• Featured,  Form

    Freshwater hub

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin is changing the narrative on the post-industrial urban landscape. Not unlike many of its like coastal communities—hubs of economic prosperity carved into the shoreline of the world’s largest freshwater system—Milwaukee’s industrial past took advantage of its port and waterways to fuel its growth and development during the 19th and 20th centuries. Yet now, the city is re-emerging as a nationally—and internationally—recognized hub for innovation, sustainability, and water technologies by leveraging its regional asset. By transforming its approach to water, the urban landscape has become a stage where green infrastructure initiatives, as well as critical global water challenges, are not only part of the dialogue, but also an active…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    TRETOW crafted

    In Milwaukee, TRETOW LLC is adding its own signature to design and fabrication in the area with its contemporary aesthetic and flexibly pragmatic design solutions.  Apart from an early appreciation for art and design, Ryan Tretow, designer and owner, credits a value for craft and a family familiarity of trade work for his path into both design and fabrication. His practice, which became a full-time endeavor in 2016, brings both services in-house to closely refine projects from start to finish, as well as offer a diverse range of turn-key design solutions to the Milwaukee market.  “I was always drawn to taking a project all the way from an idea to…

  • Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Photography,  Print Edition

    Behind the camera:
    Landre 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,  Travel

    Building Harley-Davidson

    For more than a century, the Harley-Davidson Motor Cycle Company, a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson Inc., has been an icon of American motorcycle design, both classic and innovative, with the company’s upcoming—and long-awaited—release of its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, being no exception. Harley-Davidson is also known as one of the only American motorcycle manufacturers still in existence from the industry’s formative decades, and the company’s current headquarters on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee is a testament to its longevity.  Construction on today’s iteration of the Juneau Avenue complex—originally the company’s factory—began in 1910, the same year Harley-Davison’s iconic bar and shield logo was first used. Recently, flat files containing a collection…

  • Form

    Wisconsin’s Highland

    At just 20-years-old, young entrepreneur Elle Kaderabek made the move to become a business owner with the purchase and renovation of what was previously known as Kessler’s Old World Guesthouse in Cleveland, Wisconsin. Renamed by Kaderabek after the highlander cow, Highland Lodge is a rustic-modern, eight-room hotel with plans for additional expansion. The hotel, originally opened in 2002, was previously owned by Frank Kessler and Kay Kessler and was designed to authentically represent German-style buildings. The couple, who frequently visited Germany, decorated the inn with memorabilia from their trips, according to Kaderabek. “When [Kessler] left, he left all his German art, memorabilia, and beds in the hotel. It was a…

  • Design Spotlight,  Print Edition

    Dream boat

    Water, in its many forms, could be considered a first and final frontier. A fundamental element of survival, its freshwater bodies are a priceless resource and have led to vast, complex cities developed at its shorelines. Its waterways have proven to be vital conduits for the transportation of commercial goods and services, and in the Great Lakes region, offer a sprawling, interconnected aquatic playground for recreational boating elements. In Manitowoc, Wisconsin, there is a company that has built a legacy of designing and building custom, handcrafted vessels since the mid-1800s with the launch of small 20-to-30-foot fishing boats for local commercial fishermen. For the next 156 years, the company would…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Material truth

    When looking out over the rooftops of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Historic Third Ward district, a pattern soon becomes apparent: works by Flux Design appear at every corner, whether in architecture, sculpture, furniture, or interior design. Today, the firm occupies nearly 20,000 square-feet of studio space in Milwaukee, and its portfolio spans industries and typologies from door handles and museum installations to brewery architecture and a show on the DIY Network called “Made in Milwaukee” composing its overall thumbprint on the city. However, when co-founded in 2000 by Jeremy Shamrowicz and Jesse Meyer shortly after their graduation from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Flux Design was a more modest operation.…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Art work

    There is a romantic narrative about grand old estates. The dramatic, the eclectic, and the traditional frequently collide and coalesce into something seamless and comfortable as time passes. It often brings to mind palatial residences of both colonial and continental setting, where distinguished columns and lofted ceilings are tempered by coastal touches or lush greenery. Designed and built by Lowell Custom Homes in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the Lakeside Conservatory home is meant to capture its homeowners’ lifestyle and appreciation for timeless design. “Homes are pieces of art,” said Scott Lowell, founder and president of Lowell Custom Homes. “I love building homes. Each one we build is different. We have never…