Art & Design Profile

Michael J. Elliston, President

Michael Elliston is founder, President and Principal of edai – Elliston Design Associates, Inc. – which provides customer research, marketplace and promotional planning, retail and exhibit design programs for leading corporations. Prior to founding edai, Elliston spent ten years as VP, Project Director with Miller/Zell, Inc. where he developed large-scale design and build retail store environment programs and created marketing collateral and other graphic material for corporate and retail clients. Before Miller/Zell, Elliston led consumer market research initiatives and promotional campaign development for Centrum International and DesignScience. During Elliston’s career he has delivered innovative design and marketing solutions for clients such as:

  • CH2M Hill

  • Deere & Company

  • Duron Paint & Wallcovering

  • FedEx

  • General Electric

  • General Foods

  • General Motors

  • Goodyear

  • Hartsfield Jackson International Airport

  • Home Depot

  • Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts

  • Lowe’s Home Centers

  • Kimberly-Clark

  • Michael’s Art Stores

  • Samsung

  • Shimzu America

  • Sunbeam

  • Wal-mart

Earlier in his career, Elliston served as Assistant Professor of Design for University of Illinois and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.

Elliston is a prolific creator who designs and builds furniture and other crafts and decor; paints and writes. He is currently working on a book about the intersection of science and spirit centered around the Zen practice. Elliston is also a Soto Zen priest in the lineages of Soyu Matsuoka, Shohaku Okumura, and Seirin Barbara Kohn. A practitioner of Zen Buddhism since 1966, Elliston founded the Atlanta Soto Zen Center in 1977 where he currently presides as the Abbott and guiding teacher.