• 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

    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…

  • 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…

  • Featured,  Form

    Varied in form

    It was a home economics textbook that led Chicago-based fashion designer Masha Titievsky to discover the career opportunities in the field. Then, a high school student with an interest in figure drawing—and a path carved in business—she set out to merge the two tracks; later studying fashion and entrepreneurship at institutions like Parsons School of Design in New York City, Bocconi University in Milan, and Indiana University Bloomington Kelley School of Business. Titievsky’s journey in the formation of her current label, VARYFORM, is rich in research. An artist from the start, her studies and interest in art history and the artistic process have continually influenced her crafted garments and current…

  • 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…

  • Form,  Print Edition

    A royal renovation

    In Evanston, Illinois—a city defined by its tree-lined sidewalks and collection of homes—architecture is a diverse language. Beaux-Arts, Prairie, Italianate, Victorian, Arts and Crafts, and Queen Anne are dialects spoken across intersections and around block corners, passing down their stories through iconic massing, decorative ornamentation, gables, brick and stone, gently sloped rooflines, and the occasional tower or turret. In the renovation of this particular Queen Anne residence, a style known for its irregular roof shapes, bay windows, dramatic massing, and multiple gables and dormers, the homeowners envisioned a design respectful of the heritage in its walls and wove in dynamic elements reflective of their young family lifestyle. Once the home…

  • Form,  Print Edition

    Revived colonial

    “When you work in older homes, whether [people] are going to keep the same essence or want to be a little avant-garde—do something transitional or modern on the inside, but maintain the outside— there is stuff going on in that house from the past. Most people like to find out what is going on, and we kind of disassemble and reassemble—it is a great experience,” said Michael Menn, AIA, CGR, CAPS, CGP, principal architect at Michael Menn Ltd. in Northbrook, Illinois. Michael Menn Ltd. is an architectural and planning firm providing design-and-build services to clients throughout Chicago’s North Shore and the greater Phoenix, Arizona areas. The private practice was initially…

  • 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

    Tactile language

    In the 1990s, Founder and Artistic Director Iris Wang noticed sunlight through a cascade of maple leaves outside of her kitchen window, which doubled as her studio at the time for the humble warehouse operations of Brentano Inc. It would serve as the catalyst for the small company as Wang then blended a painted Japanese-inspired maple leaf with a series of sketched horizontal lines derived from bamboo shades—putting Brentano in the black and well on its way to becoming the international textile house and fabric source that it has become today.  “In the past there were a lot of fabrics that were only pretty to look at, but you couldn’t…