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Hello, I’m Brendan Boyle

Founder, IDEO Play Lab

I’m excited about the intersection of play behaviors and innovation. The opposite of play isn’t work, it’s boredom. I believe toys are tools to help kids be more creative. Together, my team is working in both the physical and digital space to create better experiences for children. I’m also working with companies to help them change their cultures to be more playful and innovative.

What you won't learn from my bio:
I’m number six out of seven kids. It was a wonderful way to grow up and learn about collaboration and teamwork.

Joined IDEO:

My Work

Full Bio

Brendan Boyle is a Partner at IDEO and his passion for invention drives his responsibilities at the company. He founded and leads its toy-invention studio, known as the Play Lab. Under his leadership, they have invented and licensed over 150 consumer products, specializing in the design of kid-centric goods, services and experiences. He is also passionate about the intersection between Play + Design Thinking and how these two ideas can bring about creative solutions to today’s complex business challenges—so much so that he created a course “From Play to Innovation” that he teaches at Stanford’s d.School and where he was named a Knight Fellow Favorite Professor. He is a co-author of The Klutz Books of Inventions and sits on the board of the National Institute for Play where he focuses on bringing play-based techniques to innovation. Brendan is the instructor for the prototyping course on IDEO's online learning platform, IDEO U.

Brendan holds an M.S. in the Joint Program for Design from Stanford University, as well as a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University. A much requested speaker, Brendan is known for his interactive talks that stress the joy of innovation. He loves to run, hike, kite surf (with no wind), play speed golf and has developed a love for fast cars.