After earning dual undergraduate degrees in Engineering, Dean spent several years as a consultant for Andersen Consulting. In 1998, Dean shifted his focus to architecture and received his Master's degree from Columbia University's forward-thinking GSAPP program. His studies allowed him to extensively explore digital media leading to the founding of experimental studio KDLAB. While creating award-winning films, exhibitions, and websites through KDLAB, Dean maintained his connection to academia by holding teaching posts at Yale, Columbia, and University of Pennsylvania. In 2006, Dean transitioned his practice into Tender Creative by joining forces with Adam and Cory. Currently, Dean leads the new business and strategy efforts at Tender, and continues to serve as a speaker and juror for a wide range of creative conferences and competitions.