Zainab Aliyu

Designer and artist interrogating societal, historical and institutional forces against individual and collective identity.


Augmented the educational potential of the Internet to advocate for personalized learning


Building community through democratization of tools, amelioration of communication, and promotion of creative freedom

Hazelwood Memorial Exhibit

Leveraged spatial storytelling to examine the effects of systemic loss on the identity of a community

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Black Girl Magik

Developing a community amongst women of color to promote sisterhood, self-love, healthy dialogue, and creative freedom through physical and online space

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Lunar Gala Fashion Show

Cultivated interdisciplinary creative talent within a community

Reflective Confrontation

Dissected the friction between dislocation and descent at the intersection of diaspora, identity, and vulnerability

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Identity and Anonymity

Analyzed notions of identity and presentation of self in physical realms and virtual contexts

Golden Child, Gilded Child

Presented a visual interpretation of a murder case to highlight discrepancies in collective perception of individual identity

The Future of Identity Curation

Investigated ephemerality, impression management, and emotionally intelligent technology to speculate on micro-futures


Unpacked the notion of creeping normality to reflect upon social oppression and perennial environmental degradation

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Zainab Aliyu is a Nigerian-American designer and artist who sees every human interaction as an experience that merits attention and thoughtfully intentional design. Her transdisciplinary practice leverages critical pedagogy, contextual inquiry, and the human side of technology to interrogate societal, historical and institutional forces against individual and collective identity. Recently, she graduated from Carnegie Mellon University after studying Communication Design and Human-Computer Interaction. Talk to her about culture, social justice, and speculative critical design.

currently Healing generational trauma through community de(programming) at Black Girl Magik /
Designing creative tools for identity expression at Facebook
recently listened to
  • 101 Fm — Little Simz (listening now)
    Tomorrow — Kali Uchis (6 mins ago)
    say hello Instagram / E-mail