Letter From the Editor





by Susan Grisanti Kelley Photography Maria A. Vettese

What does it mean to be recognized for our work? Especially when the work stands alone without a name and reputation attached to it—when the work is judged on its design alone?



We all know what it feels like when you pour your creative energies into a project and the pieces begin to fit together. You edit and perfect. You make decisions to leave parts out and continue to explore and play up other parts. And finally it all clicks into place and you know for a moment that it is really good. The moment doesn’t usually last for long before the questioning begins: “Is this really good? As good as I think it may be? Are the connections between the parts understood? Is the balance of the parts understood as a whole?”

In the case of the AIA Maine Design Awards, architects from Maine submit projects that they have often worked on for years. They have seen these designs evolve from first meetings with clients where the glimmer of an idea may spark, through countless hours of countless assessments—the site, the homeowners’ lifestyle, the light, the connections from room to room, the building materials, the delicate mix of styles—until these things begin to come together and congeal into a working design, elevations, floor plans, and presentations. And those plans are edited and perfected. And eventually, when the design has gone through as many intricate changes as a caterpillar egg to a butterfly, there is a home. A home that is thoughtful enough to be considered—to be seen, to be recognized for what it is.

Through the years, our relationship with the AIA has evolved much like a design project would: from our first meetings with AIA architects Carol De Tine, Rob Whitten, and Bruce Norelius in our office, to the first draft of our monthly AIA Design Theory column, to our involvement and dedication in covering the Design Awards. Announcing the winners on the pages of MH+D is not only a recognition of the talented architecture in Maine—but one that reflects back to us as a recognition of MH+D as an authority on architecture in Maine. We are honored to be recognized in this way, to be there the night of May 20 when the winners are handed their awards, and to continue to build on our partnership with AIA Maine.

As much as the Design Awards recognize compelling architecture, they also serve as a barometer of architectural trends within the state. Similarly, we’ve added two new departments to the magazine this month: Design Wire and Trend Watch. Both are meant to share with readers what’s new and noteworthy in design—what’s on the horizon before it hits. From a just-released line of rugs by Angela Adams, to updates from the industry trenches.  We hope you’ll enjoy being “in the know” as much as we do.

Susan Grisanti Kelley

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