Trumpey is a passionate and accomplished speaker on the topics of sustainability, education, alternative construction and food.

He currently advocates for what he has termed the Vernacular Creative Movement. He has taught many large lecture courses and lectured in a variety of venues including conferences, libraries, alumni meetings, clubs, panel discussions, and TEDx.

I find that speaking about topics I am passionate about comes quite easily. I take pleasure in sharing stories and information with varied groups of people. I have taught classes ranging in size from 6 to 170 students, and have spoken to a wide variety of audiences including: university student groups, clubs, community organizations, elementary students, public meetings, alumni groups, panel discussions and a variety of conferences.

Please contact me at jtrumpey(at) if you would like me to speak with your group about any aspect of my work.

Below is an abstract and description of a recent lecture I gave at a conference titled Environmental Visions []

Presentation Title
Be prepared… Be very prepared! The Vernacular Creative Movement as response to a changing world.

Presentation Abstract
Be prepared is the Boy Scout motto I learned to embrace as a child; and, this philosophy continues to permeate my practice and pedagogy today. A growing group of Americans now identify themselves as “preppers.” Preppers are getting ready for a variety of conflicts ranging from natural resource depletion, to the failure of the power grid, to even a hypothetical zombie apocalypse. Regardless of approach, the Earth is entering into the period of the Anthropocene. Historic change and biophysical limitations are becoming a new normal.

How should institutions of higher education prepare the coming generations of creatives to deal with the wicked problems that challenge us to be sustainable? The core of any pedagogy is about preparation – but the question we now face is what kind and at what scale should the academy embrace changes for life in a post-peak-oil world? How can the academy adapt its methods, respond to impending crises, and still work to build leaders for a rapidly changing world?

Given the realities of 1) the tenacity of the oil and gas industry and 2) the energy demands of developing economies, there is enough atmospheric carbon in play that a changing climate is our new reality – guaranteed. The certainty of life without cheap oil is now in sight. How can we prepare young people to have the strength and courage to lead in that more complicated and challenging environment?

The Global North is eager to embrace green technologies and efficiency standards as the primary tools for “adaptation” to the post-peak-oil world. Green-tech cannot and should not be our only societal responses for success. We cannot simply recycle our way to a sustainable future. An important response resides in building resilient communities that see and embrace creativity on a highly local scale. A large network of steadfast neighbors empowered with localized knowledge is critical for our success. We must build curricula that supports AND promotes a wider definition of what creative art and design can be. Students must be allowed to move beyond the traditional studio coursework emphasized in most programs. Their experiences must push them to build relationships with a broader set of tools and processes. They must be supported in experiences that build competencies for working in multicultural communities. Furthermore, we must act as stewards, and guide students through meaningful experiences to build a strong relationship with Nature itself.

Studio courses must move beyond the walls of the academy and into the disparate communities who will benefit from the contributions from this new generation of creatives. Just as the Arts and Crafts Movement pushed back against the Industrial Revolution and its growing industrial complex, today’s art and design education must actively develop human capital in a vernacular form – The Vernacular Creative Movement.