Haggis & hot dogs: mapping Chicago & Edinburgh

You may have noticed in the last year or so that information security has not left the national headlines — and it won’t anytime soon. That prominence is what lead one of our clients, ISACA (the Information Systems Audit and Control Association) to seek our help in getting potential attendees and their membership excited for their annual Computer Audit, Control and Security (CACS) conferences in Europe and North America.

ISACA is the global leader in training, education and certification for information systems, technology and business professionals, and each year the CACS conferences attract the best and brightest with content-rich and thought-provoking sessions that delve into some of the biggest challenges facing IT audit and security professionals.

Warrior Dash: Taking the client experience to the next level

At envisionit, our top priority is ensuring we provide the best possible experience for our clients…. and client experiences come in many forms. They include the physical elements they encounter the moment they step through the front door. The energy they feel after strategizing with their agency team, or the feeling they get when they see the work we’ve done.

It seems simple, but to us, a great client experience first starts with truly knowing your client — who they are, what they do, and why their product is unique. And oftentimes, this means going beyond data and research — it means getting your hands a little dirty. Literally, in the case of Red Frog Events.

As a major player in the event space, Red Frog Events has evolved their cornerstone event Warrior Dash into one of the most popular and highly attended obstacle course races in the country. Warrior Dash provides a race experience for the “every man and woman,” giving them something different to do with their weekend. The event itself includes 12 world-class obstacles through the woods, water, mud, mud, and more mud — all capped off with a post race celebration that includes beer, music, food, and…more beer.

Did someone say Webby?

We are thrilled to announce The Garden of the Phoenix website has been nominated for a Webby Award in the Cultural Institutions category. Being recognized by the Webby Awards committee is an honor placing the site in the top 9% of all work submitted. While we are now in the running to win the Judge’s Choice in category we can also win the People’s Voice award, with your help.

Please help us make internet history and vote for us today.

Vote for the Garden of the Phoenix ›

Experience Jackson Park’s Garden of the Pheonix for yourself.

Making history With Yoko Ono And SKYLANDING

We frequently use words like privilege and honor to describe the clients we serve. And they ring true (well, most of the time). Sure, some initiatives carry a bit more gravity than others. But in the end, we deeply appreciate being trusted with our clients’ growth and the opportunity they give us to create a lasting impact.

But those words don’t do justice to how grateful we were to help bring Yoko Ono’s SKYLANDING to life.

For 3 years, we’ve been a part of the effort to shine a light on the historical and cultural significance of Chicago’s South Parks, and the critical importance for our city’s reinvestment there. Along with our client, Project 120, we partnered with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, and a litany of community and corporate stakeholders to build support for the rich tapestry of stories at the heart of these parks. It was this storytelling that attracted Yoko Ono to Chicago’s Jackson Park.

On her visit to the park in the spring of 2014, Yoko was immediately struck by the parallels between her life and the overarching Japanese-American narrative that blossomed from this site during the Columbian Exposition of 1893. The story behind the Garden of the Phoenix and the pavilion that stood on its grounds before it was lost to arson reflected critical aspects of her own identity. As America and Japan swung between conflict and peace, so too did her own life. Feeling the tension this land held, Yoko saw an opportunity for a panacea that brings together nations, communities and global citizens all in the name of peace.

Along with this deeply personal connection to the park’s history, Yoko has always had a special place in her heart for Chicago. Reminiscing over her and John’s first visit to the city, Yoko envisioned a symbol of lasting peace as she watched the sky reflect in the waters of Lake Michigan. Last year, Yoko Ono returned to the Garden of the Phoenix to perform a ground healing ceremony and prepare the park for her first and only permanent public artwork in the United States.

On October 17th, 2016, SKYLANDING was unveiled to the world. A stunning lotus of eight 12-foot tall stainless steel petals arising from the ashes of the Phoenix Pavilion now resides in Jackson Park. Our city could not be more thrilled with this gift. SKYLANDING isn’t just a work of public art, it’s a call to action for peace brought to a world in desperate need of it.

Revitalizing Chicago’s historic South Parks

Public parks should be a shared common wealth that uplift the whole community.

That is the philosophy of Project 120, a private-public partnership working in conjunction with the city of Chicago to revitalize Chicago’s South Parks: Jackson Park, Washington Park and the Midway Plaisance.

The South Parks were originally established for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. Though the fair only lasted a few months, the parks were meant to endure as cultural and communal gathering places. Unfortunately, over time, the parks fell into cycles of renewal and disrepair.

Fulfilling the promise of Jackson Park

If you haven’t noticed, we’re big Daniel Burnham fans here at EIM. As an early architect and urban planner in a city known for its architecture, his vision can be seen on nearly every street of Chicago. In 1893, Burnham played an integral part in the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago – arguably his greatest accomplishment. This historic global event focused the world’s attention on Chicago and specifically 800 acres of land known today as Jackson Park, located in Hyde Park on the south side of the city. If Burnham can be credited with the majesty of the White City, it is his shared vision with landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted that has endured, albeit a tarnished vision.

120 years ago these two giants of urban development had a plan for Chicago that took advantage of our natural shoreline, envisioning a 6-mile stretch bookended by Grant Park on the north and Jackson Park on the south. As it stands today, only one end of this plan has been truly realized.

This incomplete dream brought forth a modern visionary inspired to fulfill this promise. Robert Karr, a principal at Chicago law firm Masuda Funai Eifert & Mitchell Ltd. and executive vice president of the Japan America Society of Chicago has always been drawn to the park and particularly the rich historical connection it has to Japan. During the Exposition, Japan built the Garden of the Phoenix – the single largest contribution of any foreign nation. The stunning pavilion represented Japan’s cultural introduction to the western world and significantly influenced Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Style. Over time, neglect and post WWII vandalism left the site in disrepair. Now the area is simply referred to as the Wooded Isle with little more than black and white photos recalling its former beauty.

Initially, Karr and the Garden of the Phoenix Foundation wanted to renew interest in the site and improve this gem by the planting of Cherry Blossom trees. But as they dug deeper into the unique story behind the garden and the grand vision for the park, it became clear that more had to be done to fulfill the original promise of our nation’s master architects.