Tan is an executive design strategist with a unique skillset that has allowed her to jump fences throughout her career, applying her design insight to interiors, exteriors, exhibits, visual merchandising, stage, TV and film, products, digital and print media, UX, virtual and augmented reality, apps, and games.
She is widely recognized as a thought leader who breaks the mold at scale.
Her strategies, systems, and toolkits are used by high-performing academic teams around the world. Thousands more have benefitted from her books, workshops, and seminars.
Tan is author of the #1 best-seller Project Management Playbook and the award-winning Brilliance Hacks for Work-Life Balance as well as two interactive digital textbooks.
She was named Most Innovative Educator by Top Hat and among her field’s Most Admired Educators by DesignIntelligence.
You can find her featured in places like CBC, NBC, Forbes, Reuters, Homes & Gardens, and Faculty Focus.
Tan’s ability to simplify complex ideas into engaging sound bites without compression loss has made her an adept collaborator and in-demand expert source for journalists.
During her time in the classroom, Tan developed almost 100 courses and maintained a five-star average across 19,000 student reviews.
She worked in higher education for 22 years, spanning three top-ranked interior design programs.
She retired from academic life at 40, but not before earning rank and tenure as the W. Allen and Martha Reimer Reed Professor and leading the nationally-ranked interior design program at Auburn University, an R1 land-, sea-, and space-grant institution with Carnegie Community Engagement classification.
Tan was a founding member of the Tallahassee School of Design and pioneered the fields of design ecology and environmental symbology.
She has written numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, trade publications, and popular press and is a named and unnamed contributor, expert reviewer, editor, and ghostwriter on a variety of writing projects.
Tan is a wife and mom, prescribed burn manager, frequent doodler, and occasional dungeon master.
She currently serves as Design Director for West Second Street LLC and CDO of DESIGN-ATLAS.
She is also a member of the DesignSix – a creative group specializing in the indulgently nerdy.