Current Droga Architect in Residence

Liz Ogbu Portrait

Liz Ogbu, Founder and Principal of Studio O, San Franciso, USA                   Residency commenced early August, 2016

Liz is a designer, urbanist and social innovator, and she also has expertise on disruptive innovation in challenged urban environments.  From designing shelters for immigrant ay labourers in the U.S. to a water and health social enterprise for low-income Kenyans, she has long worked with communities in need to leverage the power of design to deliver social impact.  In addition to being the founder of Studio O, Liz is on faculty at UC Berkeley and Stanford Design School.  Some of her honors include Public Interest Design’s Top 100, 2014 Aspen Ideas Scholar, and Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council.  She earned her architecture degrees from Wellesley College and Harvard University.

During her residency, Ms Ogbu will explore a topic that has been of fundamental interest to her practice: how tactical urbanism can be leveraged as a community development tool with marginalised populations.

She writes: “Interest in tactical urbanism has surged in recent years.  From street intersections turns into “parks” in San Francisco to pop-up event spaces in Christchurch we find ourselves in a new era of urban development where more formal tactical projects are bringing innovative energy to many cities globally.  Once purely the product of bottom-up initiatives, governments, businesses, non-profits and designers are now embracing this method of lighter, quicker, cheaper development as this generation’s great urban innovation.  But as compelling as these projects often are, marginalised populations are often not represented among the creators, users, and beneficiaries”.

In this lecture Liz Ogbu will explain how, through her work she has been exploring how a more tactical approach can address longstanding difficulties of community development projects such as the long project cycles and the lack of meaningful interactive engagement.

Liz Ogbu’s past lectures include: TEDx MidAtlanticWashington, DC | October 25, 2013

We invite you to meet Liz Ogbu in the Northern Territory 

Lecture: Tactical Community Development: Reconnecting Design with Social Justice

‘Everyone deserves good design.’ It’s a phrase that many agree with in principal but that can be hard to deliver in practice, particularly within vulnerable communities. Featuring projects using tactical and human-centred approaches to design, this talk will share how a more dynamic form of design can be linked to social justice.

Date: Tue 27 September
Venue: Institute Chapter Offices, Unit 3/4 Shepherd Street, Darwin
Time: 5.30 – 7.30pm including Q&A session and post lecture drinks

1 informal CPD point


Community Workshop –  Alice Springs

Presented in partnership with Andrew Broffman, NT Chapter President, and Tangentyere Design, this event is designed as a capacity building workshop for local design practitioners, policy makers and community development workers in the Alice Springs area. Potential skills development will include an understanding of human-centred design approaches and the use of tactical strategies for engagement and testing.

Date:     Fri 30th September
Venue:  Sandbox,  Fan Arcade, Todd Mall, Alice Springs
Time:  8.45am – 12.15pm – including morning tea

Purchase Tickets Here  

Liz Ogbu’s Projects

Youth Engagement 2_Anne Hamersky Cookstove Prototyping_IDEOorgSmartLife Prototype_IDEOorg  Circus_envelopead

Clockwise from top: Youth Engagement 2, Cookstove Prototyping, Circus Envelopead,  SmartLife Prototype.