• Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    NeoConnect

    Since 1969, NeoCon has punctuated each June with its eagerly awaited, three-day showcase of all things cutting-edge design in the commercial interiors industry. International design enthusiasts and design firms—specializing in everything from workplace textiles to ergonomic tech gadgets—converge in Chicago for three days of robust educational programming, informative and engaging keynote presentations from industry leaders, and the latest innovations and emerging talent in the industry.  Though this summer’s NeoCon has been cancelled, returning to Chicago in 2021, its organizers have filled its space with a content-rich virtual hub that will connect the design community for the entire month of June 2020, and beyond. The interactive online platform, called NeoConnect, launches…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Green design

    A modular partition and trellis made from regenerated resin; a Puerto Rico-based, non-profit organization repairing hurricane-affected communities with solar power; and an entire city district in Dubai designed by the Chicago-based firm of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture LLP: these are all projects from 20 different nations unified by the new GREEN GOOD DESIGN awards.  GREEN GOOD DESIGN awards are a special edition of the nearly 70-year-old GOOD DESIGN™ awards, which was founded in Chicago by Edgar Kaufmann Jr., Eero Saarinen, and Charles and Ray Eames, and organized by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. In…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Infusion showrooms

    For plumbing products distributor ETNA Supply Company, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, brainstorming and selecting the various plumbing fixtures needed for residential or commercial design projects are anything but dull. Faucets one can talk to, in-wall water filtration, instant hot or cold sparkling water—these are just some of the abilities of products offered by Infusion by ETNA for designers, contractors, plumbers, and others to creatively utilize one of the most important natural resources.  ETNA Supply and Infusion by ETNA have been in place since 1965 to curate and circulate the latest and greatest advancements and trends in plumbing—decorative and unseen—to hit the market, and its work can be found in…

  • Featured,  Form

    Focal Point 

    From bettering focus in the workplace and classroom to quieting libraries and helping hospital patients sleep, acoustic controls play an important part in the experience of a built environment. Architecturally, measures to distribute natural resources like light and sound are as relevant as ever, as many markets address a growing need for ergonomic and holistic design solutions focused on emotional, physical, and mental comfort.  In Chicago, lighting manufacturer Focal Point LLC has been on the forefront of these architectural accent materials for more than two decades, releasing many products that can be found in office, education, hospitality, and medical spaces alike. Recently, its acclaimed Acoustic Solutions Portfolio has been joined…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Oji Masanori x Mjölk

    Solid brass and soft light are the main ingredients in this delicate light fixture created by the Japanese industrial designer Oji Masanori. The Diamond Pendant lamp was conceived for the Toronto-based lifestyle shop and gallery, Mjölk, as part of an exclusive collection, and it was handcrafted by artisans in the city. Fundamentally, the pendant recalls Masanori’s careful attention to form, proportion, and even utility in housewares design. A solid brass pulley and counterweight matching the light’s conic cover plate allows the nine-foot cord to be moved and adjusted vertically, and the fogged casing emits a diffused, calming glow. Masanori, who is CEO of the studio Oji & Design, is largely…

  • Featured,  Form

    Builders resource

    In Traverse City, Michigan, a local building materials and solutions showroom is leveraging its national footprint to offer customers a diverse portfolio of products and services. Spanning approximately 17,000 square-feet and set next to its own lumber yard, Builders FirstSource’s local Traverse City showroom offers a diverse selection of pre-built designs that showcase only a sliver of the company’s capabilities.   Every redesign or new project needs good bones, and Builders FirstSource intends to deliver them. Founded in 1998, Builder’s took advantage of the late 1990s housing boom that saw more than 1.6 million private homes built. The company expanded steadily until 2008 during the peak downsizing of lumber yards…

  • Featured,  Form

    Illuminating design

    For more than 50 years, the Kendall Lighting Center—a member of the Kendall Group—has supplied communities in northern Indiana and West Michigan with lighting products and fixtures featuring the latest in industry trends and technologies. Recently, the lighting center’s first showroom location in Grand Rapids, Michigan was joined by four additional showroom locations to create an expanded source for lighting collections and design inspiration. The Kendall Group began as Kendall Electric in the early 1970s, later growing to include six divisions—including the Kendall Lighting Center—that position it as a wholesale supplier serving the electrical, lighting, automation, and steam industries, among others. Its stance in industrial variety translates to the Kendall…

  • Featured,  Form

    Framework

    As the connective tissue for the interior of a home and its outdoor surroundings, windows can play a key role in the function of dwelling space. Its contribution to the existing architectural style is equally as important in terms of its form. In Traverse City, Michigan, Old Mission Windows is a window and door distribution center offering a wide range of window options in brands like Kolbe, Solaris International, and Weather Shield to meet both form and functional needs. With other product and services like interior and exterior door and trim packages from brands such as Kolbe and Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc., Empire, and Wood Harbor Interior Doors; the company…

  • 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…