Mindfulness and Business

Is the 2500-year-old spiritual technology called Mindfulness pertinent to business today? Mindfulness—simply defined as present moment awareness—is popping up in workplaces for a very good reason. We live and work in what the Harvard Business Review calls the “attention economy.” The ability to maintain focus and concentration has become every bit as important as technical or management skills. Our ability to pay attention is challenged daily by a culture that values —indeed demands—handling numerous tasks with the adroit precision of a juggler. How do we manage this? Continue Reading

The Enneagram and Business

Use of personality assessments are helpful tools in the workplace. They are regularly used by recruiters, hiring managers and human resource departments and include The Caliper Profile, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. The Enneagram is likely one of the most mature assessments, providing cursory psychological information to a casual student and becoming a powerful symbol of unity and diversity, change and transformation to ongoing students. Continue Reading

The Democratization of Web Design

Marketing began a rapid shift/tilt to the internet in 1994 when designers gained the ability to markedly influence user experience in browsers with the release of the first specification for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Since then, there has been a veritable explosion of migration of information to the digital world. Design has become a predominant focal point for websites with the accompanying disciplines of user testing, user experience and user interface. Continue Reading

Evanston Playwrights Craft a Gem With “Ten Dollar House”

Rick Kinnebrew and Martha Meyer have polished their new play, “Ten Dollar House” into a fine gem. It tells the story of historic preservationists Bob Neal and Edgar Hellum from Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Billed as a “True Story about Love and Historic Preservation,” it serves up humor and touching interaction between two pioneer men finding a way to live a life together in the rural midwest. Continue Reading

Kindness, Gratitude and the Lost Keys

This was the look on my face when I got off my bike, reached into my windbreaker pocket and found my keys missing. Somewhere on the bike path between Glencoe and Evanston, my wad of keys—those essential bits of hardware that start the car and allow admittance into the house lie dormant, ignored and unattended. I began to pat myself down figuring I had switched pockets without thinking. Nothing. The breakfast I planned at the Chicago Botanic Garden Café quickly left my mind and the thought of a long ride re-tracing my route entered.  Continue Reading

My City, Your City: A Photo Mashup

This is your chance Instagrammers! The Chicago Creative Coalition is hosting a city-wide, interactive, real time photo sharing photomosaic sculpture extravaganza on Saturday, October 17. What is that, you ask? Think of this as a real time Crown Fountain. You know the overgrown fountain towers in Millennium Park that feature “everyman/everywoman” faces spouting water at opportune times? Continue Reading

CITIZENFOUR Strikes the Right Chord

In popular culture and perhaps in the tech world in which we live, Edward Snowden has become a mythological media star… hero to some… anti-hero to others. Snowden’s photo has become iconic and ubiquitous, taken during the sessions with Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian in a hotel room in Hong Kong before he became a fugitive seeking asylum. The documentary “Citizen Four” won an Oscar for best documentary in 2014. Continue Reading

Water Rights: Use It When You Want It?

June 2015 was one of the wettest months on record in metropolitan Chicago. Living adjacent to the largest freshwater ecosystem in the world, Midwesterners often think water is plentiful enough to use when we want it. But the Colorado River Basin is in its 15th year of draught and California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming and Colorado rely on the water the Colorado provides. It’s in short supply. Continue Reading

Esalen’s Brand is Enhanced by Don Draper

Mad Men’s highly touted finale was a stroke of genius by series creator and writer Matthew Weiner. Confession—I have not yet seen it. Those who’ve seen it know (spoiler alert), our man Don Draper went to the place so many veterans of too many martinis and fragmented family relationships went when the dreams they were selling failed to bring happiness— Esalen, the cathedral of feeling good in Big Sur, California. Esalen president Gordon Wheeler said of the show, “I think they got the zeitgeist of those times and the kind of breakthroughs that people would have at Esalen all the time.” Continue Reading

Snubbing Free Stuff on the Internet — Including White Horses

It’s easy to deplore the devaluation of imagery such as photographs and video on the internet as a designer. I stumbled on FancyCrave today, a “great source for designers, developers, artists, and creatives” offering high-resolution photos free for use on personal and commercial projects (see beauty shot of the white horse above courtesy of Banku Patchara). There is so much of it on the internet. Free stuff that is. Continue Reading

20-Year-Old Tackles the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Ocean Cleanup will deploy the ocean’s longest floating structure in 2016 to launch their mission to passively remove 42% of the great Pacific garbage patch. The Ocean Cleanup was founded in 2013 by the Dutchman Boyan Slat and two years later has a team of 100 committed people in engineering, oceanography, ecology, finance, maritime law and recycling. The funding for the project is being called the most successful nonprofit crowd funding in history. Not bad for an intelligent, passionate 20-year-old Dutchman. Continue Reading

David M. Kulawiak, Inc. Website is a Winner!

We were awarded a Graphic Design USA American Web Design Award for the David M. Kulawiak, Inc. website in May 2015. David M. Kulawiak, Inc. is a risk management specialist with many years of experience providing protection for individuals, families—including non-traditional and alternative families—and groups. Their insurance products include life, disability, income, annuities, long-term care, health, pet, home and auto, business, nonprofits and specialty. Continue Reading

Akbar and Steve – My Life with a Puppy

On May 7, 2015, I brought home a puppy. This is the fourth dog I’ve raised from the day its been weened from its mother into real life puppyhood. I won’t say I’m a sucker for a puppy, but I won’t say I’m not. And I’ve grown up with dogs all my life. So… enter Akbar. Continue Reading

“Crimes of the Heart” is Prime Chicago Theater

It’s a special privilege to create a website for a creative organization like Step Up Productions. Founder and Artistic Director, Elizabeth Antonucci has brought careful creative vision with a mission to Step Up now in its third season. They’ve hit a home run with “Crimes of the Heart,” the Pulitzer-prize winning play by Beth Henley, directed by Brad Adkin, now playing through June 14 at the Athaneum. It is the story of a trio of Southern sisters brought together under dire circumstances—ol’ Grandaddy is near death and youngest sister Babe (Elizabeth Antonucci) has unrepentantly shot her abusive husband. Continue Reading

Too Busy to Eat? Try Soylent

Flashback to summer vacation in San Francisco, August 2013. I was looking for a centrally located place to stay in the city through Airbnb. I found a very reasonable rate at an apartment in the Tenderloin. The Tenderloin has traditionally been a neighborhood to avoid in San Francisco. Not anymore. With housing costs off the charts, the Tenderloin has become home to young people wanting to live in the city and willing to pair, triple or quadruple up to make it happen. Continue Reading

Google’s Nudge to Move to Responsive Websites

Designers and developers have been urging their prospective clients to move to programming with responsive designs for 4 or more years. That is—the site needs to be fully accessible and readable by smartphones and tablet devices. This in response to the statistics that grow daily saying mobile usage has overtaken desktop usage in accessing websites. What’s more, there is much data that says a larger percentage of smartphone usage is spent inside apps as opposed to mobile browsers. Continue Reading