Career Milestone Achieved IDS Has Two New Licensed Architects

We want to give a big congratulations to Kyle DiMaggio and Craig Sykes for achieving the career milestone of passing the architectural licensing exams. Becoming a licensed architect is a challenging journey requiring dedication to complete the multiple parts of the test, but these two pushed through and completed them all. Please join us in congratulating Kyle DiMaggio and Craig Sykes!


More about our new licensed Architects:

Kyle DiMaggio, RA, NCARB

From a young age, Kyle wanted to become an architect; he made sure to take an interest in anything he could that would assist him in becoming an architect. His love for drawing, creating, disassembling, and reassembling things to see how they worked helped him choose to become an architect. As Kyle got older, he found a deep-seated interest in understanding the environments, and the physical and mental relationships between them and ourselves, in addition to the effects of altering one to affect the other.

When Kyle attended the university, he sought out varied experiences and topics and engaged with as many professionals that he could to better understand his career choice. This time he spent engaging others ultimately led him to pick up a second Masters in Urban Design. After school, he took a year off before pursuing his licensing exam to get as much experience as possible before sitting for the tests. Now, after a year of lockdown, studying, and test-taking, Kyle is an officially licensed architect.

Kyle started at IDS as an intern in 2017 until he finished getting his degree and then joined the IDS team full time in 2019. Since this time, he has worked on a few different projects. One of the most enjoyable projects he is currently working on is the South Lyon Community Schools projects, where he is getting involved in aspects of the project he has not been able to work on before, like designing firewalls and working on natatoriums.


Craig Sykes, AIA, NCARB

As a kid, Craig enjoyed working on projects around the house with his dad, and when they finished the project, he always felt a sense of accomplishment. When Craig grew up, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in the building industry, allowing him to be a part of something grander. The path of architecture would allow him to work on exciting projects while also giving him the same sense of accomplishment he enjoyed growing up.

Craig’s path to becoming a licensed architect was a long and windy one. After passing his first exam, he proposed to his wife. After a year, Craig decided it was time to go back after his license.  After passing a few more exams, buying and renovating a house, and his wife expecting their first child, Craig finished his exams just in time to welcome their new baby boy.

Throughout Craig’s time at IDS, he has worked on many projects, but a couple of his favorites are the University of Michigan Union Renovation and Michigan State University S.T.E.M. Building. Both of the projects taught him different skills. The Union showed him that every project is unique, and working on historic buildings takes patience and hours of fieldwork. MSU S.T.E.M. Craig dove deeper into the building envelope and gained more of an understanding of how different building systems come together and how minor details are crucial to a building’s performance.

Jacob Klee

Jacob’s passion for architecture developed from being exposed at a young age to his family’s involvement in the construction industry and woodworking.  Going on home tours, like the Parade of Homes in Grand Rapids, further sparked his interest. During these tours, he met numerous architects that encouraged his intrigue in architecture. His passion continued to develop as his love for researching new design trends and drawing buildings grew, and this lead to Jacob deciding to become an architect.

Before his 25th birthday, Jacob got his architecture license; he did not initially plan to take the exams so soon, but he was inspired after having great conversations with some senior IDS members during a retreat up north. While studying for the exams, Jacob’s colleagues were very supportive, and helped him stay motivated. There are so many opportunities to expand your knowledge as you encounter new architecture designs, so having the strength and drive to learn new things is why Jacob will continue to grow into a fantastic architect.

Outside of work, Jacob enjoys traveling, be it road trips around the states, studying abroad in Europe, or visiting friends in Mexico. It gives him the opportunities to see how other people live, work, and play in different cultures. Jacob can also say that he has friends across the world. His sense of adventure continues to grow as he goes camping and explores Detroit. Jacob also has a fondness for playing volleyball; though he has yet to spike the ball, it is one of his goals, so if you are playing with him watch out, or his first spike might just be on you.

Continuing towards his goal of designing spaces that make life better, Jacob stays motivated by curiosity and learning from other people’s experiences. Jacob feels that through the design process, you can empower people to make a positive change in their environment. In the end, he says it is inspiring and fulfilling to see clients and users appreciate their spaces.

“The main tenet of design thinking is empathy for the people you’re designing for.” – David Kelley, Founder of IDEO

Jack Potterack

Jack Potterack added his degree in Architecture from Lawrence Tech University after earning a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at MSU. That is not the most remarkable thing about him, though; Jack once was on an airplane with Juliette Lewis. Wonder if he could get us all an autograph?

Seeing design issues and details from all angles and considering every impact that can result from a decision helps Jack become a better architect. He believes the coordination required between the disciplines makes projects successful and appreciates how his colleagues do this as a team. An architect provides advice and designs on built objects, both public and private landscapes. Jack knew he wanted to be creative, but he has grown to enjoy problem-solving; being able to do both of these things helps him grow as an architect.

Not only is Jack a talented architect, but he is a remarkable husband to his beautiful wife; he says marrying her was his highest personal triumph. Being an MSU football fan, Jack was elated to be part of the MSU Skandalaris Center and Player’s Lounge Renovation. It was early in his career and continues to still one of his highlights. Motivated by the rewarding feeling you get when you witness users function in and show appreciation for a space you’ve worked on, is why his passion for architecture grows every day.

When not helping to create and design impressive buildings and landscapes, Jack enjoys going to the movie theaters and watching Jeopardy with his wife. Spending time with family and friends on a deck, by a lake, near a campfire, or even standing around a kitchen late at night, is something he also takes pleasure in.

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing” – Socrates

Matthew Showalter

Before Matt began his education at MSU as a pre-med major, he helped his high school swim team go to the State Championship three years in high school. After a short time of the pre-med program, Matt knew it was not the right fit for him. He switched his major a few times before figuring out his true passion was the art and architectural side of history education. This led him to focus on architecture at Lawrence Tech University (LTU) and developing his ever-growing career as an architect. Matt continued his education in architecture at Lawrence Tech University, receiving his Masters while working full-time at IDS.

Motivated by completing projects and being able to help on the next project keeps Matt captivated with his profession. Matt takes pride in his ability to show patience when explaining details about his work to others is the one thing that makes Matt a true talent to the IDS team.  Matt is always striving towards his goal of being happy with what he is doing. He especially enjoys going on walks with his fiancé and a new dog,  woodworking, and using a 3D printer to explore practical ways to use this new technology.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” JRR Tolkien 

Apply Now for 2021 MAF Scholarships!

Ten scholarships, with a total of $25,000 in awards, are available for students enrolled in college or university architecture programs in the state of Michigan. All applicants must be residents of the state of Michigan. In 2020 Alexander Sulek received two of the MAF scholarships: the Paul Stachowiak/Integrated Design Solutions (IDS) Scholarship and the Kenneth Neumann Scholarship.

The deadline for The Richard M. and Sidney K. Robinson Scholarship is February 7, 2021 and the remaining scholarships deadlines are April 1, 2021.

For more information on all of the scholarships, click here.

2021 Brings New Promotions

2021 has brought a multitude of new promotions. David Giroux, Brandon Sundberg, Tom Carron, Mark Reaves, Joseph Schwartz, Justin Kiriazis, Charlie Haas, Jim Hooker, Colin Murphy, and Brynolf Peterson will all be transitioning into new roles here at IDS. Congratulations team, we cannot wait to see what amazing things you do in your new roles.

David Giroux, AIA, CDT is transitioning from Vice President to Senior Vice President and will continue to help grow our Healthcare market. With a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Architecture from Lawrence Technological University, David’s passion for healthcare design and construction was born during his two years living and working in Chicago.  He brought that passion and experience to IDS when he returned to his hometown of Royal Oak. David lives by the creed, “anything worth doing is worth doing right” and demonstrates this in all aspects of his life. David is currently Principal-in-Charge of the McLaren Lapeer Region Ambulatory Care Center and the State of Michigan, Caro Center.  

Brandon Sundberg, AIA, LEED® AP, Director of Architecture, has transitioned from Vice President to Senior Vice President. Brandon greatly appreciates the architectural process, and the various roles people play within that process. His love of architecture and observation began at an early age from the natural environment of his surroundings as his mother helped him realize a sense of place and the importance its affects have on people and memory. Today, he strives to bridge people with the practice of architecture and engineering by being mindful of the environment and cultivating meaningful relationships. Brandon is currently working with Birmingham Community Schools and other education-based Clients 


Tom Carron, PE, has been with IDS since Spring 2006. Tom will be transitioning into his new role as Vice President and will continue as the Director of Electrical Engineering and Technology Services as well. He is energized by collaborating with staff to provide design solutions that have a lasting and positive impact on clients. A zest for science led Tom to a career in engineering. As the beneficiary of years of mentoring under skilled professionals, he has a passion for providing guidance to those around him who will benefit from his experience. He has served as lead electrical engineer on numerous projects in a wide assortment of market segments since joining IDSAs director, Tom leads a staff of 33 highly qualified electrical and technology design professionals.  

Mark Reaves, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C, NCARB, will be stepping into his new position as Vice President, Director of Athletics & Recreational Sports. After being with IDS for almost 10 years, Mark is driven by a client’s needs and the desire to find unique solutions for complex problems. Keenly focused on process, he looks beyond the norm to make significant and meaningful change.  His passion for supporting environmentally sensitive design extends beyond architecture to his personal life as an early adopter of electric car technology.  

 Joseph Schwartz, PE, CGD, LEED® AP BD+C, Director of Mechanical Engineering, has been with IDS for 9 years. He will continue his career at IDS as the Vice President, Director of Mechanical Engineering. As a mechanical engineer at IDS, Joe’s goal with every project is to provide energy efficient mechanical systems that seamlessly blend into the building architecture. Taking the name of Integrated Design Solutions to heart, Joe works diligently with the architects and other project disciplines to provide coordinated mechanical designs that work with the building design without sacrificing system performance. The ultimate goal is to provide a comfortable environment for all building occupants. Joe feels that if he does his job right, people won’t even realize that he did his job at all.  


Justin Kiriazis, PE, LC, will be continuing to grow with IDS as a Senior Associate. Justin has been with IDS for almost 5 years and has been in the industry for 12 years. He followed this interest of engineering at the University of Michigan where he pursued a degree in Electrical Engineering. Justin is committed to upholding the positive reputation of IDS. Some of Justin’s project highlights are Ford EDC Data Centers, Detroit Energy, Oakland Community College, and University of Michigan Beyster


Charlie Haas, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C, NCARB, is an Architect at IDS for nearly 8 years and has been promoted to Associate. Charlie is well rounded in his project experience working in higher education, K12, Healthcare, Athletics. Charlie has had the opportunity to work on projects across multiple market segments, allowing him to continue his growth as an architect. Currently, Charlie is the Project Architect for the Clio Area School District Bond and the Project Manager on South Lyon Community Schools Bond. 

James Hooker, PE, LEED® AP BT+C, is a Senior Electrical Engineer at IDS for almost 3 years, starting in 2018 and will be starting his new role as an associate. He brings 20 years of versatile experience with diverse understanding ranging from airports and government to schools and hospitals. Jim is currently working as the lead Electrical Engineer for the State of Michigan, Caro Center. 

Colin Murphy, PE, CEM, joined IDS in June 2019 after working in the industry for roughly 18 years. Colin is a licensed Mechanical Engineer with an expertise in building automation systems. He is a lead mechanical system controls design engineer and will continue is growth at IDS as an Associate. Colin is currently working on the Mott Community College, Memorial Building Mechanical System Upgrades, Wayne RESA BAS Integration and Great Lakes Water Authority Springwells Piping Support.  

Brynolf Peterson, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, is a Lead Specification Writer at IDS and has been promoted to an Associate. Brynolf worked at IDS for 10 years before leaving and returning in early 2020. Brynolf works in various markets, ranging from K-12 to Healthcare and he is engaged in all project specifications for the firm.  As the Lead Specification Manager his knowledge of building technologies has a positive impact on the success of all of our Client’s projects.  We look forward to the innovation that Brynolf’s passion will bring to IDS for years to come.    

Great Loss For IDS Family

It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the passing of Dan Christensen on January 14th. Dan’s children Derek and Coleen were at his side when he passed.

Dan earned an Associate Degree in Architectural Technology from Ferris State University in 1962. He began his career working at Jickling Lyman Architects while earning his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Lawrence Institute of Technological (LTU today) in 1968. He joined Frank Straub in 1965, and in 1969 he went to work for Minoru Yamasaki. A short time later he left to start his own practice Jason Christensen Associates Architects. In 1985, Dan joined Hoyem Basso Associates as a Principal where he began as Director of Construction Administration. He continued as a Principal through the transition of the firm into Giffels Hoyem Basso (GHB) until leaving with his friends to form Integrated Design Solutions (IDS) that continues to thrive today because of his talent and dedication.

Dan was nearing the end of his career in 1999 when his partners decided to leave Giffels Hoyem Basso to form Integrated Design Solutions. Dan had an opportunity to stay on at Giffels Hoyem Basso as a Senior Principal, the safe path, or leave with his partners to take on a new and exciting challenge, but certainly the riskier path. There was never hesitation on Dan’s part. Taking on the challenge of starting a new firm with utmost confidence in and loyalty to his partners was Dan at his core. Eight years later when Dan retired, he thanked his partners for some of the most fulfilling years of his career.

Throughout his career, Dan led the development of many outstanding works of architecture at prestigious institutions including Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, and for many years at Macomb Community College with his life-long friend, Rich Kolcz. Dan retired in 2007 from IDS and moved to Manistique in his beloved UP. He built his dream home in the woods nicknamed “Bug Bite Manor” and enjoyed his retirement in his hometown. He always said it should win a design award.

Throughout his life Dan touched many of us both professionally and personally. Our world is better because he was part of our journey. We shared challenges and triumphs together and will fondly remember his infectious laugh. Dan was more than a business partner. He was our friend, mentor, and a big part of our family. We will miss him and the joy he brought to our lives.

Dan is survived by his two children, Coleen and Derek. They were a close family, talking nearly every day. He was their mentor and friend too. His daughter Coleen said, “We are grateful he is at peace, but we will always miss our Dad”.

We encourage you to share a favorite story, a memory that brings a smile to your face, or how Dan impacted your life. He was a great man with a unique way of making you remember what is important in life.

Please take a moment to think about him and his family.

Oakland Community College Science and Technology Beam Signing

On Friday October 23rd, 2020 the IDS team joined representatives from OCC, the OCC Board of Trustees and Barton Malow in signing a 43 foot long structural beam. This beam is the largest piece of steel on the project, weighing more than 9,000 pounds. The beam will be the connection between the new Science and Technology Building, and Building C. The new 85,000 square-foot building scheduled to be completed by fall of 2021. To read more about the project click here

Double Feature In October CAM Issue

WOW, a double feature in the October Special Issue of the CAM Magazine! IDS is honored to be featured in this months magazine for our involvement in the Michigan Union Renovation and the Domino’s Innovation Garage. To read the full article click here.


The Innovation Garage was completed in June of 2019 with the main design focus being to encourage highly collaborative and team-based work environments. There is space for large team conferences, retail research mock-ups and even a high-tech showcase garage. To read more about the Innovation Garage click on the image to the left.

The Michigan Union finished its restoration of the many historical significant features in January of 2020. These restorations and transformations were designed to better server the needs of today’s students. One main goal that the students of the University of Michigan said they would like was to create more vibrancy and visibility to the Union. To read more on the transformation of the historic building click on the image to the right.

Van Buren Public Schools Early Childhood Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

Members of the IDS team, alongside VBPS Board of Education, Plante Moran, and Granger Construction (with a couple little helpers) wore hard hats, used shovels and of course wore their mask for the Groundbreaking Ceremony on Monday, October 8, 2020. Van Buren Public Schools Early Childhood Center is the first series of the three series bond project passed in 2019 for $35.49 million. The new Early Childhood Development Center is set to have 16 classrooms for a total 32,500 square feet and is scheduled to be completed Fall 2021. The final design is flexible and is customizable. It’s new amenity the “Care Center” provides space for the basic needs for the occupants of the building. It gives them a place for relaxation, play, connection and nurturing. The 16 classrooms will be placed around this “Care Center” to ensure that everyone is only a few steps away from the care provided.