Interview with Valerie Elliott

Davin Greenwell, April 05, 2021 at 11:51 PM
Valerie Elliott, MGDC, has a life-long passion for protecting the environment which began in her late teens with the launch of her first book on energy conservation (1978). Valerie is the GDC's national chair for sustainability and brings that perspective to this interview with Design Week.

DW: What are you looking forward to most about Design Currency 2010?

VE: Lively, passionate debate about how a client evaluates a designer's value proposition and what other designers consider this currency to mean.

DW: What does the conference theme “Design Currency” mean to you?

VE: I believe design currency' has two important business components. We must continue to innovate in business and be futurists, reading and assessing what is most relevant to our clients and to the world, and design should have a measurable value clearly providing a return on investment. Design currency in our company includes valuing and promoting how design can make the world a more functional, communicative, beautiful, inclusive, safe and sustainable place, while meeting the needs of our clients.

DW: If design was currency, who would have the most? Who would have the least?

VE: Most: Design firms who prove their value through measured evaluation and predicting the future, as well as designers who continue to grow and evolve their skills and practice, constantly challenging themselves. Least: Those who believe brilliant work resides only in their own creative minds and have nothing more to learn.

DW: What criteria do you use to evaluate design?

VE: Obviously meeting client goals and objectives is primary. Our criteria for evaluation of efficacy includes gathering previous raw data from clients for creating baseline measures; implementing co-creation and co-facilitation methodologies to enhance buy-in at all levels, as well as using qualitative and quantitative research. From my perspective, design must also have a unique approach, be well honed, uphold the values of the client, communicate effectively and be beautiful, or at least challenge the definition of beauty.


Valerie Elliott will be speaking at Design Currency 2010. Learn more about her on the Valerie Elliott speaker page.

Posted In:Interviews