Podcast from the Atlanta Design Festival that presents the stories behind the humans that design for human kind.
Andrew Graves, Director of Ortus Economic Research
Elayne DeLeo has a conversation with Andrew Graves, Director of Ortus Economic Research on what defines a design economy, the data and outcomes of his research for the Design Council UK, how design is key to future economic growth and positive societal change, and why cities should invest in a study of their creative industries to understand the impact of design on business growth, real estate value, new investments, employment, GVA and exports, policy decisions, and the use and under-use of design within the economy.
About Andrew Graves
Andrew Graves is an economic development strategy and research consultant with 25 years’ experience of evidencing, designing and evaluating public policies, strategies, programmes and projects. He has worked in consultancy his entire career, working closely with clients from a range of organisations and across many disciplines to improve economic outcomes for places and sectors.
Andrew brings a wide range of skills – technical, analytical and process – to assess the economic performance and potential of places, sectors, and markets, and to develop solutions for delivering increased competitiveness, productivity and economic resilience.
In 2015, the Design Council UK commissioned Andrew and Ortus to deliver new insight into the skills held by designers across the economy and how these link to productivity, innovation and economic performance for the UK economy. In 2017, MA!, the organizer of Atlanta Design Festival commissioned Ortus to conduct a 1st phase of research on the economic impact of design and creative industries in Atlanta with plans for a full study to be completed by Q1 2022.
Victoria Ayo multidisciplinary designer and researcher
In our last podcast of 2020, Elayne DeLeo spoke with multidisciplinary designer and researcher Victoria Ayo. They discuss why designers need to create with intention for greater equity, and her research on maternal mortality in the United States and how it disproportionately affects black women across all socioeconomic levels. This research led her to create the pregnancy care app Kindred that provides doula-informed care and support for a fully supportive pregnancy experience available to all mothers.
Victoria is a multidisciplinary designer and researcher based out of New York City. She is native New Yorker with roots in Georgia and a passion for great food! She studied Digital Media at the Georgia Institute of Technology before returning to New York to work as an Experience Design Consultant designing for Bulge Bracket Investment banks, Supermarkets, Agencies and more.
She recently completed her MFA in Products of Design at the School of Visual Arts where she explored the ways design could be used to create more equitable maternal healthcare for black women.
She is currently designing listening experiences at Spotify.
Catherine Clark, Architect and President of the RIBA-USA
Elayne DeLeo spoke with Catherine Clark, architect and President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)-USA and former Chair of the New York Chapter of the RIBA-USA. They discuss how architects must take the lead in addressing climate change (and pandemics) through the built environment, her mission and plans for expanding RIBAs role and membership in the US, how identity influences how young architects view joining industry organizations like RIBA and AIA, and why now is the best time for architects to experiment and create buildings that inspire and uplift the spirit.
Catherine has lived and worked as an architect in NY for over 15 years and is the Director of BArC Studio. Her work has been featured in RIBA Journal, Building Design as well as the books Design Brooklyn - an overview of the best architectural and design projects across the borough and The Culture of Practice, which is a snapshot of architectural practice culture from around the world. BArC Studio's design for a Brooklyn restaurant was distilled into an icon for the critic’s review in the New Yorker Magazine. Her experience ranges from master-planning in Hampshire, UK to leading the design of New York’s first ‘Green School’. Catherine studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL and is an examiner for the RIBA Part 3 exams.
Carla Swickerath of Studio Libeskind
Elayne DeLeo spoke to Carla Swickerath, Partner at Studio Libeskind about the rewards of working closely with government, 9/11 families and businesses on Libeskind's World Trade Center Master Plan, how COVID-19 has laid bare the inequities of our communities and the importance of having designers contribute to big solutions, and some advice for architecture grads coming into an uncertain future. www.libeskind.com
Dr. Pierce Gordon Innovation Catalyst, Researcher, Facilitator, and Evaluator
Dr. Pierce Gordon—An innovation catalyst, researcher, facilitator, and evaluator. He specializes in interdisciplinary research that unpacks how communities value, support, and practice innovation in social justice and international development. His research and consultation work has worked to track and support the field's spread, complexity, and emergence. Whether conducting ethnographic analyses and facilitation projects in the Botswana innovation ecosystem, or by co-founding Reflex Design Collective, an equity design consultancy that's worked for creative social justice in the Bay Area, his core aim is to critically catalyze good social change.
Elayne DeLeo spoke to Dr. Gordon about the differences between innovation and design, the history and hidden perceptions behind wearing masks, how design is a political act, how oppressed and underserved communities have been creating their own design solutions for thousands of years, and why he believes the alien in the 2018 film "Annihilation" is a metaphor for design. www.piercegordon1.com
Jonas Pettersson of Form Us With Love
Jonas Pettersson—CEO of the award winning design firm Form Us With Love, spoke with Elayne DeLeo about the collaborative process between their design team and the brands they work with, why sustainability and designing for a better world is key to their success, and how the name Form Us With Love started as a joke, but has become their raison d'etre. www.formuswithlove.se