• Featured,  Print Edition

    Eric De Witt, AIA

    “Design is not a thing you are either doing or not doing; it is just a part of who you are. It is not like a light switch that you can turn on or off: it is an approach to problem-solving, it is an approach to life,” said Eric De Witt, AIA, architect and owner of Lucid Architecture in Zeeland, Michigan. “You are looking at problems as opportunities, or challenges as opportunities, to create something better and it is really about creating better experiences for people—whether that is how you use your phone, and how you get out of bed in the morning, or what you see when you drink…

  • Architecture,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Brent R. Dykstra, LEED AP

    Brent Dykstra, LEED AP, senior architect and senior associate at AMDG Architects, Incorporated in Grand Rapids, Michigan knew he wanted to be an architect when he was about 12- or 13-years-old; although he didn’t completely know what it meant at the time.  “It seemed like the right convergence of practical problem solving and artistic creation. I don’t think I ever felt like I wanted to go into a pure engineering side and I think I felt too practical to be an artist—and probably not creative enough—and I enjoyed history,” Dykstra said. “I think I’ve always just enjoyed understanding how things are the way they are.” Dykstra joined AMDG Architects in…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Personal affects

    Before Dawn Marie Coe, founder and chief creative officer at DMC Design LLC, launched her own firm in 2011, she had a naturally-keen eye for interior details and how they paired with their architectural surroundings.  “I noticed I had an eye for not just looking at those little things, but also asking the right questions to see if [homeowners] needed their space transformed beyond paint colors and furnishings,” Coe said. “I typically ended up going toward more of an architectural and spatial planning [point-of-view]. It was a hobby, but then it became something that was full-time and bigger than just furniture and paint colors; that is when I knew I…

  • Featured,  Travel

    Celebrated history 

    Northern Michigan is often known as a vibrant tourist destination due to its valuable natural resources and seasonal beauty. Since the 1870s—and as railroads expanded their lines to reach more corners of the area—hidden gems such as Walloon Lake were exposed to the yearly influx of visitors from cities such as Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Chicago.  To participate in the industry expansion, Hotel Walloon was built in the 1890s and featured stylish parlors, wrap-around porches, and embellished woodwork. The newest rendition of Hotel Walloon, developed by real estate developers Jonathan and Matt Borisch in 2015, is at the forefront of the Village of Walloon Lake’s intimate-yet-bustling tourism industry and is styled…

  • 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…

  • Print Edition

    Kevin Montgomery, AIA, LEED GA

    “A few years ago, I really decided to embrace the idea of you don’t know what you don’t know. Our job is something that the best of them are in their prime when they are in their final stage of their career, potentially, and it is because you can continue to master more and more of what goes into the building since there is so much to it,” said Kevin Montgomery, AIA, LEED GA, architect and partner at KrM Architecture+ in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Montgomery’s own beginning with architecture was somewhat of a family affair: his father is a practicing architect and his grandfather founded KrM Achitecture+ in Anderson, Indiana in…

  • Architecture,  Form,  Print Edition

    Kenneth C. Richmond, AIA

    For Ken Richmond, AIA, founder, and partner at Ken Richmond, Architect in Traverse City, Michigan, a day in the life will often see him spending a certain amount of time interacting with clients and consultants, office time, and field time, and dealing with the process of building—which he pointed out is different than the end result.  “To me the process is 90 percent of what we do and arguably more interesting, more important, and a lot of times more fun than the actual product, the actual end result,” Richmond said. While collaborating with clients during the design process—and often consultants as well—Richmond said there is a great deal of time…

  • Featured,  Form,  Interiors,  Residential

    The crafted climb

    With a well-tuned eye for detail developed by an early introduction to the art of carpentry and further honed by a 15-year specialization in stair systems, Matthew Conrad, design and installation specialist at Stair System Specialists in Saginaw, Michigan is no stranger to the craft. From compelling works of art designed to last and engaging stair systems unified with—and enhance—the architectural personality of a space, Stair System Specialists works to create solutions aligned with space, budget, and a vision blending beauty and function.  While initially pursuing carpentry before working specifically as a trim carpenter for a regional high-end custom home builder, Conrad developed an affinity for the grand entrance of…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Designing hope

    Behind the initial design process, is a purpose; and even desire in its truest form. It involves configuring objects and materials into solutions, which can result in potentially life-changing outcomes. When Lauren Liebler, an engineering and Computer Aided Design, or CAD, instructor at Petoskey High School in Petoskey, Michigan introduced a new project to her Career and Technical Education Drafting class in November, the goal was to achieve a previously unreachable solution to assist Stella Malpass, a six-year-old elementary student at Petoskey Sheridan Elementary, in her daily life. Born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, or AMC, which is a musculoskeletal disease affecting joint movement; Malpass experiences difficulties when dressing. After years…