Mokena Makeka

Makeka Design Lab

United States of America

Mokena Makeka

Mokena Makeka is one the 40 cultural leaders of WEF17, Davos/Klosters alongside such luminaries as Shakira and Forest Whitaker, recognised for speaking truth to power and seeking to change the world for better.. A sought after speaker and thought leader on African cities, design, social and spatial practices, and demographic change. He is also the founder of the House of Makeka, a premium lifestyle suite of design and product experiences working to change the world through smart and exquisite design.

He is a Desmond Tutu, Oxford fellow in leadership, an Aliko Dangote Fellow, and is Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum. He is the founder and owner of Makeka Design Lab cc, an internationally recognised design practice founded in 2002 that deploys innovative design solutions
at the urban, architectural, cultural and installation scale. Born in South Africa, and raised in Maseru and New York, he is an accomplished architect, urbanist, and design theoretician, and a leading voice on entrepreneurial development, design
and property strategy. Mokena founded his practice whilst a student, offering high quality design and strategic insight work, as well as nurturing talent and providing mentorship to various persons in the creative community. He has been named by the National City Press, as one of the top 100 World class South Africans, 2013.


Amongst various architecture and urban design awards and recognition in design competitions, career highlights include being selected as one of the Ordos 100 architects by Hertzog & De Meuron and Ai Wei Wei. He has served as a member of
the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Design. He has also served as an advisor to the South African Minister of Human settlements. Mokena is the inaugural winner of the Gold Loerie Award for Communication Design (in Architecture) 2011. He is the youngest recipient of the Award of Merit (two time winner)from the Cape Institute for Architecture, and was the national top student across six years of study, winning the national SACAP medal for 2001(South African Council for the Architectural Profession in 2001 and Corobrik Award, 3rd place).