Job Description

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis seeks a dynamic and committed tenure-track Assistant Professor in Communication Design, whose research interests include some combination of the following: typography, editorial design, image-making, data visualization, socially-engaged design, brand identity design, exhibition design, motion graphics, user experience/user interface design, and/or design research. We are looking for a key contributor to our typography program with potential to play a leadership role in it. The successful candidate will have a teaching focus on typography for page and screen, as well as on other courses in alignment with their expertise and research interests. The appointment begins August 2022.

The Communication Design program is led by a group of accomplished, enthusiastic, and supportive makers and thinkers whose expertise spans a broad range of applications in graphic or communication design, illustration, interaction design, and cultural history. The program is unusually synthetic and collaborative. All students take a series of gateway courses including Typography I and II. Specialization occurs slowly, supported by faculty in team-taught settings. The program has continued to grow and diversify; emerging collaborations in Human-Computer Interaction with the McKelvey School of Engineering and a Creative Practice for Social Change are extending the reach and scope of the program. Faculty draw on truly extraordinary resources including the Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg Studio for the Illustrated Book (featuring extensive letterpress capacity as well as a risograph); University Library Special Collections, including the D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, featuring illustration holdings and professional archives of considerable note; and distinguished Rare Books and print history collections.

The faculty seek a dynamic colleague working in communication design with a highly cultivated sense of form and methodology as well as a critical or conceptual trajectory for their studio practice. The university looks forward to supporting the new faculty member’s research agenda with opportunities for collaboration and grant support across the campus. Candidates’ research orientation should be well-established and can be scholarly, critical, client-driven, or self-generated with a trajectory for making a significant contribution to the field. Visual fluency in teaching design principles and advanced software is required. We seek a candidate who demonstrates a potential for excellence in teaching. The Sam Fox School strives to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in our community.

Our new colleague will teach 5 courses per academic year in the BFA in Communication Design and BA in Design programs, advise students, conduct ambitious research, and provide service to the school, university, and profession. A Master of Fine Arts in Design or a related field is required. Salary for the position is commensurate with experience.

Application Details

Applications should include a letter of intent that addresses your expertise and research/creative activities, a CV, approximately 15 samples of visual work in PDF form, a brief summary of teaching philosophy that also addresses your approach to supporting diversity, samples of student work (if available), and the names of three references, all submitted through Interfolio. Candidates should demonstrate an ability to nurture an inclusive learning and work environment and to promote a culture and ethos that values diversity, inclusion, and equitable success.

Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2021. Applications will be accepted until the search concludes; however, the committee will give preference to applications received before November 1, 2021. Questions? Contact Douglas Dowd, Search Committee Chair and Professor in the College of Art, dbdowd@wustl.edu.

Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis is a global leader in research and education with approximately 12,500 full-time students divided evenly between undergraduate and graduate/professional programs. The university has 3,000 full- and part-time faculty members and more than half a billion dollars in annual research expenditures. Founded in 1853, the University is an independent, Research 1 institution with nearly 60 graduate and undergraduate programs ranked in the top 25 by US News & World Report. The University’s undergraduate program is currently ranked 14th overall and the School of Medicine is number 6 nationally. Washington University attracts students and faculty from all 50 states and more than 100 countries, and offers more than 300 programs leading to bachelors, masters, doctoral, and professional degrees. The University is organized into seven academic units: the McKelvey School of Engineering, the School of Medicine, the Olin Business School, the Brown School, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, the School of Law, and Arts & Sciences. The University recently completed a capital campaign that surpassed $3.3 billion and is engaged in strategic planning for the next ten years.

Washington University in St. Louis is committed to the principles and practices of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. It is the university’s policy to recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job titles without regard to race, color, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability, or genetic information.

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis is a unique collaboration in architecture, art, and design education within the context of an internationally recognized research university. Comprising the College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, the College and Graduate School of Art, and the Mildred Lane Kemper Museum, the Sam Fox School offers a depth of professional education in conjunction with one of the premier university art museums.

The College of Art, one of the founding members of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Communication Design, Fashion Design, and Studio Art; Bachelor of Art degrees in Studio Art and Design; and second majors in Studio Art or Design. The Graduate School of Art offers the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art through academically rigorous, individualized course of study that encourages creative activity and collaboration across disciplines and media. The Graduate School also offers the Master of Fine Arts in Illustration & Visual Culture, which combines studio practice in illustration and writing with the study of visual and material culture. Together, the College and Graduate School of Art educate approximately 300 undergraduate and 45 graduate students.

The Sam Fox School is housed in a six-building complex that includes the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, home to one of the finest university collections of artworks by 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century American and international artists. The school opened Weil Hall in 2019, a LEED Platinum state-of-the-art center for graduate art and architecture education and an innovative hub for the entire school.

The Sam Fox School hosts a lively series of lectures, symposia, and exhibitions and enjoys strong collaborations with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Laumeier Sculpture Park, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Saint Louis Art Museum. The School has a strong commitment to social justice, environmental justice, and community-based work housed in the Office for Socially Engaged Practice.