• Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Freshwater future

    As a collective of fresh water that houses more than 20 percent of North America’s freshwater volume, the Great Lakes hold a unique status among American waterways. They require special consideration and treatment, especially in the face of climate change’s adverse effects. While the Great Lakes have a long, natural history of water level fluctuation, recent levels signal a decidedly more extreme phase in the pattern. The past few years have seen some of the lakes’ highest recorded water levels, which can cause destruction from flooding and erosion to damaged shoreline homes and infrastructure across the Great Lakes Basin’s approximately 14,000 miles of shoreline. Headquartered in Detroit but operating across…

  • Featured,  Print Edition

    Great Lakes By Design: Bold Graphics

    CONTENTS DESIGN CORNER 17 100 Years | Joel Stone, author and curator emeritus at the Detroit Historical Society, leads readers through the history and story behind the organization 18 Blue Tulum | a Minneapolis-based contemporary painter creates dream-like renderings of places in her exhibition series “After the End” 19 The Loon and Boundary Waters | the studio and fine artist offering creative services and popular prints transporting viewers into hyper-realistic scenes   DESIGN SPOTLIGHT 42 Missing middle vernacular | an innovative and contextual multi-family rental building concept within a Minneapolis neighborhood pushing the envelope 63 Alchemy | the new collection by an Illinois-based design studio and international textile resource reflects a narrative grounded in the seemingly magical process of transformation…

  • Featured,  Form

    Ecosystems of design

    A current marker of the advancements in sustainability and innovative thinking of modern architecture, the AIA’s COTE® Top Ten program entered its 25th year this year, with a slew of new awards for North America’s most ecologically groundbreaking works of architecture. Projects across typologies, from university libraries and the health sciences to commercial adaptive reuse and deep tech—such as Microsoft’s new Silicon Valley campus—hailed from areas across the continent, with two coming from the portfolio of the Toronto-based studio of the Chicago-headquartered Perkins + Will. An international design studio located in one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, Perkins + Will envisions architecture as a vehicle for creating healthier…

  • 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

    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,  Featured,  Form

    Oji Masanori x Mjölk

    Solid brass and soft light are the main ingredients in this delicate light fixture created by the Japanese industrial designer Oji Masanori. The Diamond Pendant lamp was conceived for the Toronto-based lifestyle shop and gallery, Mjölk, as part of an exclusive collection, and it was handcrafted by artisans in the city. Fundamentally, the pendant recalls Masanori’s careful attention to form, proportion, and even utility in housewares design. A solid brass pulley and counterweight matching the light’s conic cover plate allows the nine-foot cord to be moved and adjusted vertically, and the fogged casing emits a diffused, calming glow. Masanori, who is CEO of the studio Oji & Design, is largely…

  • Featured,  Form

    Freshwater hub

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin is changing the narrative on the post-industrial urban landscape. Not unlike many of its like coastal communities—hubs of economic prosperity carved into the shoreline of the world’s largest freshwater system—Milwaukee’s industrial past took advantage of its port and waterways to fuel its growth and development during the 19th and 20th centuries. Yet now, the city is re-emerging as a nationally—and internationally—recognized hub for innovation, sustainability, and water technologies by leveraging its regional asset. By transforming its approach to water, the urban landscape has become a stage where green infrastructure initiatives, as well as critical global water challenges, are not only part of the dialogue, but also an active…

  • 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,  Print Edition

    Nick Liebler, LEED AP

    Nick Liebler, LEEP AP, architect, and partner at White & Liebler Architects in Petoskey, Michigan is inspired by the idea of craft in design.  “You’re creating something that didn’t exist before, so the challenge of being able to take a given set of ideas and turn it into something tangible—that would be what is most exciting to me about design,” Liebler said. “It is just the opportunity to create something and use your imagination to develop something within a set of parameters.”  Having fallen in love with the craft of building and creating homes through working in the construction industry, Liebler noted the commercial work was a bit different than…