Meet our Made Good panelists: Aly Khalifa

Photo via LinkedIn

Aly Khalifa is a design and engineering leader with a deep commitment to creative culture. He has built an immense portfolio of work based on design-driven social change which has greatly benefited the North Carolina design community and beyond. In recognition of his catalytic role in the community, Khalifa has been chosen as the third-ever Fellow of AIGA Raleigh– an achievement reserved for designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards or excellence in practice and conduct within the design community.


Aly’s career is chiefly centered on Gamil Design, a product and graphic design firm he started that focuses on creative, innovative approaches to product, service or brand launches. He started Gamil in the interest of furthering the synthesis of creative design with creative engineering into a field called invention development. He has contributed greatly to design-driven social change as a co-founder of Designbox, a leading multi-disciplinary workspace of creative professionals which has inspired a number of community projects. Khalifa’s influence in Designbox ultimately led to the creation of SPARKon, the nation’s largest open source festival that he founded which promotes local creative culture. This annual event is dedicated to making the Triangle the “Creative Hub of the South” and integrates technology, art, independent business, and inclusivity as a “creative ecosystem.”


Additionally, Aly and his with Beth founded LYF Shoes, a company that is rethinking the process of how shoes are made and sold to improve environmental, health, and production challenges that the footwear industry faces. He also sits on the Board of Directors for both the Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the Visual Art Exchange (VAE), which is a creativity incubator and gallery for emerging, professional and student artists to get their start, launch new ideas and advance their careers.


In 2012, Khalifa was chosen as an Eisenhower Fellow. The Eisenhower Fellowships identifies, empowers, and links outstanding leaders from around the world, helping them to achieve consequential outcomes across sectors and borders. Aly has met with top leaders to explore the connection between creativity, innovation, design, and manufacturing. His program helped him learn from the best manufacturing minds in Asia and see what kind of partnerships can develop to bring a new age of production (and retail) back into our downtown areas.


Khalifa has been an integral part of igniting, accelerating and amplifying North Carolina’s design community on a local, national and world level. He continues to be an inspiration for designers to build their practice, their network and their visibility through the Design for Good movement.

More About Aly Khalifia:
VIDEO: Creative Mornings with Aly Khalifa
VIDEO: SPARKcon: The Triangle’s creative showcase
AUDIO: Tea Sticklers and Coffee Impressionists – Episode 18 of “The New Disruptors” on Mule Radio
Eisenhower Fellowship Winners 2012
SPARKcon: Igniting creative thinkers with open source
Aly Khalifa on LinkedIn


Made Good | September 26, 2013 6:30 PM

Made Good: An evening to celebrate design & its promise for social change, will feature three amazing design leaders and entrepreneurs for presentations, a panel discussion, and a Q&A session that will provide inspiration, practical advice, and conversation on bringing socially responsible design to your professional practice.

Our panelists are: Chicago’s Dawn Hancock of Firebelly Design and the Firebelly Foundation; AIGA Atlanta Fellow Doug Grimmett of Primal Screen and Good Thinking Atlanta; and Raleigh’s own Aly Khalifa of Gamil Design, founder of designbox and SPARKcon.

AIGA Raleigh will also be honoring Aly Khalifa at this event as the third-ever Fellow of AIGA Raleigh in recognition of his catalytic role in North Carolina’s design community!

As a way to keep the conversation going, we’re hosting four Made Good: Take Action events in October—all attendees to the evening event on the 26th will be able to attend a Take Action working session of their choice at no additional charge!

Made Good is a Design for Good event; Design for Good is AIGA’s national movement to ignite, accelerate and amplify design-driven social change.



About the Author

Tracy Maniaci is a creative professional with extensive knowledge in several industries. She is experienced in all aspects of marketing, communications and public relations with an exceptional talent for graphic design, copywriting, branding and event planning. Learn more about her at


By Tracy Maniaci
Published September 20, 2013