My Journey as a Design Thinker

Since I was a kid I have been an IDEO lurker. When I was in seventh grade I saw an episode of Dateline… that should reveal a bit about me and my life. This paticular epiosode was featured David Kelley, the founder of IDEO, and his crazy method of solving complex problems using empathy, needfinding, prototyping, testing and scaling to higher resolution of design.

This quarky mustached man inspired me from as an early empathetic problem-solver. I wanted to work in a place like that. A place where post-it notes covered the walls and people from all sectors of industy collaborate in a way to design for a better world.

In 2012, I was in the middle of a job transition when I interviewed at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. One of the first things I noticed when I sat down in the Upper School principal’s office was black boards, post-its, and words like empathize and prototype. The school had been on a journey since 2010 to integrate Design Thinking, inspired by IDEO and Standford, into preK-12. What would the world look like if the world were full of people-centered problem-solvers? I had found what I was looking for.

Since 2012, I have had the opportunity to explore various design thinking models, teach design thinking in conference settings, and design tools and resources for learning design thinking by doing design thinking. Below are a list of accolaides that present my expertise in the subject of design thinking:

DEEP Design Thinking BrandingStory found on Behance
This project was to rebrand and bring to high resolution the DEEP design thinking methodology developed by a team of creators at Mount Vernon Prebyterian School. I led the visual design and collaborated with the team to hone the tools as they advanced towards the DEEP playbook.

Production Director and Creative Director for MVIFI fuse Conferences
Fuse is unlike any other education conference. Fuse is a total-immersion experience in design thinking. From 2012 to 2017, MVIFI has gathered educators, business leaders, social innovators, change agents and dreamers to make an impact while learning more deeply as design thinkers. I have served on the MVIFI excutive leadership team known as the Nucleus Team since 2014. At MVIFI, We believe that design thinking is best learned by doing. We believe that schools have a unique ability to bring about positive change in their communities.

Fuse is an experience where we set the conditions for participants to do both of these in concerted collaboration with MVIFI, community partners, and YOU — the emerging designer — in a few intense but seductively fun days of people-centered problem solving. Let’s put human needs under the microscope so that we may better recognize the universe of design opportunities worth solving.

This Is Iterative Podcast – iTunes Link
This Is Iterative a podcast where myself and Jenn Chan chase our questions about everything there is to know about design and/in education. This is iterative is a constant pursuit of practicing our craft. We are driven by life’s design tensions. You are joining in on the conversation between two educators from different world’s, both invigorated ton dive deeper into our own vulnerability.

Experience as a Presenter and Workshop Facilitator

2014 Educon2.6 Presenter – In the Trenches W/ K12 Design Thinking
2014 SXSWedu Presenter – In the Trenches W/ K12 Design Thinking
2015 NAIS Presenter – In the Trenches W/ K12 Design Thinking
2016 Traverse Conference  – DT101 Workshop
2017 fuse17 MoVe Talk Speaker

Other Accolaides and Accomplishments
Founding member and moderator of #DTK12Chat a Twitter Chat for design thinkers in Education including a Post-Show Host

Quote from Bo Adams via LinkedIn recommendations – “As Creative Director for both Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (MVPS) and the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation (MVIFI), Trey leads and supports so much of the work that we do around program design, branding and communication, strategic innovation, and the list goes on. In particular with our foundations and leadership in design thinking, Trey is a true guru of human-centered design, and he works tirelessly as a leader and encourager in this powerful problem-identification-and-solution-seeking framework. In fact, Trey is the “triple threat” in design thinking: 1) he is remarkably creative and well versed in experience design, 2) he is a master-level facilitator and storyteller, and 3) he is a visual-product designer with tremendous acumen. He is energy and encouragement personified, and he is an absolutely invaluable member of the team. Many have learned from Trey and been influenced by his design thinking prowess.”