Ken Zinser

Hi, my name is Ken.

In a nutshell

I’m an independent design generalist helping people create human-centered systems and services.

Neurodivergent, introvert, anti‑disciplinary, meta thinker, word nerd, compelled to make things work better.

I write and I do projects.

A mosaic of closely-cropped images of Ken making various facial expressions The many faces of Ken

About me, as a person

Husband, son, brother, uncle, great-uncle, type 1 diabetic, INTJ, porcupine, among other things.

All my family comes from Cincinnati.

I was born in the suburbs of New Haven, Connecticut, and raised in Northern Virginia, just outside the Capital Beltway.

Now I live in Seattle with my wife Sarah and our dog Olive.

About this site

This is my personal website, a quiet little corner of the internet where I collect my thoughts and share ideas. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

Recurring themes include design and creativity, urbanism and transportation, culture and technology, leadership and collaboration. Occasionally I publish personal essays and short fiction.

Powered by Blot. The domain name is registered with Hover.

I do not track data on my site. No ads, no analytics, no third-party cookies. If you’d like to support my writing, I’d love if you could buy me a coffee.

I’m glad you’re here.

Answers to ‘what do you do?’

I use design thinking to help people and organizations grow and do good things in their communities. (Looking for help?)

I spent the majority of my career with design studios and strategic communications firms serving nonprofits and mission-driven organizations like American Society of Civil Engineers, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Human Rights Campaign, National Association of Independent Schools, and Ploughshares Fund.

I also held positions inside larger organizations. First with National Journal Group (subsidiary of The Atlantic) the DC-based media platform and research consultancy. Then with Seattle Indian Health Board, a federally qualified health center and urban Indian health program serving American Indian and Alaska Native people across the country.

I hold a BFA with honors in Graphic Design from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC. My senior thesis explored the benefits and pitfalls of three budding social impact programs.

Before pursuing an education in design, I spent two years at Miami University of Ohio. I mostly studied literature and creative writing.

When I’m not staring at a screen, I’m throwing the frisbee for Olive, busy being a Big Brother™, or volunteering at my local food bank. I like bouldering, ping pong, roller skating, woodworking, ice hockey, coming up with band names, and collecting flea market dinosaur figurines. I used to hunt for funky neon signs around the city and share my browser tabs.

Here’s an actual photo of me you can use for your contacts app or whatever.