• 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…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    ADFF: Online

    Following a successful first edition—with more than 5,000 viewers—the Architecture & Design Film Festival’s ADFF: Online program is back starting Sunday, May 17th, through Wednesday, May 20th for a new set of film screenings.  The ADFF: Online series invites cinephiles and the architectural community to connect over positive, uplifting, and recent award-winning films about great names, projects, and movements in architecture and design. This edition of the online series celebrates the life and work of the four creative geniuses and studios of Eileen Gray, Jørn Utzon, Bruce Goff, and Ant Farm, according to the press release, who consistently produced innovative, timeless designs, and left a distinct mark on architectural history. …

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Mask makers

    In this unprecedented time, major players and smaller participants in a variety of Midwest industries have set their attention on an invaluable product: the face masks with which many are protecting themselves against COVID-19. Brands, from General Motors to the Milwaukee Bucks, have launched mask-making initiatives to supply the consumer market that continues to grow in need, nearly as quickly as it is satiated.  Alongside national corporations, volunteer efforts among local sewing enthusiasts and crafters have also amassed into a sweeping grassroots effort to provide friends, families, communities, and those on the frontlines of the pandemic with the personal protective equipment they need. Many of these efforts also come with…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Detroit Month of Design

    In 2015, Detroit was designated the first—and only—UNESCO City of Design in the United States. Since then, Design Core Detroit, the driving organization behind its designation, has been consistently developing efforts to nurture an even more vibrant and inclusive national and global design capital. Last year, the organization launched its Detroit City of Design Action Plan, which aims to position Detroit as a global leader in the practice of inclusive design. To honor the city’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design, the organization also transformed the annual, five-day, Detroit Design Festival into a month-long celebration of creativity for September 2019, deemed the Detroit Month of Design, or MoD. MoD…

  • 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…

  • Form

    Placemaking

    A full-service architectural practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan approaches sustainability through a modernist lens. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based architectural and planning—and recently, interior design—firm of Mathison|Mathison Architects has become known for its creation of elevated-modern, high-profile homes throughout the United States. Yet, Evan Mathison, co-founding principal architect, noted there are some who may not realize the firm’s breadth of award-winning commercial projects in its portfolio that highlight an affinity for sustainable and experiential design solutions. From sculptural public pavilions that interpret the concept of shelter, to renovations fusing historic design with modern sustainability; many Mathison|Mathison Architects, or MMA, projects create meaningful experiences among space, structure, and user—and ameliorate the natural…

  • 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,  Travel

    Center for arts

    Nearly a year ago, northern Michigan gained a world-class performing arts complex and venue that continues to provide the area with a meeting space for regional arts communities and internationally-acclaimed artists. The Great Lakes Center for the Arts has been called a big city experience on the shoreline of Little Traverse Bay in Bay Harbor, Michigan, and its architecture, technological features, and overall mission position it as such among the Midwest’s centers for art and entertainment.  Designed by architecture, design, and engineering practice TowerPinkster, the nearly $25 million structure was part of a community cultural plan nearly 20 years in the making, which specified a need for an additional state-of-the-art…

  • Featured,  Form

    Building in detail

    Behind every great design there is a construction team chosen to help make it a reality and in Portage, Michigan, AVB Inc. has spent the last three-and-a-half decades committed to building something better for both residential and commercial clients. With its diverse range and highly detailed approach to design, development, and construction, AVB has developed a portfolio in the last 35 years that is reflective of its strong commitment to its surrounding communities and to delivering results that exceed client expectations. From real estate development and major remodel projects to new construction, AVB has built a reputation for creating lasting designs and buildings for clients with high-profile commercial projects and…