“This is about the fuck-ups you make when you’re looking for work.” Be wary of brown m&ms.

Executive Director of the Chicago Writers Conference Mare Swallow does a lot of hiring.

In “Brown M&Ms” from PKN Chicago Vol. 30, Mare tells us of the clever techniques she utilises to weed out “f**k-ups” prior to the interview process.

“There are 800 million people who lack access to water, and 2.5 billion without a toilet.”

Shilpa Alva co-founded and directs Surge: an organisation focused on bringing safe water and sanitation to those in need. In “Providing Safe Water” from PKN Chicago Vol. 30 Shilpa speaks on the creation of Surge, the plight of those without clean water or plumbing, and how she and her colleagues are enacting positive change.

The City Focus heads to one of our favorite cities, Chicago, to highlight yet more great presentations, most recently from the city's Vol. 30. A special "Chicago Artists Months" event is set for October 21.


“Trust me when I say that sharing beer is not a bad way to spend time.”

Marilee and Karl Rutherford really like beer. So much, in fact that they decided to go all in and make their hobby into a business (Rude Hippo Brewing Company). Though their pie-in-the-sky initial plans were downgraded to something more realistic, what they traded in volume, they gained in momentum. In “The Poor Brewers” from a special AIA 2014 Convention edition of PKN Chicago, hear the story of their trials and ultimate triumph.

Chicago's PechaKucha Night Vol. 31 is just over a week away (on Tuesday, September 9), and here's the poster -- designed by Matthew Hoffman -- to prove it.

84 days on an airplane. Buying Ferraris after lunch. The life of one architect.

Mike PfefferAIA Chicago member and winner of the 2014 national AIA Young Architect Award, has spent almost three months in the air flying between Chicago and China in the past six years. In "Balance in the Life of an Architect" from a special 2014 AIA Convention edition of PKN Chicago, Mike talks about what this entails in his job as Managing Director of SOM in Chicago.

"The love of the process isnt about solving, but about the asking. It's taking your agenda out of the picture and seeing what there is to be discovered."

Leah Ball's childhood fascination with outer space, alien beings, and cosmic thinking informs her research, inquiry, and design process. In "Aliens Might Have Claimed My Sisters" from PKN Chicago Vol. 29 Leah shows us her passion for creation, and how that passion started out with metal working, and has led her to ceramics. Every work she creates she does so in reference to her miniscule presence in the vast universe.

This is what one might call a minimalist's nightmare:

Chicago-based AIA architect Dan Wheeler, FAIA has an eBay problem. In "My Name is Dan, and I Have an eBay Problem" from a special edition of PKN Chicago held during the 2014 AIA Convention, Dan shows us the growing number of objects he's accumulated over the years in his home. Though the sheer volume might seem overwhelming, he has put his collections to exemplary use in the home he shares with his wife Julie.

No, it's not a report about PechaKucha, but we love seeing PechaKucha Night Chicago organizer Peter Exley in this CBS local news report about George Lucas' upcoming museum, as he sports his "20 images x 20 seconds" PechaKucha t-shirt. Watch the full report here.

Young God and Old God playing table foosball on the ocean. Gifting an ice sculpture of the Ten Commandments to the public. A Bust of Obama composed entirely of butter.

Industry of the Ordinary is a two-person art group that aims to explore and celebrate the commonness of everyday life as well as challenege the derogatory notions of the ordinary.

In "I Want to be Ordinary" from PKN Chicago Vol. 25 Listen as they humorously speak about a few of their inane projects and encourage us to reconsider what it means to be ordinary. 


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