• Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    The tile experience

    Since its founding in 1928, Virginia Tile Company has become a leading distributor of domestic and imported tile in the Midwest, representing the finest manufacturers and suppliers in the industry. From its two distribution hubs, one in Livonia, Michigan and the other in Kansas City, Kansas, the company services 14 states with its premier selections of porcelain, stone, glass, ceramic, mosaic, and, in some regions, flooring and woodworking products. The company has long served the building supply industry and fulfilled the needs of residential and commercial customers nationwide. Recently, it announced the introduction of a new flagship location in Troy, Michigan, that will open on August 16, 2021, as a…

  • Featured,  Form

    Made to measure

    Theodore Alexander Furniture has become synonymous with widely available, luxury home furnishings for the modern residence, with stockists and showrooms around the world. One of these showrooms is housed in the Michigan Design Center in Troy, Michigan, and together with its series of Ralph Lauren Furniture offerings provides visitors from around the Midwest with the best of the global design brand, including its Made-to-Measure furniture capabilities. “Theodore Alexander is a company with one of the largest in-stock stocking programs. They have a lot of furniture that will ship immediately and then a lot of custom furniture that allows us to make something, especially upholstery, exactly what you want it. We’re…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Crafted legacy

    Despite the rise of industrialization in the 19th century and the technological revolution of the late 20th century, craftsmanship has endured. It is an art and craft of making; bridging the gap of alienation between maker and material left in the wake of growing assembly lines, mass-scale production, consumer culture, and an age of digital landscapes. Even as machines replaced hands, craft and craftsmanship has been celebrated—quietly, deliberately—alongside increasingly automated processes and systems. For craftsmanship and the custom-made object—whether functional or purely artistic—taps into a history and shared human narrative that has been told throughout time. Each piece of metal, wood, textile, and fabric touched by the hands of those…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Design Corner: Eucalyptus

    Earlier this spring, Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, Michigan released one of its latest handcrafted tile additions: the 4-by-12-inch Eucalyptus art tile, which depicts the gentle draping and verdant growth of Eucalyptus trees in the Pacific Northwest. Motawi, an eclectic art and installation tile crafter, is known for its intricate, handmade tiles inspired by painters, illustrators, lithographers, and designers, from Frank Lloyd Wright and Charley Harper to the letterpress and block printer Yoshiko Yamamoto, whose prolific work in the Arts and Crafts style inspired the addition of Eucalyptus. “Arts and Crafts is a favorite style of mine, and Yoshiko Yamamoto’s designs capture that aesthetic beautifully and intriguingly,” said Nawal Motawi,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    A Designed Life

    Creative, persuasive, stimulating, and versatile; design and its many sub-fields have long been applied to large-scale world issues in politics, economics, and culture. The 20th century is rich in examples of design’s influence in the shaping and the response of relevant world events, from the economical office building boom that helped spur the International Style, to the ideological and aesthetic movement of Midcentury Modernism that traversed seas—from Le Corbusier to the Eames—to popularize in the United States with its functional post-war sensibilities. One of these relevant moments of globally responsive design, however, has often been left out of the American midcentury design lexicon. In the early 1950s, in an attempt…

  • GLBD - Bundle Dye | Oswald West
    Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Natural energy

    From daytime textile designers to moonlighting developers of sustainably dyed fabrics, the trio behind the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Eso Studio are driven by a passion for textile design that has come to include equal parts art and science. Inspired by the renewal energy of nature and committed to the act of reusing, the designers form a studio dedicated to natural, hand-worked dyeing processes that have been used to design sustainable textiles for hundreds of centuries. Their individual expertise spans the interiors and textile industries, from a Midwest handbag company and international brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton to a commission for the White House Family Dining Room, and it was…

  • GLBD - Flight Centre | Steve Tsai Photography
    Featured,  Form,  Travel

    Flight work

    When leveraging design-based research and brand strategy of one of Toronto’s largest, independent multidisciplinary design firms to create a new space for a global travel services company, the result is an award-winning, four-and-a-half floor office environment uniting staff from roughly 300 various locations throughout Toronto into one seven-story building. Designed by Figure3 to support the ever-evolving needs and culture of the Australian-based Flight Centre, the full-service travel agency’s new Toronto-based office has recently been recognized with a Value of Design Award in the Innovation in Workplace Design category from the Interiors Designers of Canada, or IDC. Departing from existing office layout that closed employees off from one another, Figure3 worked…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    FlexScreen

    Sourcing and installing the right set of windows is a key part of any design plan, whether for an ultramodern residential renovation, new commercial concept emphasizing biophilic design, or a spatial design project in any industry. Often, though, selecting essential accessories like window screens can receive less attention in this part of a design strategy. For Joe Altieri, CEO of the innovative, Pittsburgh-based company FlexScreen LLC, it is this specific window screen area—and its once-stagnant design themes—that has held interest since before Altieri launched FlexScreen in 2013. Altieri has made a career in the window market, along the way discovering a disconnect between the quality and progression of the window…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Story and space

    “We’re not just designers,” said Lisa Simeone, owner and co-founder of the Chicago-based interdisciplinary design firm Simeone Deary Design Group. “We’re much more than that now.” At Simeone Deary Design Group, where designed spaces are tailored to guest behaviors and expectations, the work goes well beyond design to ultimately reflect a love story of light, shape, and form. Each team member at the award-winning hospitality group has more than a singular task, but rather a holistic one as the hospitality design sectors continues to adapt and evolve with time. From brand curators, interior architects, and seasoned researchers, to historical translators for the designed environment and experiential curators for an ever-evolving…