• 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,  Featured,  Travel

    Building Harley-Davidson

    For more than a century, the Harley-Davidson Motor Cycle Company, a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson Inc., has been an icon of American motorcycle design, both classic and innovative, with the company’s upcoming—and long-awaited—release of its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, being no exception. Harley-Davidson is also known as one of the only American motorcycle manufacturers still in existence from the industry’s formative decades, and the company’s current headquarters on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee is a testament to its longevity.  Construction on today’s iteration of the Juneau Avenue complex—originally the company’s factory—began in 1910, the same year Harley-Davison’s iconic bar and shield logo was first used. Recently, flat files containing a collection…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Modern polish

    In Hudsonville, Michigan, the specialty proto-design shop at Banyan Tree Fabworks is known for creating custom furnishings out of unique historic machinery and vintage artifacts. From steel tables and wine racks supported by massive industrial gears, to woodworking jointers fashioned into sleek, modern desks; the firm’s entire portfolio represents the experimental nature of repurposing some of the 20th century’s most hard-working artifacts. To date, however, one of its prized works of experimental design success is a rounded bar made from a preserved 1955 Cadillac Series 62 sedan. “I think what makes this [project] unique is we really pushed the boundaries of what our capabilities are,” said Greg Davis, vice president…

  • 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…

  • Form,  Relish

    Spatialized success

    For the design-make architecture studio of Synecdoche Design Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan, design is a key ingredient that can be used to spatialize a business model, according to Principal Architect Lisa Sauve, AIA, NCARB, ASID, IIDA. The studio was recently recognized for its skills in the area—this concept of giving spatial form or consideration of in space relations—with an award for best low-budget project at the 2019 AIA Michigan Honor Awards Ceremony in June for its transformation of Thrive Juicery in Ann Arbor. The design of the approximately 1,800-square-foot interior was informed by the juicery’s core values—health and wellness—around which Synecdoche rotated a variety of tools for creating custom…

  • Featured,  Form

    Shingle-style adaptive

    When creating a new residence, adaptability is a valuable term during each stage of the process, especially for the architect, whose task is to deliver a home balancing practical and aesthetic goals. Sometimes a difficult task, achieving this ideal balance can also be highly memorable and, in the case of the team of designers at Sears Architects, something that is reflected on during other projects for years to come. Sears Architects, an architectural and planning firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the design team behind a 2013 residential project on the city’s eastern side that highlighted the firm’s affinity for producing adaptable designs—an element that continues to distinguish it in…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Awarded motif

    During the 2019 Hospitality Design Expo, or HP Expo, on May 16 to May 18, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Brentano Inc.’s centerpiece fabric of the Sovereign collection was honored by the International Interior Design Association, or IIDA, with a Product Design, Textiles award. The fabric, known as Quill, was recognized for its color palette and historical inspiration. The HD Expo is an annual tradeshow created by Hospitality Design magazine, where both international and national hotel chains are represented and is attended by some of the hospitality industry’s most influential designers, developers, purchasing firms, and ownership groups. This event combines the debut of many new innovative design products on the…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Solutions in upcycle

    For six years, the annual Wege Prize competition has explored and developed one specific design concept: to redesign the way economies work. Each year, the Wege Prize holds an international design competition featuring collegiate teams from around the world, of which, each aim to create ways of converting linear economic models into circular, regenerative ones. Teams create different approaches to developing these solutions, often in the form of products, business models, or services that are organically restorative by design. The Wege Prize is organized by the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s, or KCAD, Wege Center for Sustainable Design, with the support of The Wege Foundation.…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Material truth

    When looking out over the rooftops of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Historic Third Ward district, a pattern soon becomes apparent: works by Flux Design appear at every corner, whether in architecture, sculpture, furniture, or interior design. Today, the firm occupies nearly 20,000 square-feet of studio space in Milwaukee, and its portfolio spans industries and typologies from door handles and museum installations to brewery architecture and a show on the DIY Network called “Made in Milwaukee” composing its overall thumbprint on the city. However, when co-founded in 2000 by Jeremy Shamrowicz and Jesse Meyer shortly after their graduation from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Flux Design was a more modest operation.…