• Featured,  Relish

    Skyline coastal

    In an open-air ode to leisure dining as seen in seaside towns along the Iberian Coast, the makers of renowned Chicago destinations like The Violet Hour, Big Star, and The Publican, have launched a new rooftop bar concept offering sweeping views of the Chicago skyline, and a relaxed interpretation of the outdoor cervecerías signature to Spanish and Portuguese coasts. Bar avec is located on the eighth floor of avec’s newly opened avec River North restaurant, and the pair are the newest additions to the award-winning portfolio of One Off Hospitality Group, a hospitality and restaurant management company in Chicago. One Off Hospitality’s portfolio also comprises avec West Loop in Chicago’s…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    The urban home

    In downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, the renovation of the third floor of a historic building transforms a vacant, open space into two individual residences for its owners. Featuring a collaborative design-and-build team, which includes two businesses local to Kalamazoo, Intersect Studio and Buday’s Home Electronics Simplified, the project comprises the restoration of the building while maintaining its charm, as well as tailoring each unit to meet the needs of its resident with the installation of innovative and modern technology. Intersect Studio is a design firm specializing in strategy, architecture, planning, interior design, and experiential branding in Kalamazoo. On this project, the company paired its services and worked alongside Buday’s Home Electronics…

  • 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

    Design Corner: Eucalyptus

    Earlier this spring, Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, Michigan released one of its latest handcrafted tile additions: the 4-by-12-inch Eucalyptus art tile, which depicts the gentle draping and verdant growth of Eucalyptus trees in the Pacific Northwest. Motawi, an eclectic art and installation tile crafter, is known for its intricate, handmade tiles inspired by painters, illustrators, lithographers, and designers, from Frank Lloyd Wright and Charley Harper to the letterpress and block printer Yoshiko Yamamoto, whose prolific work in the Arts and Crafts style inspired the addition of Eucalyptus. “Arts and Crafts is a favorite style of mine, and Yoshiko Yamamoto’s designs capture that aesthetic beautifully and intriguingly,” said Nawal Motawi,…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Re-framing the view

    In 1823, a Baltimore-based businessman ran an advertisement for the sale of a Wire and Wheat Fan Establishment in the “The American Farmer: containing Original Essays and Selections on Rural Economy and Internal Improvement with Illustrative Engravings and the Prices Current of Country Produce, Vol. IV.” In it, J. Grafflin listed the sale of wheat fans, rolling screens, and “assorted wove wire for windows and other purposes,” and R. Sinclair, who purchased the establishment, indicated he intended to keep the “ready-made, all kinds of wove wire, suitable for rolling screens, safes, riddles, sieves, and wheat fans.” While other entrepreneurs and inventors would quickly sell, advertise, and file patents—such as Bayley…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Empathy in industry

    A reusable epinephrine auto-injector; a minimalist household composter; an eco-friendly and contemporary ceramic and glass toaster: there’s no lack of innovation within University of Cincinnati alum Mary Friedl’s expanding portfolio. The industrial designer graduated from the university’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning last May 2020 and promptly won a competition for designing an eco-friendly toaster as a part of the Industrial Designers Society of America’s Sustainability Deep Dive 2020 conference. With an overarching goal for creating empathetic and impactful design work, Friedl has delved into design research and work that promotes health and sustainability, whether through products purposed for medical environments or those of which simply bring people…

  • Featured,  Form

    The lakefront perspective

    For the clients of this modern home on the shores of Lake Angelus in Oakland County, Michigan, the artful design began more than a decade ago when they fell in love with the property. With a desire to maximize the panoramic lakefront views, the homeowners looked to DesRosiers Architects, an award-winning architectural firm in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and a collaborative team of builders, designers, and craftspeople to bring the waterfront home to envisioned life. Its striking contemporary lines and rich materiality create a bold architectural statement, while offering a warm, inviting environment for family and friends. Intentional in its design, the home rests on a gently sloping bluff atop a…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    NeoCon designs anew

    Beginning this month, the world’s leading expo for the commercial interiors industry, NeoCon, will convert the major disruptions of this past year into a robust virtual spring and summer programming series leading up to the expo’s physical return to theMART in Chicago from October 4th through 6th, 2021. The online programming series will begin March 24th and run through the physical event in October, centering on the increasingly relevant theme of “Designing Anew.” Besides offering the NeoCon community opportunities to remotely dip into an array of live sessions, expanded virtual modules, and topical events, NeoCon’s virtual prelude seeks to connect design professionals and enthusiasts with invaluable education, networking opportunities, and…

  • Featured,  Relish,  Travel

    MDRD in cityscape

    The skyline in Grand Rapids, Michigan could be considered one of the most changed in the Midwest, with development projects and creative moments of design found around most corners of the downtown core, which spreads along western Michigan’s Grand River. It is a burgeoning travel destination with a bent for hospitality, with several recent hotel projects hosted in hospitality families like Marriott and Hilton. Its flair for hosting the regional and international traveler uniquely pairs with the city’s intimate, mid-sized metropolitan feel and unique dining destinations that harness flavor profiles from traditional and Louisiana-style French cuisine to Asian fusion and Japanese eateries, and jovial tapas bars. In 2020, one of…