Tereneh Idia is a designer for IdiaDega, a global eco-design collaboration of women artisans and a writer focused on issues of justice in environment, society, design, arts and culture.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Drexel University in business, where she was named one of the Top Ten Graduating Seniors. Through a Rotary Foundation, she attended Kenyatta University in Nairobi, graduating with a master’s degree in Fashion Design and Marketing. It was there that she became interested in sustainable design and collaboration.
She began her fashion career as an educator, teaching at Parsons New School for Design in New York City; Raffles College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and was a visiting scholar at Yale-National University of Singapore.
IdiaDega a global eco-design collaboration launched in 2014. Presenting work in Paris, New York City, Nairobi, Copenhagen and Pittsburgh, including exhibitions at August Wilson African American Cultural Center, The Frick Museum Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and upcoming at the Carnegie Museum of Art.
She is Pittsburgh Style Week’s Designer of the Year for 2019 and a 2018 Artisan Leader leader at the Nest <> Hermès Convening on American Craft in New York City. She is an inductee into the Taylor Allderdice High School Hall of Fame and a Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award Emerging Artist. She has designed costumes for Pearl Arts Studio’s Staycee Pearl Dance Project.
Residencies include work at the Brew House Association in Pittsburgh, Casey Droege Residence at Mattress Factory Space, Pittsburgh International Airport, Wildbiyoo Zero Waste Arts Festival and Residency in Goa, India and The Albers Foundation Thread Senegal Residency.
As a writer, she is a Golden Quill 2019 and 2020 winning columnist for the Pittsburgh City Paper as well as the national 2020 Association of Alternative News Media Best Column Billy Manes Award finalist.
Her writing also appears in Pittsburgh PublicSource, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, AfroPunk.com, The North Star and the book, TENDER a literary anthology & book of spells: evidence.