Networking Event 1

Before the first day of class, on January 27th, I attended an event, a virtual tour of the Firebelly Studio, located in 1402 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622.

The Firebelly design studio virtual tour zoom meeting

Shelby Huckabay started out by talking about an installation he had seen at Pratt that Firebelly did and how it amazed him and got him to look into who Firebelly was. Will Miller, Senior Director of Design at Firebelly Design, discussed the installations he was a part of at Pratt. Then some people who work at firebelly introduced themselves and Mr. Miller started his slideshow presentation all about Firebelly studios. 

Firebelly Installation at Pratt Institute video

He started by talking about how they are a tight knit team of designers and creatives that believe in themselves and their clients’ causes. They aim to bring their interests and hobbies outside of design into their work and that they all have diverse lifestyles and interests which makes them stand out. 

Google maps image of the Firebelly studio building
a glimpse of the interior decoration and brick wall of Firebelly studio

Their office/studio was originally an old post office, the inside had exposed brick and filing cabinets, humbling reminders, design books and artwork for inspiration. 

Firebelly project and design process

Their process is starting out with research, exploration, strategy, then creation then finalizing with application, evaluation, and documentation. Discussed “deep work” which is working distraction free. They emphasize that they find it important to work together and collaborate and if they are in a creative rut then they are there for each other. The main categories of work they do is brand identity, typography, and non-profit projects. One of the works they showed was for “designing a better Chicago” and showed the inspiration of the designs that were rooted in its history.

One of Firebelly’s projects “Lubeznik Center for the Arts”

Their brand identity, motion, and typography work stood out to me and made me want to learn more about their work and their design studio.

A designer at Firebelly’s physical studio starting to show the audience around their studios

The second half of the virtual event was a Q & A. There were many attendees and therefore many questions. There wasn’t an opportunity to network but still tried to reach out to these people on LinkedIn afterwards. It was overall a really informative event and the main takeaways are: to look for companies that you and you work really fit into, teamwork and collaboration, to have a process, being flexible/open minded, clear communication, and authenticity. The final thing they did to conclude everything was a quick tour around their studio through their camera. There was no follow up email but I learned a lot from this experience.

more of the Firebelly studio tour