Company Logo

Lecturer in Product Design

University of Kentucky k

Lexington, KY

Dec 2
Job Description

The Product Design Department (PRD) in the College of Design at the University of Kentucky invites applications for a full-time Lecturer faculty position to begin Fall 2023. This position includes teaching studio, lecture, and workshop courses and supporting the development of the program’s curricular offerings.

Do you have a passion for teaching the technical, conceptual, and ethical skills of design? Are you eager to engage students, helping them consider how design can create positive impact in the world? Are you an instructor looking to continue your teaching journey in a newly launched program, or a design professional looking to transition fully into the academy? If so, we’ve been looking for you! The Product Design Department is seeking candidates with diverse design experience interested in creating a responsive and forward-thinking design education environment.

As a full-time Lecturer, you will leverage the initial momentum of the Department and existing opportunities for collaboration with the College of Design’s suite of programs — Architecture, Interiors, Historic Preservation, and Urban & Environmental design. PRD’s close relationship with the Biomedical Engineering Program (housed in the College of Engineering) through a series of shared courses provides immediate areas of instructional overlap and collaboration, with additional opportunities across the university campus and beyond.

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 non-tenure-eligible 9-month faculty position, starting August 1, 2023, for an initial two-year period to end May 15, 2025. Salary is competitive and based on the candidate’s qualifications and experience. The maximum initial appointment term for this position is two years.

Required Education:
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.

Required Related Experience:
We are currently seeking candidates whose experience enables them to teach in the following areas of the curriculum*:
• Product/Industrial Design
• Ergonomics and Human Factors
• Medical Device and System Design
• Entrepreneurship/Business
• Soft Goods and/or Textiles Design
• Fabrication/Manufacturing
• Traditional and/or Emerging Materials and Processes

Skills / Knowledge / Abilities:
• 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.
• Ability to work effectively as part of a team.

Ideal candidates must demonstrate:
• Mastery in the instruction of fundamental and advanced topics in design
• Firm understanding of design theory and practice within historical, sociocultural, economic, and technological contexts
• Strong command of the tools and principles of visual and verbal presentation.

Additionally, candidates should possess:
• Integration of design thinking, research methods and design process in professional practice and/or teaching.
• Evidence of proficiency with relevant and emerging digital design technologies.
• Evidence of professional and creative accomplishment within social, cultural, historical, economic and/or technological contexts.

*To meet the program’s vision of breadth and depth in design education, we also welcome candidates with experience in any of the following areas:
• Digital Product/Interaction Design
• Design Research
• Visual Communication
• Computer Aided Design
• Design Foundations
• Design Discourse
• Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence
• Augmented/Virtual/Mixed Reality
• Experimental Design Practice

--------------
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 sub-disciplines 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.

Application Details

Application
Complete applications must include, and will be evaluated on, the following materials:
• A letter of intent that addresses the listed qualifications (Cover Letter)
• Curriculum Vitae
• Statement of teaching philosophy (Specific Request 1)
• A PDF file with samples of professional work and/or student work, or a website address (Specific Request 2)
• The names and contact information of three (3) references when prompted in the application.

Review of applications will begin on January 23, 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: mills.design@uky.edu. For more information about the College of Design and the University of Kentucky, please visit: https://design.uky.edu

University of Kentucky

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.

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.

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.