• Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Island oasis

    Landscape, as a design practice and as a research field, is a rich and complex discipline with the powerful potential to influence the human experience and its relationship with the surrounding environment. It can serve as a catalyst, inspiring innovative strategies and solutions to address social, economic, environmental, and health issues, where landscapes—urban, rural, coastal, wooded, and agrarian—are brought to the center of the conversation. It is inherent to the human condition to often be drawn to landscape and contemplate its connection with and to daily life, which the recent pandemic in many ways reinforced the value of living with the land and immediate exterior spaces rather than separate from…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Print Edition

    The boardwalk connection

    “I look at design as a creation of how humans interpret the natural world. I think there is this connection between the natural world and the built environment, and it is up to us—those in the design field—to interpret what that is, and to create our own values on how we intersect the natural world and the built environment,” said Ernest C. Wong, PLA, FASLA, APA, founding principal and president of site design group, ltd. “I think the general public takes design for granted. They go to places—the parks we design—and say ‘oh, it was just here.’ Nobody really thinks about the effort it takes to design this space. They…

  • Featured,  Form

    Inland Seas

    Containing approximately 90 percent of the United States’ freshwater supply, and about 20 percent of the world’s freshwater supply, the Great Lakes—Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario—are a vital natural resource. Aside from providing many Americans and Canadians with clean drinking water, the Great Lakes also contribute to the region’s economy through the creation of jobs, goods, and services. Since its founding in 1989, Inland Seas Education Association, or ISEA, a nonprofit organization located in Suttons Bay, Michigan, has worked toward educating people of all ages on the importance of long-term preservation of the Great Lakes through hands-on experiential learning activities aboard a traditionally rigged, tall ship schooner. “The essence…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Midcentury epilogue

    The resilient prominence of midcentury styles in the residential design sphere can be credited, in-part, to the appreciatively clean forms of their vernacular and an inclination for melding indoor and outdoor space—something even more appreciated these days as open-air spaces skyrocket in general value. In the ample fresh airs on Lake Winnebago’s eastern frontage in Wisconsin, principles of midcentury design bloom in a recently renovated residence that seemingly unfolds about the lake’s edge. The four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom, 6,300-square-foot structure merges newly built aspects and several existing additions that it has collected since its original build in 1949. The project is the work of dSPACE Studio Ltd., an architecture, interiors, and landscape…

  • Featured,  Form

    Sunspace sunrooms

    There is comfort and versatility in the modern sunroom. It is purposeful in its ability to minimize sensory distance between users and the outdoors, and in sheltering those within from the elements of winter snow storms, spring rains, and late summer heat. It is also complementary, as its form and style often has to blend with existing residential or commercial vernacular. For more than 15 years, Sunspace West Michigan in Wyoming, Michigan and Traverse City, Michigan has been outfitting residences and businesses with durable, stylish, and high-quality customized sunrooms to extend clients’ enjoyment of the outdoors. Sunspace also offers other custom-designed features to create multi-seasonal living spaces, such as: aluminum…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Design,  Featured

    Screen solutions

    As a small family-owned distributor of Phantom Screens in Michigan and Indiana, Retractable Solutions, Inc., has provided the Midwest with the comprehensive Phantom Screen product line for more than 20 years. Retractable Solutions has partnered with Phantom Screens since 1992 and both firms strive to develop product lines and installation techniques satisfying a variety of customer needs.  One of the newest products in their portfolio, the Phantom XL Retractable Screen, is a solution for oversized openings, multi-paneled door systems, and folding glass door systems. The product and its options for installation combine modern technologies with the classic customer care and cultivated expertise that Retractable Solutions has provided since its inception…

  • Design

    The seasonal garden

    By: R.Collins  As autumn continues to envelop Michigan landscapes, the time has come to prepare for the winter months and the blooms to come after the snow thaws.  Sarah Sella, landscape designer at Alfresco Landscapes LLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said introducing seasonal plants to the garden in the fall when the rainfall is cool and steady and the hot temperatures have dissipated, allows plants a gentle environment in which to take root.  “Now is the time to plant your spring flowering bulbs,” Sella said. “Sometimes people want daffodils in the spring time and then, suddenly, it’s spring already and you’ve missed your window of opportunity. They have to be…