Invention development: the synthesis of creative design and creative engineering

About the speaker

Aly Khalifa Owner, Product & Engineering Director, & Eisenhower Fellow, comes to the design profession from a bipolar education at NCSU: Mechanical Engineering and Product Design. His goal is to find the balance of both of these disciplines in each project challenge. Aly’s career is chiefly centered about Gamil Design, a firm he started in 1995. His work experience previously included working for the NCDOT, wind tunnel of the US EPA, Performance Bicycle, and teaching at NCSU’s School of Design.

Aly started Gamil in the interest of furthering the synthesis of creative design with creative engineering into a field called invention development. Their specialty in advanced design, engineering and development of sporting goods accessories (skates, footwear, eyewear, gloves, bags) has led them to many clients, including: Nike, Trek, Bausch & Lomb, and Outdoor Products. This has further developed into partnerships between Gamil Design and Asian manufacturers. Aly travels heavily to Asia to realize Gamil’s projects that are produced in mass-market quantities.

Together with a handful of other professionals, Aly and his wife started Designbox in 2001. Designbox is a creative collaborative located in Raleigh, NC with members honing their creative skills at weekly meetings. Designbox members represent some of the finest talent in the area and are responsible for curating monthly shows in their prominent downtown gallery.

Designbox has sprung a number of community projects in which Aly has led facilitation sessions. These have ranged from sculpting undesireable landfills into fun urban parks to rethinking Raleigh’s own self image. The latter eventually led to the creation of SPARKcon- the Triangle’s first Creative Conference that enabled more than 30,000 people in the Triangle area to stake its claim as the “Creative Hub of the South.”

Aly is also a cellist and singer in a variety of Raleigh music projects, including Dear Enemy (Rykodisc) and semicolon (Foreshortened Arm). Most of the rest of his time is dedicated to completing overly-ambitious landscaping ideas.

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