Aly Khalifa

Owner, Product & Engineering Director 


Aly Khalifa 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 previosuly 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.”

Khalifa is also the winner of the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship, which he won for his Lyf Shoes concept. "LYF Shoes is a company dedicated  to making footwear for a better planet. All of us in the footwear industry know that we have a lot of environmental, health, and production challenges. By rethinking the process of how shoes are made and sold, we have found a unique opportunity to integrate job creation, customer service and sustainability into a new paradigm." 

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.

Aly Khalifa is schedule to participate in a panel discussion on the topic of "Local Focus on Sustainable Design" on Saturday March 23 from 1:15pm - 2:15pm following a Networking Lunch. This one hour session will provide an overview of current sustainability initiatives in the state of North Carolina. View full schedule