As the Associate Director of Research & Strategy, Brandy brings 12 years of design research experience and a deep knowledge of the pharma and medical industries to her role at THRIVE. She leads with kindness and curiosity, and believes generous collaboration is what drives lasting innovation. Brandy’s background in ethnographic research, psychology, and nutrition has taken her around the world to countries such as Japan, Germany, Indonesia, India, France, China, and the United States. These formative experiences studying health and healthcare systems in homes, workplaces, classrooms, factories, and everywhere in between, have helped Brandy develop her unique, whole-person perspective of medicine and the design world.
Brandy started off as an Ethnographic Researcher, training directly with seasoned anthropologists, before taking on a Senior Design Researcher and a Principal Research and Design Strategist role. All the while, Brandy built her career around her passions for human-centered design, research, and medicine. Now, she applies her skills and brainpower to help THRIVE continue to be at the forefront of research and innovation. To keep her fundamentals sharp, Brandy serves as an adjunct professor at DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media where she teaches graduate-level courses on Design and Human Experience.
Brandy loves working with her hands, something she attributes to most of her professional work being cerebral. For her hobbies, she enjoys activities like woodworking and gardening for the simple pleasures of feeling the dirt in her hands and seeing the plants growing. She also enjoys fermentation; in a former life she taught workshops on cultured foods and nutrition. In 2016, Brandy received the Mary Elvira Steven’s Fellowship for her project which took her to Norway to study the unique nutritional climate and learn everything from foraging elderflower to fermenting fish and creating Bronze-Age beer with juniper. Lastly, Brandy loves exploring the world with her husband and her dog Pilgrim, as well as the newest family addition, her daughter.