Brenda Laurel is a designer, researcher, teacher and writer. Since 1976, she has been a pioneer and entrepreneur in interactive media, human-computer interaction and human-centered design research. She serves as professor and chair of the Graduate Program in Design at California College of Arts. She chaired the Graduate Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena (2002-2006) and was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems Labs (2005-2006).
Based on her research in gender and technology at Interval Research (1992-1996), she co-founded Purple Moon in 1996 to create interactive media for girls. In 1993 at the Banff Centre for the Arts she co- created and produced a virtual reality environment called Placeholder, demonstrating new applications of the medium in narrative engagement for multiple participants. She co- founded Telepresence Research in 1989 to conduct research and development in virtual reality and remote presence systems and applications. She has worked for computer and software companies including Atari, Apple and Activision. 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 BA (1972) from DePauw University and her MFA (1975) and PhD in Theatre (1986) from the Ohio State University.