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Design Thinking Lecturer

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wisconsin, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Feb 27, 2023

Minimum $45,000 ACADEMIC (9 months)
Depending on Qualifications Job Summary:

The Design Studies Department and the Master of Science in Design + Innovation (MDI) program is hiring lecturer positions to teach one or more sections of the following courses during the Fall 2023 and/or Spring 2024 semester.

DS 240: Human-Centered Design & Business Fundamentals
This course introduces the Design Thinking process, an iterative problem-solving process geared toward producing innovative solutions for complex and persistent problems in various fields and organizations. Students learn to its process, culture, and value system from both design and business point of views: Empathetic understanding of the end users, problem definition rooted in systems thinking, ideation with a strong emphasis on creativity, visualization and prototyping, testing rooted in a set of research methods, and finally, the importance of iteration in bringing about innovative solutions. The path from project to market also is be explored, with an understanding of how one might balance desirability, feasibility and viability. The course caters to a large body of undergraduate students from both School of Human Ecology and the Wisconsin School of Business and beyond.

DS 641: Advanced Design Thinking for Transformation
This graduate course helps students develop an empathetic, human-centered perspective that uses Design Thinking. The course draws from historical precedence and current research from a variety of fields to help solve complex and persistent problems in the contemporary world. It utilizes advanced design thinking techniques to enhance creative analysis and problem solving to address real-word problems with current constraints and the limitations of technology. Projects range from ways to improve everyday situations to community issues.

It is expected that these courses will be taught in an in-person format during the Fall of 2023 and Spring of 2024, with the potential to continue teaching related courses in the Design Studies Department in the future.

Responsibilities: Facilitates classroom, online, and/or laboratory instruction and assists with instructional development and design for a single course or series of courses within an academic discipline to support the delivery of quality instruction. Provides for-credit instruction in formats such as classroom, online and/or laboratory settings, including grading. Serves as an instructor of record.
  • 75% Facilitates classroom, online and/or laboratory instruction for one or more courses, including assessment of student performance
  • 5% Develops instructional design and curriculum relevant to a course of instruction
  • 10% Serves as an initial point of contact for students as it relates to specific course or series content and expectations
  • 10% May design, develop, and deliver design thinking development and engagement programs and activities
Institutional Statement on Diversity:

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background - people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.

For more information on diversity and inclusion on campus, please visit: Diversity and Inclusion


Master's Degree
Preferred focus in a broader field of design, engineering, business, information, communication or art with demonstrable experience in design thinking.


Qualified candidates will have the following skills and abilities:
- Ability to work effectively within a diverse community
- Demonstrated commitment to creating an inclusive work environment
- Industry experience and knowledge of the subject matter

Preferred Qualifications:
- 3-5 years of industry experience with demonstrated expertise in Design Thinking/Design Strategy methods
- At least four semesters of successful teaching experience at the college level is preferred

Work Type:

Full or Part Time: 33.3% - 100%

It is anticipated this position requires work be performed in-person, onsite, at a designated campus work location.

Appointment Type, Duration:

Terminal, 9 month appointment.
This position has the possibility to be extended or converted to an ongoing appointment based on need and/or funding Additional Information:

DESIGN STUDIES DEPARTMENT: The Design Studies Department is a vibrant community that approaches design from a broad range of disciplinary and practice-based approaches, and supports a range of undergraduate (Textile and Fashion Design, Interior Architecture, third major underway) and graduate programs (MFA, PhD, and Masters of Design & Innovation). The Textile and Fashion Design Program, rooted in studio practice and cultural context, is currently undergoing a program revision to focus on producing graduates who are responsible, resourceful, and research-driven about the place of textiles and fashion in global societies, cultural, economies, and environments.

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN DESIGN + INNOVATION: The University of Wisconsin-Madison's Master of Science in Design + Innovation (MD+I) is a collaborative, interdisciplinary program that gives students the skills to solve complex problems using creativity. With a core of human-centered design, the program brings together faculty and perspectives from five of the UW-Madison's schools and colleges to produce well-rounded designers, entrepreneurs, strategists and innovation leaders.

DESIGN + INNOVATION LABS: The MD+I program is partly housed within the Grainger Engineering Design + Innovation Labs (D+I Labs). The D+I Labs is a community of designers and builders within the College of Engineering's ecosystem of fabrication facilities at UW-Madison. These facilities include the Makerspace (rapid prototyping), TEAM-Lab (Technical Education and Manufacturing Lab precision machining, fee for service job-shop), the Kohler Innovation Visualization Studio (virtual &augmented reality, 3D scanning, and data visualization), Composites +Automotive Labs, and Student Organizations. These fabrication facilities combined are over 40,000 sq ft, run by 10 professional full-time staff members and approximately 60 student workers. Each space contains millions of dollars of high-tech equipment. Students can build anything from micro to macro and from virtual to the physical.

DOROTHY A. O'BRIEN INNOVATION LAB: The School of Human Ecology (SoHE) Dorothy O'Brien Innovation Lab is a 1,700 square foot, flexible, multipurpose learning space for students. Its layout is optimized for design thinking strategies, including collaboration, prototyping, and group ideation. The Dorothy O'Brien Innovation Lab is an important step in SoHE's continued dedication to the process of design thinking for our student body. By continually building on our most successful practices while nurturing the best new ideas, UW-Madison is developing the next generation of creative problem solvers through our Design Thinking Program.

THE CENTER FOR DESIGN AND MATERIAL CULTURE: The Center for Design and Material Culture is the primary destination for the multi-disciplinary study of material culture and design at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with particular focus on the study of design, material culture, and textile. This vision is supported by the rich resources of the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, two galleries, the Ruth Davis Gallery and the Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery, and the SoHE Innovation Studio.

SCHOOL OF HUMAN ECOLOGY: The mission of the School of Human Ecology is to understand the complex relationships and interdependence among individuals, groups and families, and to focus on quality-of-life issues through research, creative innovation, education, and outreach. The School has four academic departments (Civil Society and Community Studies, Consumer Science, Design Studies, and Human Development & Family Studies) with a collective undergraduate enrollment of 1,600 students, and 100+ graduate students. See

How to Apply:

Please click on the "" button to start the application process.

To apply for this position, you will need to upload a cover letter and resume that relate to this position, and contact information for at least three professional references, including your current supervisor. References will not be contacted without advance notice. Your cover letter should address your qualifications as they pertain to the minimum number of years and type of relevant work experience listed above.

The deadline for assuring full consideration is March 27, 2023, however, this position will remain open and applications may be considered until the position(s) are filled.

In addition to the lecturer need(s) identified in this posting, the Department of Design Studies is establishing a pool of qualified candidates to be considered when part-time lecturers are needed to teach Design Thinking courses. Upon successful submission of your application, you may be considered for future teaching opportunities. The Department will keep your application materials on file. If the need shall arise and review of your application materials result in a decision to pursue your candidacy, you may be contacted via the contact information provided on your application.


Michelle Hamilton
Relay Access (WTRS): 7-1-1. See RELAY_SERVICE for further information.

Official Title:




Employment Class:

Academic Staff-Terminal

Job Number:


The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, including but not limited to, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, pregnancy, disability, or status as a protected veteran and other bases as defined by federal regulations and UW System policies. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

If you need to request an accommodation because of a disability, you can find information about how to make a request at the following website:

Employment will require a criminal background check. It will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment.

The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis. Stat. sec. 19.36(7).

The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report contains current campus safety and disciplinary policies, crime statistics for the previous 3 calendar years, and on-campus student housing fire safety policies and fire statistics for the previous 3 calendar years. UW-Madison will provide a paper copy upon request; please contact the University of Wisconsin Police Department .

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