BRENDA LAUREL is a researcher, teacher, writer and performer. Since Fall 2006 she has served as Chair of the transdisciplinary Graduate Program in Design at California College of Art in San Francisco. She chaired the graduate Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena from 2002 to 2006. She was also a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems Labs (2005-2006). Since 1976, her work has focused on the intersection of culture and technology. She co-founded Purple Moon to create interactive media for girls in 1996 (acquired by Mattel in 1999). The company was based on research in gender and technology at Interval Research (1992-1996). In 1990 she co-founded Telepresence Research, focusing on virtual reality and remote presence. Other employers include Atari, Activision, and Apple. A well-known speaker and writer, her books include The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design (1990), Computers as Theatre (1991), Utopian Entrepreneur (2001), and Design Research: Methods and Perspectives (2004). She earned her MFA (1975) and PhD in Theatre (1986) from the Ohio State University.
TED2011, TED2010, TED2009, TED2008, TED2007, TED2006, TED2005
Areas of Expertise
Teaching, interaction design, Public Speaking, Writing, Utopian entrepreneurship, Virtual reality design, Design Research, Neo-Gaian Eco-Paganism
An idea worth spreading
Artists and designers, as activists, often marginalize themselves unwittingly. We begin to make change by placing ourselves at the center.
I'm passionate about
Design as a muscular profession, imagining and manifesting positive change in the world. Gaia as the organism that includes us all. Science as spiritual practice. Walking, trekking, and snorkeling.
Talk to me about
Politics, education, citizenship, VR, pagan spirtitual practice, symbiogenesis, sensor networks, gender, mental rotation, kelp forests, consumerism, ambient music, kids, science fiction and fantasy.
People don't know I'm good at
Tibetan bowls, underwater photography, Hoosier cooking, house-painting, Gilbert & Sullivan, the art of tree-hugging (strangely enough, this includes kelp).