Interview: Julie Villard

An Eco Design Advisor is a very cool title in this day and age, not to mention a very rewarding career for someone who wants to help people get better design outcomes.

It is, though, a far cry from being a French baker, or a jewellery designer for that matter…

We love talking with people in our industry about what they thought they would be doing when they were young, who they admire, and what they want to achieve next. Read what Julie Villard, Eco Design Advisor from Christchurch City Council, had to say in the following interview.

PS – If you happen to be designing your dream home and want to find out about how to make your building eco-friendly, check out this video. You’ll find some great tips!

How long have you spent in your current position?

Almost 3 years.

What job did you have before your current role?

Working as an architect for a NZ architectural firm, and as a Homestar assessor (NZGBC).

To date, what has been your career highlight?

The Journey.

I never thought when I started 12 years ago, that I will end up working for an overseas Council, doing what I really like to do: helping people; helping them to get their design more in phase with their aspirations; being more eco-friendly. When I think about it, I am really grateful for ‘’the roads’’ I had the courage (or the craziness) to follow.

Who have you admired or learnt from the most in your career and why?

Such a hard question. I do not know.

Certainly my Mum, showing me a different aspect of what can be done, how to handle it, how to fail without remorse, how to try again. Life is a learning process. I am still learning to trust my instinct, less my ego.

Are you doing what you thought you’d be doing when you were younger? If not, what type of job did you expect you would have?

When I was young, I wanted to be a French baker / making jewellery / designing spaces. I tried to make bread, but, too hard basket…

What do you think is the most important quality or skill you need to succeed in your current role?

Be honest: with yourself, your colleagues, your customers, your managers / employers.

What’s one thing you hope to achieve this year, either at work or in your personal life?

Growing artichokes in my veggie garden and eating them.  It’s a 2 year process, the wait is so long!

Do you have any tips or advice for those just starting out in the industry?

Be curious, ask questions.