Philadelphia. “The historic Auditorium stood out…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Orchestral light

    For architectural lighting designer Gwen Grossman, LC, IALD, and IES, lighting is the design element that can finish an entire experience. Within any setting, it can shape and highlight details, create cohesion, and even alter mood. This, combined with the collaborative nature of designing with light, makes the process similar to theatrical production, which is foundational in Grossman’s background with time spent designing theatrical lighting.  “What drives me is the collaboration and creating something with the architect and our team that provides a space—whether it’s for students or restaurants, or corporate interiors—with a total experience,” said Grossman, principal and founder of Gwen Grossman Lighting Design in Chicago, Illinois. Gwen Grossman…

  • Featured,  Form

    Varied in form

    It was a home economics textbook that led Chicago-based fashion designer Masha Titievsky to discover the career opportunities in the field. Then, a high school student with an interest in figure drawing—and a path carved in business—she set out to merge the two tracks; later studying fashion and entrepreneurship at institutions like Parsons School of Design in New York City, Bocconi University in Milan, and Indiana University Bloomington Kelley School of Business. Titievsky’s journey in the formation of her current label, VARYFORM, is rich in research. An artist from the start, her studies and interest in art history and the artistic process have continually influenced her crafted garments and current…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Print Edition

    Sophy serenade

    In the early decades of the 1900s, Hyde Park, Chicago hospitality was illustrated by its hotels of grand, architectural statement. The Sherry, The Flamingo, The Shoreland, and Del Prado had reputations for not only welcoming local residents and visitors alike, but also for hosting renowned figures such as Duke Ellington, Amelia Earhart, Elvis Presley, Eleanor Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, and Yogi Berra to imbibe in the cultural, artistic, and intellectual tour-de-force social epicenter along the shores of Lake Michigan. It was—and remains—a South Side Chicago neighborhood whose soul is deeply rooted in diversity and a celebration for arts, music, literature, science, and knowledge. Its landscape is a rich fabric…

  • 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…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Textured classics

    Like many other facets of art and design, fashion provides a highly sensory method of self-expression and creativity, but it stands apart in its proximity to the user. As designs that encompass the body, garments hold a unique responsibility for their users, and as Chicago-based fashion designer Bhavana Jain knows, balancing the responsibility of designing for a specific customer while staying true to design principles can be a challenging—yet exciting—effort. “When I started in design school, I actually had ideas of designing [garments] that are commonly worn in India, and I really was enamored with the color, the fabrics, and the design features,” Jain said. “As I went further along,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    Inside design

    Among the events reflecting the most current industry knowledge and practice in the design industry, NeoCon, held annually at theMART in Chicago, is considered a leading platform. Since 1969, it has brought leading figures and innovations in the commercial design industry under one roof during three days of seminars, exhibitions, and presentations showcasing innovative design for the workplace, retail, education, and hospitality, among other sectors. Now in its 51st edition, the convention will launch a series of off-site Inside Design tours in collaboration with the International Interior Design Association, which will allow participants exclusive looks at some of Chicago’s most innovative spaces; personally led by the designers and architects who…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Redefining space

    In today’s world, technology has become as inherent as it is prolific in enhancing and executing tasks in both the personal and professional life. Residential hardware and office workplaces have become smart and intuitive, relieving subliminal burdens from homeowners and employees as they continue their daily routine. Software applications, processes, and entire industries push the boundaries of what is possible; and at the intersection of this art and science, creative digital agencies are leveraging the cutting-edge technology to craft moments of connection between people and brands, ultimately weaving next-generation digital-branded experiences into physical landscape. “We are an experiential tech company. We create custom experiences in emerging technologies like virtual reality,…