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Brook Kennedy

Associate Professor

Brook Kennedy is an award-winning product designer, university researcher and inventor with twenty years of experience. Founded in inclusive, human-centered design practices with Smart Design, OXO, Michael Graves Design and others, he has helped define some of the world's most recognized brands, commercializing more than 60 mass-produced products, many which continue to be successful after years on the market. Today, in addition to advising roles with companies, startups and NGOs, he is also co-founder of the BioDesign Research Group, a sponsored research consortium exploring the intersection of biology and design with a focus on next-generation renewable materials and resource management. Many of these projects have been covered in international media and publications including the New York Times, NPR, PBS Newshour, BBC, Czech National Radio, Design Boom, CNN, Ingeniøren, the Washington Post, Fast Company, the Boston Globe and the Verge. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian, ICFF, Budapest Design Week among other venues.

Kennedy also mentors the next generation of designers with principles of life-centered design, to leverage design and emerging technology responsibly for the benefit of entire living ecosystems, not humans alone. Originally from New York City, he teaches at the School of Design at Virginia Tech where he enjoys being a pedestrian in a small, college town. Kennedy was educated at Reed College in Portland, Oregon and earned his Master's in Design at Stanford University in California. 

Bio Design, Sustainability, Alternative Technology, Life-Centered Design, Human-Centered Design

IDS 3224/ARCH 5974 Applied BioDesign
IDS 4015/4016; 4th Year ID LAB
IDS 4044; Professional Practice
IDS 3224; Portfolio

2022 European Product Design Award, Professional Category, Lisbon Bio-composite Cork Chair, USA

2022 University Research and Innovation Excellence Award, Virginia Tech, USA

2019 Finite Water, Documentary Film, Acknowledgement, Fog Harp 

2020 IDSA IDEA Finalist, Professional Category, Fog Harp, USA

2020 Autodesk Technology Center Resident, Fog Harp, Boston, USA

2019 Smithsonian Lemelson Center for Innovation Exhibit, Fog Harp, USA

2018 IDSA International Design Conference EDU Symposium Best Paper, New Orleans, USA 

2018 A’ Design Award Soli light, Nokero Solar, Italy

2018 A’ Design Silver Award for Folium Bioinspired hydrophobic bike seat concept, Italy 

2018 National Collegiate Inventors Competition, Finalist, Fog Harp, USA

2018 Institute for Creativity Arts and Technology, Innovation Award, Fog Harp, USA

2018 Budapest Design Week, Macronaut smartphone loupe, Hungary

2017 Nokero Solar, Laudato ‘Si Accelerator Honoree, Vatican City

2017 Eleven Biomimicry Competition, Honourable Mention, UK

2017 A’ Design Silver Award for Macronaut smartphone loupe, Italy

2015 Finalist, Highway1 Hardware Accelerator, San Francisco, USA

2013 Consumer Reports, Best Pick, OXO tot Sprout Chair, USA

2012 IDEA Award, Gold, OXO tot Perch Booster Seat, USA

2012 Spark Award, OXO tot Perch Booster Seat, USA

2012 Chicago Athenaeum, Good Design Award, OXO tot Perch Booster Seat, USA

2012 iF Award, OXO tot Sprout High Chair, Germany

2012 iF Award, OXO tot Feeding Line, Germany

2012 IDEA Award, Bronze, OXO tot Feeding Line, USA

2012 IDEA Award, Finalist, OXO tot Bath Organizer, USA

2011 Red Dot “Best of the Best” Award, OXO tot Sprout High Chair, Germany

2011 Red Dot Award, OXO tot Feeding Line, Germany

2011 IDEA Award, Silver, OXO tot Sprout High Chair, USA

2011 IDEA Award, Finalist, OXO tot Feeding Line, USA

2010 JPMA Innovation Award, OXO tot mini Dishwasher Basket, USA

2010 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, Product Design, Smart Design, USA (While at Smart Design)

2005 Chicago Athenaeum, Good Design Award, Michael Graves Elevated Dog Feeder for Target, USA

2005 Olympus Fashion Week Runway show of Michael Graves Design Group for Target Pet Accessories, NYC, USA

1998 Telly Award, Nabisco Exact Change Promo, USA


M.F.A., Design, Stanford University

B.A. Art and Art History, Reed College