Who I am

I'm a designer and creative director in New York City, with over 15 years experience delivering engaging, human-centered design systems and building creative teams. I deliver impactful interactive experiences and a bold design aesthetic. I'm also the author of Cross-Cultural Design, available now from A Book Apart.

Where I'm from

I’m the child of a Nigerian father and an Dutch-American mother. I grew up in Nigeria, lived in Japan for almost a decade, and now call New York home.

Getting to live on three continents has meant being a part of constantly shifting cultural and physical spaces. Those experiences have given me a global outlook, with unique insight into the influence of culture on communication and creativity. 

What I do

I have worked professionally as a designer for over 15 years, partnering with a wide variety of clients on four continents. During my eight years in Japan, I worked with businesses that needed design for both Japanese and Western audiences.

At Cambridge University Press, I led a global marketing and interactive design team, creating design systems and solutions for audiences from São Paulo to London to Dubai.

As the Design Director at Constructive, I directed interactive, UX, and strategic design for social impact.

I am currently Design Director at Nava, where we partner with government to improve the simplicity, effectiveness, and accessibility of government services, specifically for vulnerable populations.

In short, I work on design projects that benefit our fellow humans.

My personal design practice explores the intersection of design, identity, and culture, resulting in a number of well-received interactive projects. My work has been featured in The New York Times, Slate Magazine, and NPR (National Public Radio), and my writing is in A List Apart and Smashing Magazine.

I speak regularly at design and communications conferences all over the world about digital storytelling, transmedia, and cross-cultural design issues. The talks have sparked many heartfelt conversations with people about building a flexible cross-cultural design practice, clever UX and design strategies, and how culture affects the design industry. I hope those talks have been a help to others as they navigate those sometimes agonizing decisions.

Get in touch

Have an interesting project to discuss? Email me! 

senongo [at] senongo dot net 

©Senongo Akpem. All Rights Reserved.