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Liz Ogbu

Designer, Urbanist, and Social Innovator



A designer, urbanist, and social innovator, Liz is an expert on social and spatial innovation in challenged urban environments globally. From designing shelters for immigrant day laborers in the U.S. to a water and health social enterprise for low-income Kenyans, Liz has a long history of working with communities in need to leverage the power of design to catalyze sustained social impact. Her work blends human-centered design research methodologies, architecture and creative placemaking principles, cross-disciplinary design thinking frameworks, and social justice and innovation agendas. She is founder and principal of Studio O, a multidisciplinary design and innovation firm, as well as adjunct faculty at UC Berkeley and Stanford’s d.school. She recently completed tenure as the Droga Architect-in-Residence in Australia, investigating urban marginalized populations and community development practices in the country. In spring 2017, Liz will be the Porter Chair in Urban and Environmental Planning at UVa’s School of Architecture. 

Her projects have been featured in museum exhibitions and received numerous design awards globally. She has also written for and been profiled in publications such as the Boston Globe, Metropolis, The Atlantic’s CityLab, and the Journal of Urban Design.  Her honors include IDEO.org Global Fellow, Aspen Ideas Scholar, Next City Vanguard, Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, and one of Public Interest Design’s Top 100. She earned architecture degrees from Wellesley College and Harvard University.

Past Conferences

2016