Tanner is co-founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Design Museum, and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Design from Arizona State University, and a design patent for product design at Intel. Throughout his career, Tanner has worked in many capacities, including product design, community organizing, interaction design, and development. With formal training in design, he has taught and lectured on design issues, history, and rapid ideation in professional and academic settings. He believes in taking calculated risks, and was taught to leave everything—objects, relationships and ideas—better than when they were found.