Education

August 25, 2020

MMA Featured in AIA: Architecture in Turbulent Times: Spotlight on sustainability

MMA's own Megan Feenstra Wall was interviewed by the AIA.
November 30, 2019

Tom Mathison Featured on the Cover of Great Lakes by Design Magazine

Thanks to Great Lakes by Design for featuring our own Tom Mathison on the cover of their "Architects" edition in 2019.
April 12, 2019

Design Insights: Westshore Community College Safety Training Center

In response to the growing need for public safety training, WSCC developed a vision for a multi-dimensional regional training center for public safety programs, including law enforcement and related fields, generating interest throughout central west Michigan.  The College identified an available existing 15-year old building on seven acres in Freesoil, Michigan that could be adapted and reused as an education and training facility to serve both the College and other communities on a regional basis. The adapted building includes classrooms, offices, reception area, conference space, computer labs, simulation labs, forensics lab, 911 training space, open training area, locker rooms and shower facilities, student commons, indoor firing range, and related spaces within the two-story, 21,000 SF facility. As an education facility, the development of new student-occupied space on two levels for WSCC use included:   Architectural upgrades throughout the existing building Fire Protection for the south portion of the main level Elevator to connect both levels Simulation labs New corridor passageways Observation spaces for groups The inclusion of an indoor firing range required particular design focus on two things:  quick evacuation of smoke and acoustic separation to diminish interruption of normal operations in surrounding spaces.  Within the limited floor-to-floor dimension, an […]
May 24, 2016

How Sustainable Should Your Space Be?

MMA Talks with Scott Branc of New Urban Home Builders

We invited our partner Scott Branc, Principal of New Urban Home Builders for an MMA Talk. We’re currently working together on a large scale, modern renovation project in Kalamazoo. See more about that project.

Scott is an engineer by education and he described the fundamentals of his work as: building science, high performance construction and a passion for architecture.

Our conversation focused on finding the right level of sustainability for each project and each client, based on a common approach that seeks the right balance of materials and performance characteristics for each individual client and project. The challenge lies in identifying the best balance for each individual and project. …

May 11, 2016

First Cohort in the Master of Architecture Graduates

Tom Mathison and Megan Feenstra Wall serve on the Board of Formation for the new Master of Architecture degree at Kendall College of Art & Design.

Megan had the pleasure of being a guest critic at the thesis final reviews for the first cohort of students to graduate from Kendall College of Art and Design's new Master of Architecture program. Five women and men presented their work to a guest panel, their thesis advisers, and fellow classmates. Megan was impressed by the level of exploration into how architecture can impact community as the projects addressed a number of pressing social concerns.

The work is currently on display through May 21st, 2016 in the Fed Gallery (a former project of Tom's) as part of the 2016 KCAD Annual Student Exhibition. Says Megan, "Three or four years ago we were only talking and dreaming about what a MArch program in West Michigan could look like, and…

April 18, 2016

Design in West Michigan Translates to Architecture

An excerpt from a monthly MMA Talk…

Design happens in West Michigan. There is a rich history of industrial design and that is translating now to design in IT and tech spaces. The West Side is becoming a tech corridor where creative startups are consolidating. Our building alone is full of creative companies. We’re meeting people and talking about how we can partner and create connections with those in the design community outside of architecture.

The maker culture exemplified by GR Makers and The Geek Group brings an innovative thought process, shared work space and equipment and creates different types of design. Major events inspired by creatives like Design Week and ArtPrize bring design to the community.

Industrial design is inspirational to us. We interact with sleek, designed equipment every day with our smart phones but that hasn’t translated to our spaces yet, our homes. We are starting to see trends toward higher performing houses, houses that better our environments. Industrial design is pushing…