• Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Catalyst for innovation

    In 1956, Arthur Kornberg, American biochemist, realized a pursuit in biochemistry that forever changed the landscape and nature of biology. Kornberg’s discovery of DNA polymerase I not only led to the 1959 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine—shared with Severo Ochoa for his discovery of RNA polymerase—but also served as a catalyst for a biotechnology revolution. Kornberg’s exploration in enzymes and innovative work isolating DNA polymerase—and synthesizing DNA in a test tube—would ultimately lead to the development of genetically engineered drugs to treat illnesses like cancer and autoimmune disorders, pave the way for gene sequencing, and inspire generations in scientific discovery, process, and curiosity. His work would also lead to…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Vintage curation

    “If I am offering design as a service to someone else, I can solve problems that maybe the client did not even know they had or make their space more functional, but more importantly, more enjoyable. Good design truly does bring joy to people,” said Kim Tanner, owner of Strangelovely in Godfrey, Illinois. Strangelovely is a classic vintage furniture and home décor shop located on the lower level of a historic home built in 1850 in Godfrey. Initially launched in 2012 by Tanner as a hobby upcycling vintage furniture during her spare time while living in Chicago, the shop has evolved into a careful curation of vintage quality and craftsmanship…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Freshwater future

    As a collective of fresh water that houses more than 20 percent of North America’s freshwater volume, the Great Lakes hold a unique status among American waterways. They require special consideration and treatment, especially in the face of climate change’s adverse effects. While the Great Lakes have a long, natural history of water level fluctuation, recent levels signal a decidedly more extreme phase in the pattern. The past few years have seen some of the lakes’ highest recorded water levels, which can cause destruction from flooding and erosion to damaged shoreline homes and infrastructure across the Great Lakes Basin’s approximately 14,000 miles of shoreline. Headquartered in Detroit but operating across…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Energy strategies

    At its 7th Annual Michigan Energy Summit, the Michigan Battle of the Buildings program announced 2020’s award winning sustainable organizations and businesses. The awards and recognition program highlights energy-use reduction and efficient practices across Michigan’s commercial, industrial, and multi-family buildings each year. Since the start of pandemic, especially, commercial building owners and managers have needed to adapt with significant changes in energy, water, health, and safety measures and many have risen to the occasion. The 2020 awardees represent six of these organizations, including the TCF Center in Detroit, the University of Michigan’s Office of Campus Sustainability in Ann Arbor; Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Hastings; Fifth Third Bank in Kentwood; Spectrum…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Sustainability Deep Dive

    As a shepherd of product ideas and designs for the human environment, the industrial design industry has a huge impact on the climate crisis and outstretched waste statistics around the world. To unpack this reality and connect through solutions, the Industrial Designers Society of America, or IDSA, kicked off its inaugural Sustainability Deep Dive conference last year, which tackled the complexity of imbuing the product lifecycle with sustainable processes, strategies, and experiences. This month, the conference made its second annual trek across current themes and innovations in industrial design and sustainability, and the resulting programming was a rich exploration of concrete solutions, wonderous and science-backed products, hopeful-but-firm calls to action,…

  • Featured,  Form

    Ecosystems of design

    A current marker of the advancements in sustainability and innovative thinking of modern architecture, the AIA’s COTE® Top Ten program entered its 25th year this year, with a slew of new awards for North America’s most ecologically groundbreaking works of architecture. Projects across typologies, from university libraries and the health sciences to commercial adaptive reuse and deep tech—such as Microsoft’s new Silicon Valley campus—hailed from areas across the continent, with two coming from the portfolio of the Toronto-based studio of the Chicago-headquartered Perkins + Will. An international design studio located in one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, Perkins + Will envisions architecture as a vehicle for creating healthier…

  • 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…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    From the clay

    Inspired by her experience working in agriculture, Carrie Hause, owner and artist of Held Ceramics in southeastern Michigan, shapes uniquely textured pottery reflective of the natural world. Her work is also informed by a pottery educational background from Pewabic Pottery, a working pottery and National Historic Landmark pottery founded in Detroit in 1903, and its ceramic arts classes; and from Oakland Community College courses in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It is this combination of ceramic education and agricultural work that has led Hause to cultivate a small business driven by functional works of art that nurture plant life. “I like to use some unique surface textures. All my work is plant-focused…

  • GLBD - Bundle Dye | Oswald West
    Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Natural energy

    From daytime textile designers to moonlighting developers of sustainably dyed fabrics, the trio behind the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Eso Studio are driven by a passion for textile design that has come to include equal parts art and science. Inspired by the renewal energy of nature and committed to the act of reusing, the designers form a studio dedicated to natural, hand-worked dyeing processes that have been used to design sustainable textiles for hundreds of centuries. Their individual expertise spans the interiors and textile industries, from a Midwest handbag company and international brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton to a commission for the White House Family Dining Room, and it was…