Product Design
Graphic Design
Experience Design
Idea Generation
Brand Development
Launch Planning
Manufacturing Strategy
New Materials

The economist, EF Schumacher, stated that Good Work is essential for society and depends on three characteristics: creating useful products and services, perfecting our individual talents, and deeply collaborating.

To do Good Design, you must first be focused on Good Work. It has intentionally not been a straightforward journey, but over the past 10 years we have developed our secret sauce on just how to do this. We call it Inventive Culture. Built upon powerful theories including Open Source, Starfish Organization, Design Synectics, Living Systems, Biomimicry, Network Chaos and combining them with hard core Manufacturing Engineering and Design Intent, we have created a mix of skills and philosophies that breeds innovation. 

Designbox is a breeding ground for design innovation. Located in Raleigh, NC, we are committed to fostering a creative community both locally and globally. We work on projects that propel ideologies, systems, experiences and products forward in a way that makes the world better. We have a core mission of sustainability and are working on innovative, ground breaking materials and processes throughout every design. We work with companies and brands with a philosophy of improving their communities and the betterment of the lives of their neighbors in physical and emotional ways.



Creative Facilitation
Community Empowerment
Festivals & Events
Gallery Design
Maker Space Design

Over the years, Designbox has been heavily involved in fostering Design Innovation and Inventive Culture in home town, Raleigh NC, and around the world. A core focus for nurturing Inventive Culture is the belief in the power of creative community as both an economic force and a lifestyle enhancement. These beliefs motivated the creation of SPARKcon in 2006, an annual open source creative festival that began with a few hundred people and has continued to grow each year, with 2013 estimated at 50,000 enjoying and participating in it.

As community leaders, Designbox has enabled solutions to citywide challenges through creative process and ideation facilitation (and some times mediation!). Many of these challenges have involved politically or culturally sensitive topics. Designbox planned the public forums and facilitated a creative process amongst decision makers and the public. Results: always unexpected design direction and solutions, powerful consensus building and positive public impact. These sessions included the design for City Plaza (Raleigh’s downtown center), the initial marketing strategy for the City of Raleigh economic development and it’s new Convention Center, and even planning to deal with excess construction dirt to enhance a natural park instead of destroying it.

In the creative process, the Designbox philosophy always involves exploration and collaboration. The design and client team is intentionally without hierarchy throughout the initial concept phase in order to promote true innovation and freedom from preconceived worn out paths. The project criteria is to inform the stated objective rather than predetermine the solution. It is through this trust in process and release of fear and control that design breakthroughs, new intellectual property, and world-changing impact can happen. 


Raleigh . Bali


Our world never stops teaching us. We just have to be open enough to take it in and then give back.

The Designbox mission is built upon a global perspective. We bloom where we are planted by being inspired by our local community and being involved in its evolution, but we also find inspiration and unique skill sets from traveling and participating around the world. We have significant ties to Asia in the manufacturing and product development arenas, and have worked with designers throughout Europe.

We have also been involved with the IDEAS NETWORK, a coalition of international designers who study color and product trends. IDEAS showcases trend forecasting at the ISPO tradeshow in Munich Germany each year. Designbox has participated in ISPO and Ambiente, two of the largest trade shows in Europe.

Aly Khalifa (owner) was named as a 2012 Eisenhower Fellow, which is an international leadership exchange to promote peace through knowledge and understanding. Through this fellowship, Aly and his wife Beth travelled to Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines to study modern craft in design, creative culture, and on-demand small manufacturing approaches. They continue to be inspired by everything they learned during that investigation.

The Designbox team works on sustainability projects, manufacturing and fair trade, and base of pyramid efforts with communities around the world.