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These are a few of my favourite things: Lizzi Whaley

What’s your favourite…

Brand identity?
Deadly Ponies, I love it in part because I’m a proud kiwi but also I love their brand message and their uber cool style.

Falling water by Frank Lloyd Wright, I have loved this building since my early teens. It was one of the buildings that triggered my love of design and architecture.

My iPhone – during my work week my life is centred around it. On the weekend I enjoy leaving it in my bag.

Tom Dixon – especially all the objects and accessories he creates.

Clothing brand?
It’s actually a shop which holds multiple brands – Sisters and co in Mount Maunganui has all my favourite brands in one place. One stop shop: Miss Crabb, Sass n Bide, Karen Walker. I’m a fan of great quality materials and classic execution.

Use of design to change behaviour?
Office Design has changed significantly – designed to change the way we utilise the space. Long gone are offices with seas of desks, we now have quiet pods, break out spaces, focus areas, brainstorming rooms. The result is a more functional and productive space and happier people.

Inspiring design-related book/podcast/TV show/website/magazine/story?
Yellow Trace features incredible designs from around the world. Super inspiring!

Design project you’ve had a hand in?
Google! What an amazing opportunity and I’m proud the design still looks edgy and current 5 years on.

Design project that isn’t yours, but you’re envious of?
Any apple store but mainly the iconic ones – like the underground store which just has a glass box above the ground in 5th avenue New York.

What first drew you to design?
My love of art and painting at high school naturally transitioned into looking at all things creative – this transition lead me to architecture then design.

Where does inspiration come from for you?
Everywhere! But mainly I try to be a creative sponge, constantly looking at trends, blogs, etc I travel also a lot internationally specifically to get inspiration.

Do you have a design ethos/motto you abide by in your work?
My ethos is to understand WHY you are working on a project, why does a client want you there, why do they want to spend the money – if you understand the why, it gives you clear goals on what the design needs to achieve.

Do you have any creative side hustles going on outside of your line of work? If so, what?
Always – our creative hustle is our sister company Pop Up Now, a solution to the pop-up industry, which is a design build service.

How has technology impacted on your work?
When I first started in the design industry space plans were hand drawn and we faxed people with letters! This was only 13 years ago… Technology has made everything faster, more efficient and more accurate. It also means that clients want things faster too, so this requires managing. In short – it’s been fantastic and I love it when more technology is available in our space, we jump on it.

How do you think it will impact on it in the future?
I think technology for our industry in the future will incorporate more virtual reality and will allow clients to fully realise a space before we start building it.

Who are some of your design heroes?
My team at Spaceworks, I marvel every day at some of the cool designs they come up with.

Best design-related advice you ever received?
Relax – it’s not brain surgery.

What do you enjoy the most about working in this industry?
The fast-paced nature, the majority of our projects would be around six months long. So it’s a moving feast which totally suits my personality.

How do you define New Zealand’s design culture?
Wide, varied, a mixture, cool, chic, odd, eclectic, inclusive – To be honest a real mixed bag and I think it’s developing constantly. We are still such a young country – ask me in a 1000 years…

How will design impact the future of work?
Design is becoming appreciated as being critical, especially in our industry. As a designer we should pay for ourselves in the time that we save a client to keep working on their business, we also have expertise with council and suppliers. This is our industry, we know how to short cut the process to ensure the best result. Good design makes businesses more successful, efficient and productive.

Elly is Idealog's editor and resident dog enthusiast. She enjoys travelling, tea, good books, and writing about exciting ideas and cool entrepreneurs.

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