Liz Ogbu

A 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 equitable development principles, cross-disciplinary design thinking frameworks, and social and spatial justice agendas. She is founder and principal of Studio O, a multidisciplinary design and innovation firm. She is also adjunct faculty at UC Berkeley and Stanford’s d.school, and was the Visiting Porter Chair in Urban and Environmental Planning at UVa’s School of Architecture during the Spring 2017 semester. Previously, she also served as the Droga Architect-in-Residence in Australia, investigating urban marginalized populations and community development practices in the country.

Liz 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 projects have been featured in museum exhibitions and received numerous design awards globally. Her additional honors include TEDWomen Speaker, IDEO.org Global Fellow, Aspen Ideas Scholar, 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.