• Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Crafted collection

    Room & Board, the iconic Minneapolis-based furnishings designer, throughout the years has pulled inspiration from revived design movements like Arts and Crafts, and Shaker styles as it creates furniture with tried-and-true design principles reinterpreted for modern living, as well as commercial markets.  Its residential offerings range from mattresses and ottomans to wall clocks and chandeliers, and they also contain conscientious initiatives like The Urban Wood Project—a partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, that sources urban harvested, reclaimed wood—and a general preference for working with small artisanal and business outfits to bring designs to life. The firm also has a branch dedicated to commercial interior furnishings, called…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    The Kohlstedt Keep

    The drama of Lake Superior rivals that of any oceanic system on Earth. Its surface area makes it the largest freshwater lake in the world, in the heart of the Midwest, and its remarkably clean, cold waters are punctuated by sharp rip currents and waves that can top 30 feet. In some places, extrusions of ancient mafic rock reveal the underbelly of the basin, which has been carved by eruptions of molten basalt approximately one billion years ago and the gentle kneading of glacial forms thereafter.  Land side, the lake’s westward buffer, Minnesota, is covered nearly 33 percent by rich packs of coniferous and deciduous forest that also make it…

  • Featured,  Travel

    Sculpted experience

    Museums tucked within nature, sculpture gardens offer unique experiences for those with a love of the outdoors and for the discerning art and design enthusiast that are increasingly appealing in a currently deepening digital reality. The Midwest is home to a variety of sculpture gardens of varying sizes, whether independently owned and operated, or a result of rich, decades-long collaboration between organizations invested in regional arts, design, and environmental wellbeing and education.  Great Lakes By Design takes a moment to marvel at sculpture gardens throughout the Great Lakes region, where visitors can find everything from curated explorations of tropical flora, a carnivorous plant house, and brass-cast depictions of America’s first…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured

    Movement evolution

    Following the landmark merger of the YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis and the YMCA of Greater St. Paul in 2012, and creation of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, the Minnesota-based, nonprofit organization looked to move its headquarters to a new location. The site, positioned in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, would not only serve to accommodate its larger staff, membership, and programmatic needs, but also reflect its founding mission, enduring identity, and intentional thought of tomorrow.  “We sought to relocate our downtown Minneapolis facility, along with our corporate office, as the next step in our legacy and to gain greater exposure by making sure the Y, [or YMCA], is…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Healthful interiors

    The International Interior Design Association’s eighth annual IIDA Healthcare Design Awards continue to honor and celebrate the originality and excellence of current designs shaping interior healthcare spaces around the world.  Beside those based in the southern and eastern United States, this year’s winning firms and projects—announced in late September—also bring the Great Lakes region into the spotlight.  “With this annual competition, we witness the latest innovation and transformation within the healthcare design world,” said Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the IIDA, in a press release.  “This year, the winning projects focused on both function and overall end user well-being, offering elegant, creative…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Photography

    Behind the camera:
    Julia Auerbach 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…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Print Edition

    The personal touch

    In today’s technological age of touch screens and automation, Talin Spring, owner and designer of Spring Finn & Co. in Minneapolis, believes in the importance of tactility. “In everything I do, above all, I think about the human experience, whether it is a bag or a room,” Spring said. “I look into making it for longevity with materials that will become more beautiful with age; that will bring a joy and well-being to the person who is using it.” While born into a family of skilled embroiderers, sewers, knitters, leather lovers, and shoemakers in Istanbul, Turkey, and having spent most of her life in France—a place that has captivated fine…