One day in 1972 Niloufar Lamakan went to sleep in downtown Tehran, Iran. The next night she found herself in her new home in Torquay, England. Not only had she travelled over 3,000 miles, but she had also gone from a vibrant metropolis to a sleepy seaside resort where she was regarded as an exotic novelty.

As a teenager, she moved between her Persian heritage and local English culture with ease. Coming from a line of strong female role models, she always asked “Why?” or challenged with a “Why not?” Niloufar’s education mixed the arts with the social sciences, her bookshelves filled with books on design and economic theory as well as classic fiction.

Just before the economic crisis of 2008 and at the height of a successful career in technology, Niloufar took her life in another direction, inevitably taking an unconventional approach. Rather than finding a simple label of “writer” or “designer” or “artist”, she has found different ways to express and share her ideas and experiences.

Her first interior design project won an international award. It challenged the idea that great design is expensive. Her art explores some of the biggest social topics of our time – age, identity and gender – and how they are impacted by ideas of beauty. Her writing questions and defies society’s conventions of age-appropriate behaviour.

Living in her beloved London with its myriad of opportunities, she continues to ask “Why?” and challenges herself to act on “Why not?”