The Department of Product Design in the College of Design invites applications for a full-time faculty Lecturer position in the recently launched Product Design Program.
This position provides unique opportunities for faculty to help shape this new program in its formative years and create a learning environment that is responsive to current and future design contexts. The Department seeks 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.
The Product Design Program seeks pioneering, forward-thinking candidates with diverse design experience and perspectives who can leverage the College’s reputation and strengths in its existing programs (architecture, interiors, historic preservation, and urban & environmental design) and become a significant contributor to forging a new future for the College. A passion for teaching is paramount, as well as a strong ability to translate design concepts and skills in the classroom, studio, and workshop settings. Non-tenure-track faculty are encouraged—but not required—to maintain an active professional practice or scholarly research program.
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. PhD, MFA, MA, MDes, MS or equivalent terminal degree in industrial design, product design, or relevant discipline required.
Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• 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.
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
The position commences August 16, 2021 and includes an initial one-year contract, with appointment in the Department of Product Design. Salary is competitive and based on the candidate’s qualifications and experience.
The online application process includes the following materials:
1) A letter of intent that addresses the listed qualifications (Cover Letter)
2) Curriculum Vitae
3) Statement of teaching philosophy
4) A PDF file with samples of professional work and student work, or a website address
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 immediately and will continue until the positions are filled. Questions regarding the positions should be directed to Jon Mills, Chair of the Department of Product Design: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Charlotte Leedy, Executive Administrative Assistant: email@example.com or (859) 257-7619.
About the Product Design Program:
As the first of its kind in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Product Design Program aims to make undergraduate design education accessible to—and inclusive of—a wide audience of prospective students and is structured to deliver skilled, thoughtful designers to the state as well as the regional and national levels. Graduates 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 newly launched 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 in the health and medical industries; candidates with medical or healthcare design experience would be integral to this shared programmatic area. 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 modular group of courses with variable credit that allows for an intensive, specialized investigation of advanced topics (both at the undergraduate and future graduate level) and allows the program to both respond to and forecast developments in the design industry. This concept provides the opportunity for faculty to develop short duration course modules related to niche or research interests that are beyond the required curriculum. Students would be empowered to also suggest special topics for deeper dives into contemporary ideas/materials/trends/etc. 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., service design, humanitarian design, community health, etc.); Advanced Materials & Processes (e.g., mobile app development, sensors, coding for designers, 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 will 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. Additionally, the College of Design is poised for significant growth and change, driving 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 Reynolds Building, a 140,000-square-foot former tobacco warehouse. This building was built in 1917 and is located in a growing innovation district on the boundary of city and campus, which includes the School of Art and Visual Studies, the College of Education, and room for future campus development. Upon completion of this project the Product Design Program, along with the entire College of Design, will occupy the new building.
For more about the College of Design and the University of Kentucky, please visit: https://design.uky.edu.