• Featured,  Form,  Travel

    Lake effect

    In late March 2021, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, Michigan announced the completion of its renovated 10,000-square-foot lobby ballroom, which was the final project in a nearly $3 million, three-year endeavor to transform its meeting spaces. Located at one of Michigan’s well-traveled and renowned resort destinations, the Michigan Ballroom now features inspired design components evoking characteristics of its surrounding waterways. The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is a short distance from downtown Traverse City as well as Michigan’s Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas, and the Grand Traverse Bay; a serene coastal attraction enjoyed for its freshwater beaches and rich surrounding ecosystems of hardwood forest. The 900-acre resort property…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    A Designed Life

    Creative, persuasive, stimulating, and versatile; design and its many sub-fields have long been applied to large-scale world issues in politics, economics, and culture. The 20th century is rich in examples of design’s influence in the shaping and the response of relevant world events, from the economical office building boom that helped spur the International Style, to the ideological and aesthetic movement of Midcentury Modernism that traversed seas—from Le Corbusier to the Eames—to popularize in the United States with its functional post-war sensibilities. One of these relevant moments of globally responsive design, however, has often been left out of the American midcentury design lexicon. In the early 1950s, in an attempt…

  • 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…

  • Featured,  Travel

    Public space, reimagined

    In recent years, there has been a growing initiative in urban landscapes to look beyond the imminent tomorrow and reimagine the next generation of public spaces. It is a movement encouraging cities, architects, designers, and urban planners to reclaim underutilized infrastructure and transform it into hybrid spaces of both city and greenspace: parks that also serve as public squares, gardens, transit corridors, and living, moving performance art. For several public-private partners in Toronto, Ontario, the Frederick G. Gardiner Expressway connecting the downtown city to its surrounding neighborhoods presented the perfect opportunity to posit a new take on the cultural destination and city park. The Gardiner Expressway, which carries thousands of…