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Engineers are (Hidden) Magic  

The world takes engineers for granted. Indeed, their work tends to be invisible. So much of what we see is surface—stunning architecture and bold design. We don’t typically consider how a hospital optimizes energy use, or go gaga for a college campus master plan. Yet this (often hidden) work is awesome, world-changing stuff. It deserves celebrating!  

So of course we're jazzed to shine a little more light on the (often hidden) work done by Affliated Engineers, Inc. (AEI). Ahead of its 40th anniversary, we worked with AEI to better tell their story with a refreshed website. Rich with imagery, profiles of project leaders and concise case studies detailing mind-bending challenges, the site breaks down the complex and reveals the invisible while elevating the people who create AEI's culture of focused innovation. It's designed to induce wonder and encourage exploration, so go ahead and explore. Find out how AEI tackled the Space Life Sciences Lab for NASA or the mechanics of the first LEED-certified retractable roof ballpark. Truly awe-inspiring. 

Get Inspired 

IN THE WORKS

Farm to Fridge

Imagine: You forgot your lunch and work in a food desert. Or you’re doing the O'Hare dash and need a plane snack that doesn't suck. In times like these, a feast-in-a-jar from Farmer’s Fridge is like manna from heaven fallen straight into your hands. With a mission to build access to healthy, fresh and good food for everyone, our new client is out to transform the food industry. From how ingredients are sourced, prepared and packaged to the experience of using one of their iconic Fridges, the local start-up is hungry to change the way we think about and eat our meals.

It's no secret that we take food seriously here (see: this newsletter). So when the Farmer's Fridge team came to us for long-term brand and content strategy, we were only too happy to dive in. Together, we're mapping the ins and outs of the user journey, thinking big on brand and finding new ways to scale the Farmer's Fridge mission for the rest of the world. If you get a chance to try a Fridge, don't be shy, let us know what you think. For research! 

Find a Fridge for Feasting

DOING GOOD

That's a Wrap!

And so we tie the bow on our 10th annual Reason to Give Holiday Potluck. A special day, by the numbers:

  • Over 250 kids went home with presents
  • 50+ donors adopted every single family
  • 20 volunteers spent the day with us
  • Billions of stars shone bright

Our friends and neighbors came together, sharing delicious homemade dishes representing the many cultures in the program. The littles got to pick out toys. Everyone went home warm with new and gently used coats, hats and gloves. Families received wrapped gifts to pile beneath their trees. And our hearts grew two sizes bigger. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who gave. You make our world merry and bright.

More Reasons to Give!

AROUND TOWN

Chicken Soup for the Community Soul

January, you’re such a bummer—after the giddy glee of New Year’s wears off, your short cold days feel best suited to hibernating. The antidote to this apathy? Soup and Bread at the Hideout. Show up and you'll be rewarded with crockpot masterpieces from local chefs with a side of bread donated by Publican.

Grab a bowl, sit at a communal table and make some new friends. Here's a few conversation starters:

  • Are you running for mayor?
  • Is that your bike locked up out front?
  • Which soup is sending you back for seconds? (Pro tip: the best ones go fast!)
The meal is free, but pay-what-you-can donations are encouraged and go to local food pantries and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Wednesdays, 5:30 to 8 pm, from January 2 through March 27.

  

There is Still Kindness and Goodness

FRESH AT FIREBELLY

Feeding the Firebelly

An army may march on its stomach but around here, food is more than just fuel for productivity. That’s why we feel so fortunate to have our own in-house chef making lunch for the team every day. Google can keep the soft-serve machines, we have Emily. She's more than a chef—she’s an alchemist. Every day, she channels the divine into our meals.

When the clock strikes noon, we step away from our monitors to gather 'round the kitchen table and break bread as family. Naturally, Emily has a whole philosophy behind this collective ritual. She calls it Food is Love.

What Did We Eat Today?