A champion of the power of Play

Michelle Lee
Partner & Managing Director, Play Lab
i Joined IDEO in
What you won’t learn from my bio
Outside of work, I am regularly inspired by my two kids, with whom I find joy in baking elaborate cookies, sketching, exploring, and learning to play new tunes on the guitar. Fun fact: For many years, my brother and I were the kids pictured in the snow globes sold in the gift shop at San Francisco’s largest science museum; we modeled in return for ice cream!
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As a Partner and Managing Director for IDEO’s Play Lab, I drive the growth of the Play Lab’s business, the strength of our partnerships, the delivery of our work, and the growth of our people.

As a champion of the power of Play in addressing complex challenges, I have nurtured an integrated research, design, and development team that brings interactive, and playful experiences to market. I have helped clients enhance workplace culture, championed responsible digital design, inspired underrepresented students to pursue careers in STEM, and supported organizations as they adopted circular economy practices.

I have shared my passion for play at SXSW, The Delight Conference, The Culture Summit, and in numerous podcasts and articles. Prior to IDEO, I designed  toys at VTech and University Games, and held lead product roles at thredUP and ShopWell.

I hold a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in the Joint Program in Design from Stanford University, where I have also served as an instructor.

Some of my work

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