Expanding the World of Design with M1/DTW

by Rakks | August 4th, 2011

M1/DTW and Rakks Shelving
Located in Detroit, M1/DTW is a design studio like no other. Lead by design director Christian Unverzagt, the award-winning studio “operates at the intersection of design and cultural production,” working on a seemingly endless array of diverse projects from identity systems to books to furniture and interiors. With Unverzagt’s early interest in the world of BMX bicycling and skateboarding, it’s no wonder his firm constantly creates works that go far beyond the expected, inverting the ordinary to make the extraordinary. Unverzagt explains, “At a young age, I realized that I could literally shape the world around me. Michigan is predominantly flat, and it was up to me to design and build the land forms and structures upon which we rode our bikes and skateboards.”

Although the multidiscipline firm often designs and fabricates their own elements, M1/DTW has nevertheless turned to Rakks for a variety of projects, drawn to the simple elegance of our shelving systems. Unverzagt says, “Rakks products have been perfect because they truly work in a supporting role and allow countertops or shelving components to read on their own. Rakks under-cabinet brackets are incredibly strong and allow us to achieve some of the open or floating effects we are after without having to resort to a custom solution. In the Mills Pharmacy and Apothecary project (pictured below) the ready-made black brackets disappear within the black built-in cabinets.”
Rakks Support Brackets
When searching for the perfect shelving system for the 5,000 sq.ft. renovation for the Rotman School of Business Martin Prosperity Institute, M1/DTW knew Rakks would have the design solution. “The Martin Prosperity Institute is a think tank directed by Richard Florida that resides in Toronto’s the former General Hospital’s ‘Heritage Building.’ which is a place with a pretty remarkable history in terms of developing life-saving treatments, including the discovery of Insulin,” stated Unverzagt. “We wanted to preserve the original brick structure as much as possible, and most of the new materials, including a variety of glass surfaces, which are either frosted or back-painted contrast with the brick in a way that calls attention to it. The library is filled with Richard’s books, of which there are thousands. Using Rakks system allowed us to line the library with books while still making it possible to see the brick walls. The shelves nearly disappear and you’re left with stacks of books that appear to float in front of the brick walls (the labeling component made the institutes’ resident librarian very happy too!).”
Rakks Shelving at Martin Prosperity Institute
Rakks Label Holder
Label Holder

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Modern Spaces Utilizing
Wall Mounted Shelving


Creating display shelving space in an open loft environment can be a challenge. Open spaces present unlimited opportunities.


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