Lindsay Tan, MFA, NCIDQ, EDAC, LEED GCP, IDEC is a design ecologist with special expertise in symbolic aspects of human-computer and human-environment interaction – an approach that helps to illuminate the “why” behind today’s most pressing global health and quality of life challenges. Her key research interest is in the development of design interventions to improve global health – in particular, food security and embedded urban resilience.

Over the last ten years, Tan has built a solid foundation of publications, exhibitions, and awards that have articulated a scholarly agenda of demonstrated merit and secured over $1.52 million in grants, contracts, and in-kind funding. The impact of her work has been reported in CBC News, CBC/Radio-Canada, Reuters, Chronicle, Faculty Focus, Commercial Interior Design, Elle Décor Italia, Architectural Digest, Cruise Arabia & Africa, Designers Today, Spaces Quarterly, and by the Board of Human Sciences. She delivers lectures, seminars, and workshops to higher ed institutions, K-12 schools, businesses, and community organizations worldwide.

Tan is tenured at Auburn University, an R1 land-, sea-, and space-grant institution with Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification, where her current leadership roles include: Program Coordinator, B.S. Interior Design program (nationally-ranked, CIDA-accredited); Graduate Faculty, Consumer & Design Sciences M.S. thesis/non-thesis and Ph.D. programs (nationally-ranked); Global Faculty, Master of Development Practice program; and Director of the Design Ecology Lab & CHS Pathogen Lab.

Her professional experience includes designs for healthcare, civic, educational, hospitality, residential and corporate interiors, digital and print media, interface and interaction, exhibit, visual merchandising, and production for stage and film. Tan and her work have been featured in tv, radio, print, and online media. She is founder of DESIGN-ATLAS, an online career-building and upskilling tool for interior designers.

She wears a lot of hats. She is also a wife and mom, prescribed burn manager, and lover of long-leaf pine, native bunchgrasses, and charismatic animals of the Southeast. Her vices include using too many commas, checking her mobile, and walking entirely out of her way to step on crunchy-looking leaves. (Sometimes simultaneously.)

Type: ENFJ-T The Protagonist – called to serve a greater purpose, motivated to do the right thing even when it’s hard, and a strong desire to make a positive impact in the world.

Role: Diplomat – naturally empathetic and intuitive, prioritizes kindness and generosity, prefers cooperation over competition, and works to help others and make connections.

Strategy: Social Engagement – motivated to seek out new experiences in the world, a born entertainer who can start and sustain conversations, can be risk-tolerant and boldly vulnerable.

Strategic – can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues in a scenario, and finds alternative ways to proceed toward a goal.

Connectedness – builds bridges between people, sees all life as linked, and seeks out the underlying symbolism or meaning in everything.

Activator – a doer who makes things happen, turns thoughts into action, can process information and explore options while in motion, and accepts failure as a learning experience.

Learner – driven to continuous improvement, a life-long learner who seeks encounters with new ideas and enjoys mastering new skills.

Individualization – instinctively figures out how a team can work together by uncovering each person’s motivations, ways of thinking, unique strengths, and work style.

Coach-Mentor-Leader – leads by developing team members to their best potential, breaks down barriers and empowers them to pursue their individual goals, and gets down in the trenches alongside the team.

Bold Transparency

High Tolerance for Ambiguity

Commitment to Due Diligence and Data

These themes have been discussed as common to millenial leaders. See Barnes & Gearin (2022).