Assistant Professor in Product Design
Job Title Assistant Professor in Product Design
A terminal degree (MS, MA, MDes, MFA) in product design, industrial design, or related field.
Required Related Experience
- A terminal degree (MS, MA, MDes, MFA) in product design, industrial design, or related field. Exemplary professional experience may be considered as a substitution for the terminal degree requirement; however, Provost approval is required for non-terminally degreed candidates.
- Candidates should have a strong teaching philosophy combining theory and practice and be able to provide students with an inclusive vision of design, culture, and global society.
- Ability to develop and carry out professional courses and a strong commitment to reforming design education.
- Experience with teaching, design practice, and/or research methodologies integrating design thinking, design theory and design process.
- Demonstrated use of technology in the education process (delivering classes via presentations, using e-learning systems, reports).
- Ability to develop and nurture students’ design skills and engage students with real-world problem solving, conceptual development, and critical thinking.
- Strong interest in working collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff within the College of Design, and with external partners towards the development of shared projects.
- Strong interest in socially engaged projects through creative activities and teaching.
- Evidence of professional and creative accomplishment within social, cultural, historical, economic and/or technological contexts.
- A thorough understanding of professional design practice and relevant and emerging digital technologies.
- Ability to work effectively as part of a team.
The Product Design Department (PRD) in the College of Design at the University of Kentucky invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the Regular Title Series, to begin Fall 2023.
The Product Design Program seeks pioneering, forward-thinking candidates with diverse design experience and perspectives to become a partner in creating a learning environment that is responsive to ever-expanding design contexts. Passion for teaching is paramount, as well as a strong ability to translate design concepts and skills in the classroom, studio, and workshop settings. As part of the College of Design, this position can leverage strengths across our existing programs (Architecture, Interiors, Historic Preservation) and become a significant contributor to forging a new future for the College. Additionally, Product Design shares coursework with UK’s Biomedical Engineering program, a relationship that expands human-centered, high-impact design in both disciplines. Faculty appointed with tenure or to a tenure track position are also expected to maintain an active agenda of scholarly research, professional practice, and/or creative work appropriate within an R1 research institution that establishes or sustains their profile in the field of product design.
Integral to the mission of the Product Design Department, we seek to build a design community that is reflective of the world in which we are designing; as such we are committed to increasing the diversity and representation of faculty from historically underrepresented groups. Such candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Further, the University of Kentucky was recently recognized on the Forbes list of “Best Employers for Diversity” in 2020, an accolade the College of Design leadership intends to extend through this program. It is essential for the Department of Product Design to cultivate an education community that is reflective of the world in which we are designing; as such we are committed to increasing the diversity and representation of faculty from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups. Such candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. While the University of Kentucky was recently recognized on the Forbes list of “Best Employers for Diversity” in 2020, the College of Design is actively working to address underrepresentation in design education.
The University of Kentucky provides comprehensive benefits which are fully described at https://www.uky.edu/hr/employment/working-uk/our-benefits.
The selected candidate will be appointed to a full-time, tenure-eligible 9-month faculty position in the Department of Product Design, starting August 16, 2023. Salary is competitive and based on the candidate’s qualifications and experience. A typical distribution of effort (DOE) for this position includes 5 credit hours of studio and 3-5 credit hours of lecture/seminar courses per semester (50-60% DOE), with ~30-40% DOE dedicated to research efforts, and the remainder to service commitments.
The University of Kentucky considers the health, safety, and well-being of our entire community to be a top priority. In alignment with this priority, all new hires must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or obtain an approved medical or religious exemption as a condition of employment. For areas that fall under the federal CMS mandate, start of employment cannot occur until two weeks after receiving the full COVID-19 vaccination series or upon obtaining an approved exemption. Only vaccines approved by the World Health Organization can be accepted.
Interested applicants must complete an online application at the at the UK Jobs site at https://ukjobs.uky.edu/postings/441850
Complete applications must include, and will be evaluated on, the following materials:
1) A letter of intent that addresses the listed qualifications (Cover Letter)
2) Curriculum Vitae
3) Statement of teaching philosophy (upload under Specific Request 1)
4) A PDF file with samples of professional work and student work, or a website address (upload under Specific Request 2)
When prompted in the application, please submit the name and contact information of three (3) references. Please note that references will not be contacted without permission of the candidate.
Review of applications will begin on February 7, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Jon Mills, Chair of the Department of Product Design: email@example.com or Jennie Boyd, Faculty Resource Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org or (859) 257-6935. For more information about the College of Design and the University of Kentucky, please visit: https://design.uky.edu
About the Product Design Program
As the first of its kind in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Department of Product Design aims to make undergraduate design education accessible to—and inclusive of—a wide audience of prospective students. The BS in Product Design Program is structured to deliver skilled, thoughtful designers to a wide spectrum of industries and subdisciplines at the state, regional, and national levels. Graduates of the program will have a comprehensive understanding of the process of design, the ethics of design, and the impacts of design. A key curricular differentiator of the program is its shared coursework with the undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering (BME), signifying Product Design’s commitment to designing for positive impact and human quality of life. This overlap between programs is unique in design and biomedical engineering education and leverages regional expertise and opportunities in the health and medical industries. A near-future graduate degree in Product Design will further enhance shared opportunities between these two programs while expanding to others across campus.
The program aims to address expansion in both the breadth and depth of design discipline by offering broad exposure to design practice (physical, digital, service, and system design) while offering pathways for students to focus their studies as desired. In addition to set coursework, the curriculum includes a flexible, modular group of courses that allows for an intensive, specialized investigation of advanced topics at both the undergraduate and future graduate level. This feature allows the program to respond to developments in the design industry while allowing faculty to develop modules related to niche or research interests that are beyond the required curriculum. Students are also empowered to suggest special topics for deeper dives into contemporary design practice. Current module categories include: Design Competencies (e.g., furniture design, packaging, typography, animation, etc.); Design Management (e.g., project budget, team organization, design for manufacturing, etc.); Social Impact & Innovation (e.g., social justice, environmental justice, service design, community health, etc.); Advanced Materials & Processes (e.g., sensors, coding, robotics, smart textiles, VR/AR, etc.); Professional Development (e.g., public speaking, portfolio, web development, etc.); and Healthcare (e.g., healthcare systems, assistive devices, clinical observation, medical devices, point-of-care instruments, etc.). At the undergraduate level these modules serve to enhance studios and the senior thesis, and/or combine to form future undergraduate certificates.
About the College of Design
As the College of Design’s newest addition, the Department of Product Design’s undergraduate program fulfills a key University of Kentucky directive to expand educational access through new programs and new faculty lines across the College. The College of Design’s current growth is reflected in the design of a new state-of-the-art facility, which will include expanded fabrication labs, studio spaces, and cross-disciplinary opportunities. The College of Design has partnered with world-renowned architect and MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang for this adaptive reuse project of the 100-year-old Reynolds Building, a 140,000-square-foot former tobacco warehouse. Located in a growing innovation district on the boundary of Lexington and UK’s campus, neighbors include the School of Art and Visual Studies, the College of Education, with room for future campus development. Upon completion of this project the Department of Product Design, along with the entire College of Design, will occupy the new building.
The University of Kentucky considers the health, safety and well-being of our entire community to be a top priority. In alignment with this priority, all new hires must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or obtain an approved medical or religious exemption as a condition of employment. For areas that fall under the federal CMS mandate, start of employment cannot occur until two weeks after receiving the full COVID-19 vaccination series or upon obtaining an approved exemption. Only vaccines approved by the World Health Organization can be accepted.
Skills / Knowledge / Abilities
To meet the program’s vision of breadth and depth in design education, we welcome candidates with experience in any of the following areas:
- Product/Industrial Design
- Medical Device and System Design
- Digital Product/Interaction Design
- Design Research
- Visual Communication
- Computer Aided Design
- Ergonomics and Human Factors
- Design Foundations
- Design Discourse
- Traditional and/or Emerging Materials and Processes
- Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence
- Augmented/Virtual/Mixed Reality
- Soft Goods and/or Textiles Design
- Experimental Design Practice
Ideal candidates will have background and/or interest in shaping a program’s educational vision and can demonstrate: (1) a mastery in the instruction of fundamentals and advanced topics in design; (2) an advanced understanding of design theory and practice within historical, sociocultural, economic, and technological contexts; and (3) a strong command of visual and verbal presentation.
Candidates should be equally fluent in design discourse and studio practice and in balancing the conceptual, aesthetic, technical, and humanistic demands of the discipline. These would include design craft (2D/3D form-visualization and/or 3D form-construction), experience with traditional and digital fabrication, and design research methods. While the base curriculum is delivered, the inaugural faculty are expected to edit and refine as each year of the degree evolves and to assist in submitting the new graduate degree and any associated certificates and minors determined to enhance the program. In addition, candidates should have an interest in interdisciplinary approaches to teaching.
University Community of Inclusion
The University of Kentucky is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce by ensuring all our students, faculty, and staff work in an environment of openness and acceptance. We strive to foster a community where people of all backgrounds, identities, and perspectives can feel secure and welcome. We also value the well-being of each of our employees and are dedicated to creating a healthy place to work, learn and live. In the interest of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our students, employees, patients and visitors the University of Kentucky is a Tobacco & Drug Free campus.
As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we strongly encourage veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, and all minorities to consider our employment opportunities.
Any candidate offered a position may be required to pass pre-employment screenings as mandated by University of Kentucky Human Resources. These screenings may include a national background check and/or drug screen.
Quicklink to Apply: https://ukjobs.uky.edu/postings/441850