• Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Photography,  Print Edition

    Behind the camera:
    M-Buck Studio

    Photography has been an important tool in documenting the human experience since early experiments in the heliograph and daguerreotype captivated both innovator and subject alike nearly two centuries ago. It is an art and practice in visual communication; both objective and subjective in recording the cultural, social, and natural world.  It is a craft that is arguably one of the most significant inventions since the printing press, with genres and artistic styles that run the gamut from objective photo-journalism and montage portraiture to abstract landscapes and naturalistic architecture.  Great Lakes By Design Magazine spoke with some of the photographers in the region to learn more about their work, inspiration, and…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Photography,  Print Edition

    Behind the camera:
    Ashley Avila Photography

    Photography has been an important tool in documenting the human experience since early experiments in the heliograph and daguerreotype captivated both innovator and subject alike nearly two centuries ago. It is an art and practice in visual communication; both objective and subjective in recording the cultural, social, and natural world.  It is a craft that is arguably one of the most significant inventions since the printing press, with genres and artistic styles that run the gamut from objective photo-journalism and montage portraiture to abstract landscapes and naturalistic architecture.  Great Lakes By Design Magazine spoke with some of the photographers in the region to learn more about their work, inspiration, and…

  • Featured,  Form

    Embodied carbon

    In May 2019, the overall value of construction work done in the United States totaled more than $1.29 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Value of Construction Put in Place Survey. In the same month, Michigan’s second largest city, Grand Rapids, spent $13 million on new construction alone and has undergone some measures to ensure a sustainable future in tandem with its continuing developmental upswing. It is one district among a network of urban areas participating in the 2030 Challenge for Planning, which is a national initiative focused on carbon-neutrality, and cutting water usage and transportation emissions in half by 2030. To continue the effort, the United States Green…

  • 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…

  • 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

    Park project

    Text: Kyle Gandy The Grand Rapids Department of Parks and Recreation, located at 201 Market Ave. SW, is a perennial division of city government responsible for the myriad of parks meticulously woven into the urban metropolis of the city. Their latest project is a $250,000 reconstruction and modernization of Coit Park, which is tucked away in the northeastern region of the city neighboring the Medical Mile and the Belknap lookout.  This particular project is a part of a comprehensive revitalization strategy, which began in 2013 following a park agreement that was passed to bring $28 million to all 74 parks in the city. Coit Park’s upgrades comprise an improved playground,…

  • Design Spotlight,  Print Edition

    Functional art

    While a return to modern and a look to contemporary design has taken hold of the industry in more recent years, there is a luxury home furnishings company in Grand Rapids, Michigan—Joseph Jeup Inc.—that has emerged as a high-end, couture furniture designer with a collection that defines lifestyles and redefines luxury.  “I would love to say that our furniture is like a good pair of jeans: you can dress them up or dress them down depending on where you are going. I think that is the same with our products: you can put them in a very high-end, traditional or eclectic environment, or you can put it in a real…

  • Print Edition

    Megan Feenstra-Wall, AIA

    Architect | Mathison|Mathison Architects Grand Rapids, Michigan There was a period in time when Megan Feenstra-Wall, AIA, architect at Grand Rapids-based Mathison |Mathison Architects, and her husband took a year off from their professional careers and spent nearly six months backpacking and traveling through southeastern Asia and the subcontinent of India. While the trip, which was rather spontaneously decided last minute after abandoning the original truck, tent, and cross-country tour planned stateside, may not directly influence Feenstra-Wall’s design work today, she noted she would like to think it does subconsciously. “There are so many great sites in the world. One of our favorite places on the trip was Bagan, Myanmar…