Our work as consultants to the design profession demands a broad understanding not just of the complexities of practice, but of the economic, social, and cultural context in which our clients work.

Whether on our own, in collaboration with our colleagues, or as part of the wider platforms of professional societies or the academy, we find that our explorations of building typologies, changing markets, and emerging trends inform the work we do at every level. Engaging topics beyond the confines of marketing and management make us wiser and better prepared to answer questions about them.


Professional services firms are linked to an intricate network of collaborators and resources, connecting the content of our work with the clients for whom we work, as well as the environment in which it occurs.

It also requires an understanding of the challenges of contemporary practice, combined with the expertise to address and incorporate shared values and expectations.

Our ideas about strategy and the complexities of practice have advanced as a direct result of our collaboration over the past 20 years. We understand the business of design — not just because we have relevant experience, but because we have developed the expertise required to interpret and traverse the complex issues that our clients are facing.

We believe that we have a responsibility to write, teach, and testify. In addition to consulting, we write for numerous professional publications, and we are honored to be Contributing Editors for Marketer — the journal of the Society for Marketing Professional Services. For more than 20 years, we have taught at the executive education level for institutions that include the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and we share our knowledge and points-of-view through consulting, as well as interviews, presentations, and most recently, social media.

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City Imperative

City Imperative

Marjanne Pearson – Founder of Talentstar
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Recognized as an industry pioneer in business strategies for architecture and design, Marjanne has the ability to ask the questions that should be on the strategic agenda of every design firm. Building on her experience in design firm management and independent practice, she focuses on strategies for organizing around intellect — addressing the complexities of talent development and practice sustainability to achieve fluidity, resiliency, and success. Her clients are a remarkable constellation of design firms from across the country.

In addition to consulting, as an active modern elder — who her friends call a perennial — Marjanne continues to write, teach, and testify within and beyond the design profession. With an education focused on teaching, and forays into the arts and architecture, she created a career with a pathway that had not previously existed, as the profession itself was evolving. Today, she is doing best-practice webinars and podcasts, is a guest lecturer for universities — Kansas State and Harvard GSD — as well as professional associations (AIA AAH C2C, AIA New York Future of Practice Committee). Her interest in technology extends into playful interaction with AI and new ways of working. And she thrives in a remote-working environment, connecting with colleagues, clients, and friend around the world.

Marjanne Pearson

Nancy Egan FSMPS – Founder of New Voodou
Emeritus Advisor to Talentstar

Leading her own consulting firm, New Voodou, Nancy provided marketing strategy, image and content development, and media relations to the design community. Before establishing her independent practice, she held senior marketing and management positions with several international design firms. Through her work as an advisor and author, Nancy addressed issues of professional practice, authenticity and identity, firm culture and capital. She worked with architects and designers, investment developers, and community agencies across the US and internationally.

As an active modern elder — with incredible wisdom and curiosity — Nancy Egan has been putting her creative talents to good use. In addition to the blog posts on her website, and the beautiful images on her Instagram account, she has is the author and photographer for Folk Art Misbehaving — a portfolio of images and stories that antropomorphize a collection of folk art, capturing them as they are acting up. The stories are modern fables that reveal human strengths and weakness with humor and empathy..

Nancy Egan