tenure-track or teaching-track faculty position, assistant professor in product design

School of Design - Carnegie Mellon University
United States

Valid from 28.10.2021 to 09.01.2022

The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University invites applications for a tenure-track or teaching-track faculty position in Product Design for Fall 2022.


The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, welcomes applications for a tenure-track or teaching-track position at the rank of assistant professor for Fall 2022.


We are looking for a tenure-track or teaching-track faculty member to enrich the School's work in product design, emphasizing contributions to our BDes Products track. The ideal candidate brings an innovative approach to industrial design, physical product design, tangible interaction, or similar areas with possible experience in furniture and/or interactive objects. We are seeking an established maker and thinker with rich analog craft skills and expertise in digital tools who can operate across the physical, digital, and phygital modes of product design. Their work and interests would be naturally situated in our prototyping lab and hold both traditional and contemporary skill sets in product design/product development.

We are seeking a faculty member who will:

Teach various classes across all levels of the undergraduate (BDes) and graduate (MDes, MPS, MA) programs, at times in a co-teaching capacity

Advise masters' theses in Interaction Design and possibly PhD students in Transition Design

Have a keen eye on the state of design practice internationally, evidenced through their research, practice, and/or teaching

Engage in "research through designing"

Commit to contributing to and promoting a culture of equity and inclusion, including in teaching, research, creative practice, and service

Be familiar with critical issues including social, political, environmental and economic and their connection and relevance to product design

Be approachable and will grow within our university context

If choosing to apply as a tenure-track faculty member: show an interest in or evidence of current/future design research and creative practice

If choosing to apply as teaching-track faculty: in place of scholarly research, teach additional courses, and participate in professional practice.

The School invites applicants with the following qualifications:

A terminal degree in a design related field (e.g., Master of Design, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Architecture, and/or PhD) or equivalent professional experience

Experience designing innovative products with a record in professional and creative practice to serve a diverse student body

University-level teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate levels or equivalent professional experience

Additional areas of expertise and/or experience in one or more of the following areas:

Industrial design/product development methods and practice

Critical design, Speculative Design, Tangible Interaction Design, Design History

New approaches in form-giving, fabrication, production

Competency with traditional fabrication equipment, contemporary digital tools, electronics bench work

Sustainable material practices/production

Soft goods, wearables

CAD/CAM, Grasshopper, Arduino, Processing, etc

Physical computing, creative coding



In addition to teaching four classes per academic year, tenure-track faculty are expected to produce research, scholarly work, artistic work, and/or engage in design practice that elevates the field. Examples of faculty activities include but are not limited to: participation in practice-based research, a significant client base, gallery exhibitions; work published, in print or online, in scholarly, popular journals, and trade publications; invited talks/workshops at notable national and international venues; patents held; items in production or collections; grants and sponsored research; professional honors and awards; and significant contributions to professional societies and organizations.

In place of research, teaching-track faculty take on an additional two courses, for six courses per academic year. Teaching-track faculty also frequently participate in freelance or consultancy work or other external professional activities that inform and continually advance their teaching.

Track and rank are negotiable, and all positions include a comprehensive benefits package and a competitive salary.


Interested individuals should include the following in their application package:

A letter of application that includes:

Stated interest in either a tenure-track or teaching-track position

Your interest in this position and how you see yourself fitting into the program, for example, courses within our curriculum that you might teach, a description of projects, and courses or initiatives you would like to develop in the future

Your position on the current and future state of design education and practice

A one-page statement about your past, present, or future contribution to promoting a positive culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion as exemplified through teaching, research, practice, and outreach

A one-page statement that describes your approach and overarching goals as an educator

A one-page statement that describes the topics you aim to investigate and their importance to the field if applying for a tenure-track position

Current resume or Curriculum Vitae

8–10 visual examples and descriptions of student work as evidence of your teaching experience, where applicable, and/or descriptions of potential projects

2–3 examples of course syllabi, where applicable, and/or descriptions of potential courses

A portfolio that includes 8-10 visual examples and descriptions of creative practice in personal work, professional work, and research relevant to the position (web link preferred)

Select examples of publications if applicable 1–3 examples of publications (e.g., journal articles, books, chapters, published conference papers, exhibition catalogs) and research proposals, if applying for a tenure-track position

3 professional references — please include name, title, phone number, address, and email

Candidates should apply online at: https://apply.interfolio.com/97949

The deadline for submission of applications is 09 January 2022. Interviews will be conducted from late January through mid-March 2022. Successful candidates will be notified in early April in anticipation of a fall 2022 academic start date.


The School takes a transdisciplinary approach to design education, and its position within a premier research university provides faculty with an unparalleled opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from diverse disciplines. Faculty at the School of Design believe in teaching through making, are passionate about their work, and interact with students at all levels in our program. We have a highly collaborative, values-based culture, and faculty frequently "team teach" with colleagues with complementary expertise. We are actively engaged in a conversation about the future and the positive role of design and designers. The School of Design's approximately 225 students come from various backgrounds and bring a diverse set of experiences to their education.

The School offers a Bachelor's degree in Design (BDes) with undergraduate curriculum tracks in Communication Design, Product Design, and Environments. At the graduate level, we offer a two-year Master of Design degree (MDes), a one-year Master of Professional Studies degree (MPS), and a one-year Master of Arts degree (MA). The School of Design offers a PhD in Transition Design.

More information on the School of Design can be found on the School's website at: www.design.cmu.edu.


The Product Design track in the School of Design explores themes of materiality, interaction, and technology through rich practices of form-giving, design research, and iterative development. We aspire for the products we design to play important roles in advancing the state of the world, enhancing the human experience, and advocating for a critical balance between the built and natural worlds. Our program offers a novel disciplinary approach that provides for students to develop the requisite 21st century skill set, mindset, and motivation to use Product Design practice for positive benefit across a variety of industries, organizations, and contexts. Further, our curriculum acknowledges that no product exists in isolation—it is always part of larger complex social, political, environmental, and economic systems. We believe that Product Design today operates within these established systems and works to change the status quo through equitable, progressive, and sustainable approaches. Continue reading here: https://design.cmu.edu/content/products


Since its founding, Carnegie Mellon University's College of Fine Arts (CFA) has provided an unparalleled platform for groundbreaking critical inquiry and creative production. CFA is distinguished as one of the few colleges in the nation to encompass rigorous conservatory-style education, multidisciplinary studio training, and vanguard research under one umbrella. CFA is organised into five schools: the School of Architecture, School of Art, School of Design, School of Drama, and School of Music, and also includes a robust ecology of interdisciplinary programs.


Carnegie Mellon University is a private, top-ranked global research university recognised for its excellence in the arts, technology, transdisciplinary programs, and research and located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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