• Architecture,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Brent R. Dykstra, LEED AP

    Brent Dykstra, LEED AP, senior architect and senior associate at AMDG Architects, Incorporated in Grand Rapids, Michigan knew he wanted to be an architect when he was about 12- or 13-years-old; although he didn’t completely know what it meant at the time.  “It seemed like the right convergence of practical problem solving and artistic creation. I don’t think I ever felt like I wanted to go into a pure engineering side and I think I felt too practical to be an artist—and probably not creative enough—and I enjoyed history,” Dykstra said. “I think I’ve always just enjoyed understanding how things are the way they are.” Dykstra joined AMDG Architects in…

  • Featured,  Form

    Diverse craft

    Variation in project scope and typology often brings new opportunities to play with different architectural styles, and for Elaine Keiser, AIA, architect and principal of Elaine Keiser Architect, Inc., those opportunities bring a breath of fresh air and thrill.  “I really embrace the idea that we can venture out into different styles of architecture and find some new way to bring them together for what the client is looking for,” Keiser said. “What we design is tailored to them and that makes it a lot of fun and very interesting for everybody involved. I’m not stuck on any particular type of design.” Keiser, who is a licensed architect in seven…

  • Print Edition

    Kevin Montgomery, AIA, LEED GA

    “A few years ago, I really decided to embrace the idea of you don’t know what you don’t know. Our job is something that the best of them are in their prime when they are in their final stage of their career, potentially, and it is because you can continue to master more and more of what goes into the building since there is so much to it,” said Kevin Montgomery, AIA, LEED GA, architect and partner at KrM Architecture+ in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Montgomery’s own beginning with architecture was somewhat of a family affair: his father is a practicing architect and his grandfather founded KrM Achitecture+ in Anderson, Indiana in…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Beautiful backdrop

    Since revising its lineup of engineered stone, quartz, and solid surfaces to offer products for every budget, Lakeside Surfaces Inc., a Midwest installer and fabricator of countertop materials, has also included a hand-selected grouping of options from HanStone Quartz, the flagship product and subsidiary of global manufacturer Hanwha Surfaces. Driven to create products that enhance life’s journey and provide a backdrop in both residential and commercial spaces, HanStone Quartz is a North American designer and manufacturer of engineered quartz products with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada. HanStone Quartz offers about 60 colors of surfacing products, which are composed of 93 percent natural quartz mined from the Earth and…

  • Design

    Valued stone

    Text: R. Collins  As timeless components of many interior spaces, stone products have grown in quantity and quality as a result of development in fabrication techniques and becoming increasingly customizable for individuals and businesses.  Great Lakes Granite Works in Comstock Park, Michigan, is a designer, retailer, and fabricator of fine stone products, pursuing customer satisfaction and a diverse range of quality materials since 1992. The drive to provide clients with natural solution for architectural and commercial needs has solidified the firm’s position as one of West Michigan’s top fabricators and installers of granite and quartz. Now with access to more than 300 granite colors, as well as an assortment of…

  • Design Spotlight

    Commerce Design: Detroit

    The inaugural competition announces 10 winning projects in a celebration of design and highlight of innovation in business across the city’s neighborhoods. Text: R.J. Weick   Design Core Detroit, a non-profit organization championing design-driven businesses, and AIA Detroit officially announced the 10 winning projects of the inaugural Commerce Design: Detroit competition during a special ceremony held Oct. 25, 2018 at the Garden Theatre on Woodward in Midtown. The competition not only recognizes brick-and-mortar commercial projects submitted jointly by business owner and design team, but also celebrates entrepreneurism and the value of design throughout the City of Detroit, Highland Park, and Hamtramck neighborhoods in the last five years. Of the 37…

  • 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…