Assistant or Associate Professor, Spatial Dynamics, Division of Experimental and Foundation

Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Oct 30, 2023

Job Details

Posting Details

Position Information


Assistant or Associate Professor, Spatial Dynamics, Division of Experimental and Foundation Studies, First Year


Division of Experimental + Foundation Studies


Experimental + Found Studies

Employment Type


Critical Review Track (similar to tenure track)


Position Description

The Division of Experimental and Foundation Studies at Rhode Island School of Design invites applications for a full-time faculty appointment in Spatial Dynamics at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor, to commence fall 2024. Rank will be dependent on experience.

RISD recognizes principles of social equity, inclusion, and diversity as fundamental to its academic mission as an art and design school. We understand these principles to require ongoing attention to differential embodied experience and expansion of the forms of knowledge from which our curricula originate. RISD is engaged in the collective work of institutional transformation and would value applicants whose pedagogical and professional experiences have prepared them to foster equitable teaching and learning environments. We seek applicants whose teaching and professional work (creative practice and/or academic scholarship) attends to embodied difference as intersectional and centers on bodies of knowledge from historically underrepresented communities. We particularly encourage applicants who can help advance the institution’s social equity, inclusion, and diversity goals and those from groups whose underrepresentation in the American professoriate has been severe and long standing, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other People of Color, people who identify as LGBTQIA+, veterans, people with disabilities, and first-generation college students.

The Division of Experimental and Foundation Studies invites applications for faculty positions in Spatial Dynamics from designers, architects, and artists who are enthusiastic about teaching first-year students who will go on to major in one of sixteen design, architecture, and fine arts programs at RISD .

We seek candidates whose knowledge, creative practice, and/or teaching may center on issues of sustainability, accessibility, physics, mathematics, biomaterials, computation and technology including artificial intelligence, within an art and design cultural context. Ideal candidates should have a distinctive vision and pedagogical approach and be prepared to teach Spatial Dynamics as a vital experience for a range of disciplines and a diverse student body.

Candidates should be equipped to teach a diverse student body, including international students, BIPoC students, LGBTQ+ and first-generation college students, and engage across various cultures. Applicants should be prepared to develop syllabi and lead classes and critiques that model constructive, inclusive discussions, and that encourage students to grow creatively and intellectually. Faculty are expected to be able to integrate new technologies into their courses.

In addition, successful candidates will be able to approach Spatial Dynamics from multiple directions: as a specific method of investigating visual and spatial phenomena, as a mode of speculation and inquiry, and as an essential activity intrinsic to all artists and designers.

Candidates should have a developed professional practice. The Division is open to hiring designers and artists from various spatial disciplines and interdisciplinary practices whose primary mode of work includes innovative physical making.

Creativity in both professional work and teaching are essential.

Required Qualifications
  • Masters degree in a field relevant to teaching Spatial Dynamics, or commensurate professional experience
  • Teaching at the college level as an instructor of record
  • Demonstrated commitment to undergraduate teaching, with a clear ability to teach a diverse student body and employ inclusive pedagogies
  • Demonstrated record of supporting a globally and culturally diverse body of students in developing a creative and critical approach to Spatial Dynamics
  • Demonstrated commitment to effectively mentor and advise students, including students from minorities and marginalized social groups
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of the safe operation of wood shop equipment, including the ability to teach students, new to working three dimensionally, the safe use of hand and machine tools, as well as construction and assembly processes with a range of traditional and new materials.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of digital and analog technologies relevant to the teaching of Spatial Dynamics
  • Demonstrated experience working with and/or teaching with a range of materials
  • A strong record of an innovative professional or creative practice and dissemination of the work through exhibitions or commissions (as appropriate to the field), appropriate to the level of appointment
Preferred Qualifications
  • Demonstrated experience in the fields of design, architecture, or the built environment
  • Professional work, creative practice, and or research within an art and design cultural context that addresses one or more of the following issues: sustainability, accessibility, physics, mathematics, biomaterials, computation and technology including artificial intelligence
  • Demonstrated experience teaching first-year students or working with beginning students in a similar capacity
RISD/ Department Description

Rhode Island School of Design ( RISD ) is an undergraduate and graduate college of art and design with approximately 2,500 graduate and undergraduate students. RISD has a critical review process, which is very similar to the tenure process. RISD supports faculty professional practice with sabbaticals, pre-critical review leave, conference funds, and professional development grants. For more information about RISD, please visit .

Spatial Dynamics is one of three programs (Spatial Dynamics, Drawing, and Design) comprising the studio curriculum for all first-year undergraduate students at RISD . Each studio class meets one full day a week, in sections of approximately 20 students, with section groups preserved across programs. In Spatial Dynamics studio courses, students investigate spatial phenomena by exploring and expressing relationships between space, time, and objects. Faculty do not teach from a fixed curriculum, but rather towards a collective inquiry of Spatial Dynamics from individual perspectives. The first year is a studio-based approach that emphasizes a constructive community critique environment. Through designed sets of assignments, with faculty and peer critique, students are encouraged to think deductively and intuitively. Studio approaches encompass a diverse scope of technological, material, intellectual, cultural, social, and political forms. Full-time faculty in EFS teach four courses each academic year. Faculty work collaboratively with other members of the division and with colleagues from across the school.

EFS works to support diversity and inclusion in our courses. One example is POP, an intensive, two-week experience for incoming RISD first-generation college students that allows them to expand their artistic and academic skills, explore their social identities, and build community. POP students are mentored all year long through Project Thrive and the EFS Faculty Studio Advisor.

In another initiative a Liberal Arts professor and two EFS studios collaborate to develop material that includes the historic, racial, and social impacts/implications of a cultural icon. The students discuss the roles that artists and designers play in the presented event/idea as an entry point to see themselves in the art and design world.

Faculty Responsibilities

The full-time faculty teaching load is six teaching units a year; in EFS, this is configured as four courses. In addition to teaching, full-time faculty are expected to maintain a dynamic professional practice, serve on college committees, advise students, participate in curriculum development and other departmental and/or divisional activities and projects, and contribute to the vibrancy of the intellectual life of the college.



Salary Information

For information about base pay for this position, please refer to Article XII “Salaries” (p. 19-22) in the Faculty Association Collective Bargaining Contract 2022-2025 . The contract indicates the minimum base salary for each rank.

Pre-employment Requirement

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

Special Instructions to Applicants

RISD Faculty Search Committees comprise colleagues from within and outside of the hiring Department.

Please attach the following to the appropriate links in the section labeled “Documents Needed to Apply”:

1.) Letter of intent that addresses the qualifications and responsibilities listed above
2.) Curriculum vitae
3.) A teaching philosophy that articulates your approach to inclusive pedagogy
4.) One syllabus that demonstrates an inclusive approach to teaching studio work
5.) A description of one assignment that includes the concept development process and an explanation of how it fits into a semester’s curriculum (Attach to tab labeled “Other 1”)
6.) Portfolio of images of recent professional work (20 images maximum, in one PDF, the images should be submitted in slideshow format and include an image description list or descriptive captions)
7.) Portfolio of images of student work (20 images maximum, in one PDF, images should be submitted in slideshow format and include an image description list and contextualizing captions)

Applications may not be edited once they are certified and submitted.

File size is limited to 10 MB per file.

Only materials that have been requested will be considered.

The only links that may be included are those that refer to work already contained in the portfolio of images of recent professional work and/or those that refer to work already contained in the portfolio of images of student work. Links to time-based work are permitted. Time-based samples of recent professional work should not exceed 15 minutes, in total. Time-based samples of student work should not exceed 10 minutes, in total.

Names and contact information for three references are requested as part of the application process. Requests for reference letters are sent directly to the reference providers when candidates become finalists.

Review of applications begins immediately and continues until the position is filled. Candidates who submit their materials by January 5, 2024 are assured full consideration.

EEO Statement

RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

Posting Detail Information

Posting Number


Open Date

Close Date

Open Until Filled

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * How did you hear about this employment opportunity? (List online platforms, job boards, referral, etc.)

    (Open Ended Question)

Documents Needed To Apply
Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Portfolio of Professional Work
  4. Portfolio of Student Work
  5. Teaching Philosophy
  6. Sample Syllabi
  7. Other 1
Optional Documents



RISD is a college and museum founded in 1877 in Providence, RI. Today 2,620 students engage in 44 full-time bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, supported by a committed faculty and worldwide network of more than 31,000 alumni.

By cultivating expansive and elastic thinking, RISD equips artists, designers and scholars to generate and challenge the ideas that shape our world.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert