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Hello, I’m Vivian Barad

Partner and Executive Director, Food & Beverage Portfolio, IDEO San Francisco

My passion is to improve people's lives through design. As the leader of IDEO’s Food & Beverage Portfolio, I focus on helping our clients find new business opportunities as well as develop brands that help people enjoy healthier and better food, beverage products and experiences. And prototyping all that makes me happy.

What you won’t learn from my bio:
I made my first prototype when I was six. It was a phone system to communicate with my best friend who lived across the street.

Joined IDEO:

Full Bio

In her role as Executive Director, Vivian Barad collaborates with clients and IDEO designers to drive change in the global food system. Vivian is passionate about the intersection of food and health: how people can change their relationship with food for the better, and how brands and services can be partners in supporting this change.

Known for her keen visual eye and passion for compelling narratives, Vivian partners with clients including Suntory, Whitewave Foods, Alicorp, St. Joseph’s Health System, Revolution Foods, Plum Organics, AB InBev, and Campbell’s. She worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to empower teens to eat more fruits and vegetables by developing their culinary confidence. Vivian guided Suntory in understanding Americans’ perception of matcha in order to offer it as a healthful and delicious beverage alternative. A champion of human-centered design, Vivian encourages her clients to spend time with consumers in context, whether cooking in their kitchens, standing in line at a food pantry, or shopping in grocery stores. She is an expert in understanding people’s deeply-rooted food behaviors, issues of food security and access, and the benefits of increasing culinary confidence, and has spoken on these topics and more at TedX, SXSW, and Feeding America.

Prior to IDEO, Vivian honed her skills as an industrial designer at Fuse Project, where she won numerous awards and collaborated with companies like Target, Coca-Cola, and Jimmy Jane. Based on her experience as an industrial designer, Vivian is an advocate of holistic product design and considering how a product more broadly fits into people’s lives and the world.

Vivian is a graduate of California College of the Arts, where she earned a BFA with high distinction in industrial design and taught design thinking for three years. Vivian received a BA in English with distinction from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and worked as a New York-based journalist at NBC News and New York Magazine for several years. In her free time, Vivian enjoys growing kitchen herbs and trail running. She teaches art at her kids’ public school and considers herself a top-notch assistant referee for their soccer teams.


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