About

The intersection of architecture, culture & place.

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PHILOSOPHY  |  The design landscape is changing. Our approach is new & our work is disruptive. As a multidisciplinary design studio, we pursue projects simply on the basis of design quality, not project typology. Products, experiences & spaces should be both accessible & exceptionally well made. The next generation of design is here & we are ready for a new group of people who bring with them an elevated expectation for design excellence.

PROCESS  |  Throughout our design process we refuse to accept the illusion of limitations & move beyond them through exploration & determination. Our work is an uncompromised pursuit of a pure idea & a committed execution of that vision into reality. Our truly multidisciplinary process spans the gap between trades & technology to create works that form a strong sense of place for the people that experience them. We never sacrifice on quality. All of our work is designed, manufactured & assembled entirely in Milwaukee; for Milwaukee and beyond. Follow our daily happenings on Instagram.

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Elevate Your Lifestyle.

Work

SKETCH | DESK

Product

SKETCH desk is a sturdy work surface ready to support an equally beautiful Macintosh or a stack of your favorite books. The solid walnut top is wrapped by a pair of folded steel legs – it’s as simple as that. Surf the interwebs, write a novel, or flush out a new idea. SKETCH is ready.  |  $1199  |  Limited Production – Contact for current stock + product availability

 

MATERIALS

Solid Walnut  |  Matte Black Powdercoated Steel

DIMENSIONS

46″L x 23″W x 30″H

NOMAD | EASEL

Product

The modern morning is a hectic routine. When the alarm rings, NOMAD is there at your ready. Slide your heirloom mirror between the clamps + it transforms into a dressing mirror to help you get ready for your big day. – Or, prop NOMAD in the living space of your urban loft as a place to showcase your favorite piece of art. Whatever your need, NOMAD can multi-task just like you.  |  $799  |  Limited Production – Contact for current stock + product availability 

 

MATERIALS

Solid Walnut  |  Matte Black Powdercoated Steel  |  Solid Brass  |  Red Cloth-Wrapped Cord

DIMENSIONS

18″W (@ Base ) x 79″H  |  44″ Slot Capacity

RASCAL | BENCH

Product

Place RASCAL by the front door to lace up your killer new sneakers or carry it into your living room for extra seating during that dinner party you’ll host. RASCAL is spacious enough for two, yet compact enough for use as an impromptu coffee table in cozy urban homes.  |  $875 |  Limited Production – Contact for current stock + product availability

 

MATERIALS

Solid Walnut  |  Matte Black Powdercoated Steel

DIMENSIONS

36″L x 14″W x 18″H

SHOP LIGHT | WORK LAMP

Product

Just as the name describes, SHOP LIGHT was inspired by the versatility of the lamp hanging in your grandfather’s workshop. The removable, folded steel lamp fixture finds its home on a faceted, solid walnut block that mounts easily to any wall. The solid brass pin locks all the components together + provides a place to hang that gorgeous red cord.  |  $459  |  Limited Production – Contact for current stock + product availability 

 

MATERIALS

Solid Walnut  |  Matte Black Powdercoated Steel  |  Solid Brass  |  Red Cloth-Wrapped Cord

DIMENSIONS

4″W x 12″H

LUNAR | COFFEE TABLE

Product

LUNAR explores new design territory. Like Apollo 11 touched down on the moon, LUNAR perches delicately atop your beautiful loft floors. This table is about as honest as it gets. A solid walnut top is held up by matte black powdercoated plate steel legs that fold to grasp each custom machined, solid brass foot. The 32” round top is perfectly sized to compliment your existing furnishings. LUNAR has enough real estate for food + drinks during the big game, or a glass of wine with your closest friends.  |  $1100  |  Limited Production – Contact for current stock + product availability

 

MATERIALS

Solid Walnut  |  Matte Black Powdercoated Steel  |  Solid Brass

DIMENSIONS

32″DIA. x 17″H

LUXO | TASK LAMP

Product

LUXO LAMP is a compact task lamp that gets the job done. Humble in form, this lamp exudes bespoke elegance when perched upon that favorite vintage piece you already own, or atop SKETCH, LUNAR, or RASCAL. Subtle wood facets and crisp geometry are used in contrast to the expressive curves of red cloth-wrapped cord.  |  $499  |  Limited Production – Contact for current stock + product availability  

 

MATERIALS

Solid Walnut  |  Matte Black Powdercoated Steel  |  Solid Brass  |  Red Cloth-Wrapped Cord

DIMENSIONS

10″L x 6″W x 16″H

MOBILE DESIGN BOX

Space

SPATIAL + EXPERIENCE DESIGN

Mobile Design Box is Milwaukee’s first pop-up design exhibition space. Honoring the raw attributes of the architecture and temporal nature of the programming, our team crafted a solution inspired by local manufacturing heritage & a stark high-design aesthetic. Tight budget constraints and a short project schedule drove a concept framed around the idea of how an unconventional space could do more with less.

 

PRESS

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Art City, 2015
Plumen Blog, 2015

 

Mobile Design Box was made possible with support from UWM SARUP + Mandel Group  |  Storefront graphic collaboration with Andrew Cesarz  |  Image Credit: Andrew Cesarz, LEVEL Visuals, VallenAlexander

OFFSITE AT NEOCON

Experience

EXHIBIT + EXPERIENCE DESIGN

Our first line of high quality furniture, The Urban Lifestyle Collection, was launched at the Guerrilla Truck Show; an offsite design event at NeoCon in Chicago. The show is the largest independent design exhibition in the United States and features work from over sixty of the region’s best young designers. All designers exhibit from the back of rental trucks lined up along the sidewalk in Chicago’s West Loop; effectively acting as a series of customized galleries as 6,000+ attendees move throughout the show.

It was the first opportunity to unveil our unknown brand to a new set of eyes. We made our mark with a crisp white interior lined with super-sized graphics clipped from the sketchbooks that first conceptualized the pieces in the Urban Lifestyle Collection. The stark, gallery-like interior provided an excellent backdrop to showcase the walnut, matte black steel, and machined brass materiality of our collection, and helped our truck interior stand out against the gritty architectural context, and fellow exhibitors.

 

AWARDS

“Best In Show” at the Guerrilla Truck Show, offsite at NeoCon

PRESS

UWM ALUMNI Magazine, 2014
Plumen Blog | ‘Best In Show’ Feature, 2014
Chicago Reader | ‘Best In Show’ Feature, 2014

Image Credit:  LEVEL Visuals

 

50 X 50

Experience

50 X 50 is a design centric event series that the TRETOW team launched at Mobile Design Box, a pop-up exhibition space in a formerly vacant Milwaukee storefront. The experimental Dinner & Design event is conceptualized as a night where 50 of the city’s brightest minds converge around a 50ft long table to discuss the future of art & design in Milwaukee. Developers, Architects, Artists, Designers, Small Business Owners, Teachers, City Officials & others from across a wide disciplinary spectrum attended the first 50 X 50  event. Guests enjoyed a full menu of food & drinks from Braise Local Food, Clock Shadow Creamery & Rogues Gallery. A live acoustic set was performed by Milwaukee’s King Courteen. The entire evening was artfully documented by Vallen Alexander & LEVEL Visuals. A colorful graphics collaboration with Bigshot Robot made for a cohesive, branded experience.  |  Interested in supporting or hosting the next 50 X 50 event? Contact us for more information.

Commonplace Shop

Space

Commonplace Shop Pop-Up  |  Coming Soon to Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward!  |  Follow @commonplaceshop & @ryantretow on Instagram for project progress & exclusive happenings at the shop throughout the duration of the pop-up.

The Bowling Alley Bar

Experience

COMING SOON!  |  The Bowling Alley Bar: A Pop-Up Bar Experience at Newaukee’s Night Market. Once a month in summer, Newaukee closes down a stretch of W. Wisconsin Avenue in the heart of downtown Milwaukee to host a 15,000+ attendee event highlighting all that the city has to offer. Beginning in 2015, the Night Market will expand to capture a series of otherwise underutilized urban spaces that abut the evening’s festivities. The first of these installations is a pop-up bowling alley bar in an alleyway at the site of one of Milwaukee’s first and largest bowling emporiums; in the city once dubbed “The Bowling Capital of America.”

The Free Book Incident

Space

The Free Book Incident celebrates the organic experiences that occur when one searches for a new book. With Olson Kundig Architects providing its [storefront] space and Wessel & Lieberman providing the inventory, this installation is designed for all to enjoy.

“Books are more than pages and binding; they are a catalyst for an experience. The reader finds a book on a shelf, takes that book into his hands and home, and its words into his head,” says intern architect and installation co-curator Adam Monkaba of Olson Kundig Architects. “For the space itself, we designed a kinetic book shelf that pivots, offering a variety of settings in which visitors can explore books. Our goal was to create an engaging environment that promotes access to books and allows visitors to interact with them in surprising ways.”

A series of events from readings and bookmaking classes to writing workshops and book clubs took place during the months of January and February. 

The Free Book Incident was coordinated by principal architect, Kirsten Murray, and designed by Adam Monkaba, Sarah Kia, Adam Garrett, Colin Ostman, Katherine Ranieri, and Ryan Tretow of Olson Kundig Architects and Mark Wessel, Michael Lieberman, and Elizabeth Scribner of Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers, Inc.

 

All photographs property of Olson Kundig Architects. Do not reproduce. Project completed while at Olson Kundig Architects.

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