Attention fellow design enthusiasts! Super neat event details!
Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 6-7:30 pm
The Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Avenue
Martha Schwartz is a landscape architect and artist with an interest in urban projects. She creates public spaces that build community through intelligent, idea-based design. As president of Martha Schwartz Partners in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, she explores the relationship between landscape, art, and culture, and she challenges traditional concepts of design. Her goals include designing landscape solutions that enhance the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of a place; raising them to a level of fine art; and making landscape design critical to the sustainability of our surroundings.
Admission is free for this event. Doors open promptyly at 5:45pm, and seating is first come, first serve. I hope to see you there, please try and find me to say hello, and if I don't see you, I hope you enjoy this event! Looks really interesting and eye-opening to what we will begin seeing in our design world exteriors.
Teaming up with Gensler - Chicago Design Firm and heading to Ronald McDonald House to CREATE A MEAL; CREATE AN IMPACT! I am truly humbled and equally excited to announce my first charity engagement at the RMHC! December 18, 2012, a creative team of talent will be joining our ingredients, hands, and hearts to make a difference in the lives of the family's staying in the Ronald McDonald House - Hyde Park. In 2007-2008, Gensler - Chicago completed an amazing pro bono rennovation and addition to this Chicago Branch of RMHC. Falling in love with their mission, vision, and impact on families lives, Gensler has stayed in close relationship with RMHC by volunteering team services to prepare meals for family's being served within the home. December 18th is my first time joining this team to give back and make a difference! I am super excited and cannot wait! I know this experience will be so rewarding, as well as so yummy - hooray, we have decided on a "Breakfast for Dinner" Menu! We will be creating a delicious meal balanced with crunchy french toast, granola and yogurt alongside seasonal fruit, varieties of keish with meats and assorted vegetables, hash browns, and even yummy cinnamon rolls for dessert! Think of ways you can give your time and your heart to charities such as this... There is so much need out there in the world - so join in and CREATE YOUR IMPACT!
I have officially joined a world-renown design firm. Gensler. North-Central Region. Chicago.
An innovative team of world-renown architects, designers, planners, consultants, partnering with our clients on some 3,000 projects every year. These projects can be as small as a wine label or as large as a new urban district. WIth more than 3,500 professionals networked across 42 locations, we serve our clients as trusted advisors, combining localized expertise with global perspective wherever new opportunities arise. I am super excited and honored to be a part of such a dynamic and creatively talented team! Looking forward to seeing the path my new career adventure takes me! Joining this design firm has been a dream come true! I could not be happier...
"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselvees will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Thing big." - Daniel Burnham. Chicago Architect. 1846-1912
Come one, come all... Calling all guys and gals of Chicago to join us for an evening of fun and fundraising, drinks and dancing, mingling and marveling! A night you don't want to miss! I will be volunteering at this event, so be sure to find me and say hello! Can't wait to see you all there for this fabulous event!
2nd Annual - Black Wednesday's Ladies Night Out - Chicago!
Plenty of Shopping, Spa Services, Live Music
and Surprises! Drink Specials ALL evening and plenty of chances to see and be seen!
ALL Women "Dressed in Black" enjoy Complimentary Champagne and immediate entry!
Amie Hana is the official event Photographer
Real Russian Vodka
American Laser Skincare
Flirty Girl Fitness
Stella and Dot
and...ALL proceeds at the door for raffle tickets go to an amazing charity : FLASHES OF HOPE - flashesofhope.org
THE JOYNT - thejoyntchicago.com
650 N. Dearborn (at Erie)
Chicago, IL 60610
*More details/directions/ticket info: blackwednesdayladiesnight-eorg.eventbrite.com
24 hours! Yes, that is what each of us are given - 7 times per week, 28-31 times per month, 365 times per year (BONUS: we get 366 every 4 years, hehe)! The question at hand is this: What do we choose to do with our 1,440 minutes per day?!
We may have a career to tend to, a family to care for, studies to work at, or hobbies to have fun with...and these are ALL good things… BUT, do we go beyond that? Well, let me share with you ONE way that I do and a way that YOU can too… Hello, I am Christie, born and raised in the Chicagoland area, and I want to share with you what gives me the greatest joy in life - giving my time, energy, and passion towards the greater good, inspired by the love of God! Hearts, hands, and time joined together for ONE PURPOSE is one of the greatest TOOLS out there!
This is the way we can actively contribute to building the Kingdom of God… So, fellow brothers and sisters, pick up your TOOLS and begin BUILDING!
The cause I am sharing with you today is: Samaritan’s Purse: Operation Christmas Child! What is this organization you may ask?
Samaritan's Purse is a non-denominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan's Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God's love through His Son, Jesus Christ. I volunteer with Operation Christmas Child, and have for going on 7 years, and what we do is pack shoeboxes with essential needs, a Christmas present, and the Gospel for boys and girls around the world. We then bring them to local churches / drop-off locations to have them shipped overseas. Millions of little lives are touched through this amazing and inspiring shoebox ministry! Each year that I participate, I am more and more filled with joy and love knowing I am helping children in a practical way with vital needs like clothing, shoes, toothbrush, soap, etc., and also in an eternally spiritual way with the Gospel, and even a cute little present to open to celebrate the gift of Christmas, such as a special doll or neat lego set! I love this ministry so much! It has truly been life-changing… Upon bringing these shoeboxes to the drop-off locations, you see PILES upon PILES of shoeboxes stacking up, and you are immediately humbled at the thought of the BUNCHES of children’s lives that will be impacted by a square sized object created of cardboard filled with little things that you and I might take for granted each day…
Think about it – this is bound to be the highlight of their ENTIRE LIVES… Wow, what a humbling and motivating thought! This organization has made a name for itself throughout the world, and rightfully so- the lives that have been impacted are innumerable! Just check out this video and have a look for yourself… *WARNING* - I promise your heart is going to be touched and you are going to be moved to HELP! Ok, goody goody, get watching, hehe! Click on this link or copy and paste it in your URL bar and enjoy: http://player.multicastmedia.com/player.php?video_uuid=mx0601x0&v=mx0601x0&aid=1009052
Ok, so now you have watched and I JUST KNOW that you are asking, “So, Christie, how can I help?”
Ok, yay, I am so glad that you asked! Allow me to share: You may go to the website of Samaritan’s Purse by visiting www.samaritanspurse.org
and hovering over the tab titled: WHAT WE DO, and click on: Operation Christmas Child… Here you can read all about this ministry / organization, watch MORE videos, read testimonials, and most importantly - you can find out HOW to become involved and even get information on local churches / drop-off locations that you can bring your completed shoeboxes to (be sure to take note of the dates, as there are different drop-off / deadline dates for each location)! I hope you are filled with much joy, overwhelming love, and many smiles as you pack up the GREATEST GIFT and send it all over the world!
Thank you for reading, and happy shoebox packing to you and yours! :)
Apathy is boring! So, as you read this, if you find yourself camped out on your couch, make a silent vow to yourself that you are going to take action...and GET INVOLVED! The time is NOW! It's time to help others...and it is amazing how when an individual does this - you actually help yourself also! Totally a win-win!!!
There is no room for passivity, but lots of room for passion in volunteer work... Get your passion on!!! Go out there and find a cause you are passionate for. Do you love animals? Do you love children? Hospitality? Serving God? Each of these and MANY MANY more have endless opportunities for GIVING BACK! It is time to step outside the circle of SELF and into the community of helping others... Volunteers are the glue that brings a community together. GO, right now, and take that first step...yes, you, RIGHT NOW...go be the glue in your world.
There are many motivaters that encourage an individual to go out there and give back. Some of these include: looks great on college application, resume, or job application, it can expand your circle of friends, great for networking, you are inspired by serving God within your church and community, gets your company name in circulation...and many more! No matter what your motivation is, go out there and make a difference! I guarantee that once you do, you will see the impact you are having and you will become an ADDICT! I am inspired to serve God by helping others and I speak from first-hand experience... When I got out there and decided I wanted to contribute to the greater good of others - I was captivated by this world! I saw lives changing, I saw goals being met and exceeded, I saw people joining hands and hearts and love flourishing among total strangers, life-long bonds were formed, and my passion just grew and grew! It has been life-changing to give back and I encourage you to take just a tiny step into this world, and I promise you, your heart will BURST WITH JOY! You will smile so much that your cheeks will hurt, no lie! :)
So... go out there in the world, lend a helping hand (actually BOTH HANDS, hehe), and give back; be productive for a change! The greatest and truest book ever written - the Bible - gives us this encouragement: "Let your light shine before men so that they might see your good deeds and give thanks to God!" (Matthew 5:16) - This inspires me and I hope it will inspire you too... Inspire you and me, to MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!
PS, don't let the notion that - "I am merely ONE person and this won't make that much of a difference", hold you back... BE ENCOURAGED... Here is my motto: "Everything is something and something joins together to make everything!" Let this be the fuel in your heart that motivates your hands and feet to DIVE IN and start changing lives!
People often copy another’s work due to design immaturity. We don’t really know how to properly find inspiration so we default back to mimicry. Hopefully people go through this phase quickly in their career. If you have no originality or self-inspiration to draw from, design is the wrong industry for you!
It is natural to go down the road of self-doubt, and question our design work, especially when working under a stressful deadline or pressure to produce a masterpiece for a client. However, we must detour ourselves off this path, for there is a difference in inspiration and imitation.
Design is subjective and knowing WHY choices are made is one of the most valuable tools you have as a designer. Knowing WHY something works so well and is well received by it’s audience is never learned through copying – it’s learned through criticism, evaluation, experimentation, and testing… but NEVER copying! As a designer we should always be original. To gather inspiration is one thing, however to mock and copy and duplicate is merely SHAMEFUL! Copying shows you don’t understand the relevance of design… Copying DEVALUES a designer!
It’s like cheating on a test. When you cheat on a test you don’t know why the answer is what it is, and chances are you’re not going to take the time to find out, cause if you wanted to know you would have done it in the first place. Copying design or copying answers to an exam are not any different.
When you create designs based upon your own ideas you know why the design works or doesn’t work. You know the genesis of the concept and you know where and how the concept can be altered without losing its appeal. When you own the design, you own the map to the maze, you know where you are at no matter where you are. By owning the design you have the knowledge to better your design strategy next time.
Copying may seem simple at the time, but you really hinder your imagination in choosing this route. Not to mention, copyright infringement laws and regulations you violate. If conscience does not stop you, hopefully a justice system will. It is a wise move to NOT copy another’s work or words, for it leads down a dark and foolish path. Copying goes against the very definition of the word designer. Rather than copying – go out there and allow yourself to be inspired, let your imagination loose. Design is in our everyday world…set your imagination free and create it!
What inspires your creative side? How much of design is created from your vision? It is said that art is design without strategy and creating alongside strategy is design. This is true! As a designer we need to begin with an objective, consider our target audience, the personality and tone you are trying to create, and the primary message. A sketch is a great starting point for bringing forth your vision to life. But what happens
when we arrive at a roadblock in our creative minds? Uh-oh!!! Well, good news reader – please read on... Here are some tips I have found helpful when in a designer’s rut…
1. Tap into your subconscious. There are a lot of great and creative ideas in there! Let your mind go blank, find your place of peace and quiet, and see what rises to the surface – you might be surprised! I often am.
2. Don’t steal it. It is ok to draw inspiration from another’s design, but be sure when you are creating – that it is YOUR OWN! Be your own designer! Create something from you out in the world – something absolutely unique! William Blake said: “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.” This resonates in my heart when I design! Let it inspire you to be original…
3. Utilize your own system. My design system consists of brainstorming, sketching, resting my mind – even going for a run if I still need to clear out the good old brain, then choosing the best sketch, and entering my media program to create it!
4. Draw inspiration from something unrelated. If you ever find yourself at a designer’s roadblock – take a walk. Look at a sunset, a skyline, ripples in the water…there are infinite possibilities around you when you take the world in. Be inspired by what you see!
5. Imagine what your design hero would do. Get a favorite piece of design work in sight, created by someone you admire and respect. Imagine their design process in reverse. You can see their created and finished product – now imagine how they got there; then run with it!
6. Imagine what you want your design to look like in context. This is a way to trick your mind into giving up its best kept creative secrets. When the vision comes to you, capture it, for oftentimes it is only there for but a moment!
7. Work around the content. Don’t try to jam much content into your media venue. Work with the venue and then add the content. This ensures simplistic and uncluttered design masterpieces. Remember: less is more in the world of design!
I hope this helps when you are in a rut. One last tip is this – work on a good night’s sleep and a good meal. The mind functions best on a filled tummy and a rejuvenated brain! Eat healthy and rest up – then off you can go to the designer’s races!
Ever walked into Ikea and thought to yourself – “Wow, this is so modern!!!” Well, dearest reader, think again – let’s visit the 1900’s – The Bauhaus – which was established in 1919 by the architect Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany, as a school for art and design. The goal of the artists was to adjust to the industrial age by creating functional designs and by using materials such as glass and steel. Many of the designs were exactly what you see today in modern and contemporary furniture and architecture. What we think of as ‘new and innovative’ is simply not the case. It has all been done before…especially the so-called “Modern Movement”…this is not a ‘modern’ movement at all…this dates back to the time period between WWI and WWII. The union of function and beauty being synonymous, as well as the theory/motto of “less is more”…well, Bauhaus is where it stems from. Ever neat, huh..?
Something else to ponder – especially for us Chicagoans – there is a neat little connection – many Bauhaus architects immigrated to the United States from Germany, and they contributed significantly to the development of North American architecture. Their ideas were especially well received in Chicago. In 1937, László Moholy Nagy founded the New Bauhaus, which today exists as the Institute of Design. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the last director of the Bauhaus, designed, in 1938, the entire campus for the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). The motto “less is more” is further reflected in his Federal Center and his Lake Shore Drive Apartments. The abundance of connections between German and American architecture in Chicago provides rich grounds for exploration and research. Much of this can be learned and explored at The Chicago Architecture Foundation, which offers introductory tours in English and German. Also, Navy Pier – the Architecture River Boat Cruise was established in 1983, and it is still running today – it is a must do in Chicago, and a personal favorite of mine. It is still the # 1 Architecture Tour in Chicago!!! Pretty fascinating, especially considering my last blog entry…
The age old question has come my direction today, so I thought I would put it out there... Classic VS Contemporary Design..?
Being raised in the era of the Jetsons and Star Trek...waiting for the day that space ships soar from point A to B to get us places - well, we aren't there...yet...well, not quite... In fact with the ecent prices of fuel we will see a lot more of the Flintstones I think - with yabba dabba doo-ing and the old feet being the main source of transportation utilized...haha. Yet, even though we do not use space ships as transportation, we do live in a modern world, and much is becoming so called 'contemporary', so, can we say that classic design is outdated - a thing of the past? I say no - for certain no.!!! Look at the name - CLASSIC!!! So - we etablished that we live in a modern world, yet classic design remains...so can we say that contemporary design can actually be classic..?
The debate goes back and forth over classic and contemporary designs... Many say that classic presents clutter. I say classic presents warmth. Others say contemporary is too cold and harsh to live amongst. I say contemporary - if given in the right doses, with the right textures, and placements...can be very inviting, yet bring that modern day sophistication with clean lines, simple forms, no chaos, but still warm and cozy at the same time. Dare I pose this question - can we blend the old and the new, the past and the present, in a contemporary CLASSICAL way..? I am a strong YES... I say that this approach makes design never predictable, yet always classic.!!! I like to stay rooted in the classic design and branch out with contemporary... thus creating UNIQUE spaces!!!