Tenure or Teaching Track Position – Design for Digital and Physical Interactions – Carnegie Mellon University

The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA welcomes applications for a tenure-track or teaching-track position in design for digital and physical interactions at the assistant or associate rank for AY Fall 2021.

It is an exciting time for the School of Design and we are looking for a tenure-track or teaching-track faculty member to enrich the School’s work on spatial digital/physical interactions, with an emphasis on contributions to our undergraduate Environments track.

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, students and community members from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. We have a highly collaborative and inclusive culture where faculty actively engage in a conversation about the future and the positive role that design and designers can play. We encourage scholars with the potential to bring to their teaching, research, service and other academic pursuits the critical perspective that comes from their non-traditional educational background or understanding of the experiences of groups historically underrepresented in higher education.

We are seeking a tenure-track or teaching-track faculty member who will:

  • Teach an undergraduate Environments studio, dedicated to spatial interactions, to a diverse group of students
  • Teach various classes across all levels of the undergraduate and graduate programs, often in a team teaching capacity
  • Advise masters’ theses and possibly PhD students
  • Commit to contributing to and promoting a culture of equity and inclusion, including in teaching, research, creative practice, and service
  • If choosing to apply as a tenure-track faculty member, develop a body of research and creative practice
  • If choosing to apply as teaching-track faculty, in lieu of research, teach additional classes, and participate in freelance and/or consultancy work or other external professional activities

About the position options


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 gallery exhibitions; a significant client base; work published, in print or on-line, in scholarly, research, popular journals, and trade publications; invited talks/workshops at significant 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 lieu of research, teaching track faculty take on an additional two courses, for a total of six courses per academic year. Teaching track faculty also frequently participate in freelance and/or consultancy work or other external professional activities that informs their teaching.

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

About the School of Design

The School of Design is one of the oldest and most respected design programs in the country. 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 that design and designers can play. The School of Design’s approximately 225 students come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a diverse set of experiences to their education.

“Designing for interactions” is an overarching theme that runs throughout the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral coursework and research. Rather than focusing solely on an artifact’s form and basic function, design for interactions considers the quality of design-mediated interactions between people, the built world, and the natural world.

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

About the College of Fine Arts

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 organized 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.

About Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is a private, top-ranked global research university recognized for its excellence in the arts, technology, transdisciplinary programs, and research. Located in Pittsburgh, PA, the campus is a center for higher learning and research, positioned in close proximity to several other world-class institutions, including the University of Pittsburgh.


The School invites applicants with the following qualifications:

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

2. Applicants with experience designing physical, hybrid, and/or digital environments with a record in publication, exhibition, curation, and/or professional and creative practice to serve a diverse student body

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

4.Additional areas of expertise in one or more of the following areas to help us evolve our curricula:

  • The design of augmented reality/mixed reality/virtual reality interfaces, interactions, and experiences
  • High fidelity digital and physical 3D modeling for spatial design
  • Intelligent environments & Internet of Things
  • Gestural interactions in responsive environments
  • Environmental sensing and visualization
  • Approaches to computational and generative design
  • Experimental prototyping for interaction
  • Critical approaches to technology, design, and the built environment

Application Instructions

Interested individuals should include the following in their application package:

  1. Letter of application that includes:
    1. Stated interest in either a tenure track or teaching track position
    2. Your position on the current and future state of design education and practice
    3. 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
  2. A one-page statement about your past or future contribution to promoting a positive culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion as exemplified through teaching, research, practice, and/or outreach (e.g. your approaches to teaching or mentoring women or underrepresented minority students)
  3. A one-page statement on your teaching philosophy
  4. A one-page research statement, if applying for a tenure-track position
  5.  Current CV
  6. 8-10 visual examples and descriptions of student work as evidence of your teaching experience, where applicable
  7. 2-3 examples of course syllabi, where applicable
  8. Portfolio that includes 8-10 visual examples and descriptions of creative practice in personal work, professional work, and/or research relevant to the position (web link preferred)
  9. 3-5 examples of publications (e.g. journal articles, books, chapters, published conference papers, exhibition catalogs) and/or research proposals, if applying for a tenure-track position
  10. 3 professional references – please include name, title, phone number, address and email

Deadline for submission of applications is January 8, 2021. Interviews will be conducted from late-January through mid-March, 2021. Successful candidates will be notified in March in anticipation of a fall 2021 academic start date.

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If you require an accommodation to complete the application process, notify La Dawn Robinson, Office of Human Resources – Disability Services, 412.268.3930 or email employeeaccess@andrew.cmu.edu.


Questions about this position and the School or Design can be addressed to Associate Professor Molly Steenson (steenson@cmu.edu) or Assistant Teaching Professor Daphne Peters (daphnepeters@cmu.edu), co-chairs of the search committee. For those who may need assistance with the application process, please contact help@interfolio.com.

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