A designer, urbanist, and social innovator, Liz is an expert on social and spatial innovation in challenged urban environments globally. Through her multidisciplinary design and innovation consultancy, Studio O, she collaborates with/in communities in need to leverage the power of design to catalyze sustained social impact. Among her honors, she is a TED speaker, one of Public Interest Design’s Top 100, and a former Aspen Ideas Scholar.
Ogbu has a long history of engagement in the design for social impact movement. Currently, she has her own multidisciplinary consulting practice that works with nonprofits, municipalities, and companies to tackle wicked social problems through creative transformations of places, systems, and communities. Her clients include the Nike Foundation and PG&E. And her network of collaborators have been equally dynamic including the likes of HealthxDesign, envelope a+d, FOURM design+build, and Rebar. In 2011, Ogbu was part of the inaugural class of Innovators-in-Residence at IDEO.org, IDEO’s sister nonprofit dedicated to fostering global poverty reduction through design and innovation. Prior to that, she was Design Director at Public Architecture, a national nonprofit mobilizing designers to create social change. In addition to her practice work, Ogbu has had a long commitment to bringing social impact work into the classroom where her courses and research explore opportunities at intersection of design, innovation, and community engagement. She has taught at the California College of the Arts and d.school at Stanford. Ogbu has written for and been profiled in publications such as Places Journal, Metropolis, Core 77 and the Journal of Urban Design. Her work has been exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Rotterdam Biennale and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Ogbu earned a B.A. in Arch. from Wellesley College and M.Arch. from Harvard University.