About Trudy Miller

Meet Formal Trudy

Founder Trudy Miller is a design researcher, educator and inventor launching an online academy that teaches generosity of spirit towards people and the planet.  

...now meet casual trudy

Well hello there!  Here's 10 things about me that you probably don't know:

 My favorite burning question of the last decade:

What tools and mindsets are most critical to evolving from a win-lose debate team to a triple-win relay team in politics, culture, relationship dynamics and community building efforts?

 

 

 

I’m a habitual curricularizer and I learn to teach.  After many years of teaching at the college level, I became a volunteer curriculum developer for high school eco-fashion design classes at vocational high schools in New York in partnership with BK Style Foundation. Empowering youth (who may not make it to college) to become more socially and environmentally responsible entrepreneurs has since been a deep calling.

I’m best known for designing swiss-army style products and spaces that maximize functionality while reducing or eliminating waste.  My most widely known case study is a zero waste convertible clothing line that embodies generosity of spirit to women of all ages, shapes and sizes.  (One too many fitting room nightmares precipitated my foray into fashion).

 

 

My crowning achievement is spending nearly two decades using this tiny footprint design strategy in a variety of design disciplines, then turning it into a pedagogy and visual lexicon that makes these concepts accessible to children, whose neuroplasticity levels are much higher than adults. 

My training and background as an architect have been pivotal as well in honing my critical thinking skills to develop intersectional ideas, manage projects, and interpret information at macro and micro scales.  “I truly believe all children should have a basic architectural education, because the discipline is all encompassing and the learning is both scalable and transferable.”

 

 

My Planetary Wellness agenda was seeded during my first visit to China in 1992 as a foreign exchange student.  Stunned by the levels of pollution that were present (even without much vehicular traffic) when I visited the Pearl River, I imagined that if I fell in it would be near fatal.  It was a defining moment in my career trajectory. I then decided my contributions to the design world would be centered around minimizing pollution and waste.  My independent study project became a conversation about the relationship between consumerism and industrial waste.  This interest led me to pursue graduate studies in Environmental Design for Developing Countries at UC Berkeley, and to eventually create zero waste products at work, and begin developing zero waste design curriculum at Parsons The New School for Design in 2001.

I’m a huge nature enthusiast, from birding to animals and insects - and I’ve learned some fascinating things through my time spent observing them.  I do most of my important work outside - even architectural work. The beach is one of my favorite places! 

 

As a foreign-born black raised in a majority black nation, my level of creative freedom, confidence and self-perception is remarkably different than many African Americans.  Having never filled out an ethnicity form in my entire life until I moved to the United States from Jamaica, I never thought much of my ethnic origins before that time, apart from learning I was the descendant of former slaves in history class.  I felt ownership of the world as my canvas because I was supported by a family that was deeply invested in allowing me to explore all my creative interests, without being socially and institutionally categorized as ‘other’ or ‘nonwhite’.  However, this didn’t preclude me or my work from being classified as such once I became an entrepreneur, but my foundational education gave me the confidence and staying power needed to keep at my long term vision, despite cold receptions and misguided perceptions of those in authority.

 I also love strategy games, puzzles, and word etymology.  My top-secret passion project is making short videos that explain highbrow concepts in Jamaican, which is like short form English with loads of flourish.