Zainab Aliyu

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

Personalized Learning— Expii

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

Creative Tools — Facebook

built creative tools that enable identity expression at scale

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

healing the collective consciousness & generational trauma across the African diaspora through community (de)programming

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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 and to advocate for prison abolition

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 (Zai /zā/) is a Nigerian-American designer and artist based in Brooklyn, NY. 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, speculative critical design and what you're currently reading!

currently Facilitating community (de)programming to heal generational trauma and the collective consciousness at Black Girl Magik · designing tools to uphold the integrity and community standards that help people feel safe on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram · publishing an anthology of one-act plays about identity and anonymity in the digital and physical realms recently listened to
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