• Featured,  Form

    Beautifully designed

    In most professions, portfolios are intended to make a statement. They showcase, highlight, and define the artistic, while at the same time convey technical details and experience. For the more design-related fields—especially interiors—it is a presentation tool often as carefully curated and compelling as the spaces themselves. To the careful eye, it reveals intimate and significant details about the designer or team behind the work and serves as an expression of a process and philosophy.  At Lauren Coburn LLC: Interiors for Architecture and Design in Chicago, Illinois, its portfolio offers a concise narrative on the depth and breadth of genres and styles realized in residential and commercial spaces for the…

  • Relish

    Mi Tocaya

    “I don’t give people what they want. I give them what I want to give them and what I want to share,” said Chef Diana Davila, who is the mind behind Mi Tocaya Antojeria, a renowned Chicago antojeria, Michelin Bib Gourmand selection, and 2018 semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s award for Best New Restaurant. Upon opening in 2017 in the city’s Logan Square neighborhood, Mi Tocaya was quickly recognized for its innovative additions—and interpretations—to the Mexican cuisine canon. Combinations such as classic guacamole dressed in chile ash and pan-seared beef tongue with thick peanut salsa establish Mi Tocaya as a source for unexpected renditions of classic dishes, straight from…

  • Featured,  Form

    Layer and texture

    Amy Kartheiser, principal designer at Amy Kartheiser Design in Chicago, Illinois, discovered a love for design while working on a personal project. Though her background is in business, Kartheiser grew up with design in her blood and when working on her first condominium—involved in designing an entire interior from floor to ceiling with the help of her mom, who is also a designer—it resulted in a devotion to the craft that would shape her current Chicago-based studio upon its establishment in 2014.  The firm is known for transforming Chicago residential interiors into rich, dimensional, and personalized living spaces through a unique blending of modern and traditional elements. At the core…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Precious bonds 

    There is something both timeless and romantic to the narrative of precious stones and metals. It is an industry that has transcended as its artisans and designers instill their skill and passion into every polished diamond and each finely wrought metal. There is a story to be told, one of nuanced characteristics that make each stone and metal unique, and of artistry as hands carefully weave beauty and delight into each finished piece of fine jewelry. It is expressive and emotive, in both its wearing and its crafting.  For Dana Rebecca Gordon, founder and jewelry designer of Dana Rebecca Designs in Chicago, Illinois, jewelry has an ability to connect with…

  • 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…