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Arthur Loeb Design Science Teaching Collection & Archive Fellow

Job Details

J ob Summary

The Arthur Loeb Design Science Teaching Collection & Archive, currently housed in Fleet Library at RISD, comprises several hundred two- and three-dimensional models that illustrate core principles of pattern, symmetry, and structure found in nature and a selection of related books and papers. The collection was donated to RISD in 2004 by the estate of the pioneering Dutch scientist Arthur Loeb (1923-2003).

The Arthur Loeb Design Science Teaching Collection & Archive Fellow will expand the instructional, learning and research opportunities associated with the Loeb Collection at RISD through a series of connected activities, including the creation of educational materials; facilitation of class visits; development of related programming; assessment, organization, and description of the documentary archive; and the pursuit of an independent research project for which the collection and archive will serve as a central resource.

Over the course of the two-year appointment and on all of the above, the fellow will have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty, students, other members of the RISD community, and outside scholars who share the fellow’s deep scholarly focus on the principles of Design Science, as defined and developed by Loeb and associates such as Buckminster Fuller and M.C. Escher, and interest more generally in the intersections of art, design and science. Funding will be available to the fellow for travel, event planning, inviting outside experts to campus, and graduate assistant support related to their work at RISD.

We seek a culturally competent candidate who will thrive in a campus environment that is committed to advancing the principles of social equity and inclusion, environmental and climate justice, and equal access to resources and opportunities.

Essential Functions

Independent research project that engages with materials and ideas in the Loeb Collection at RISD.

At the heart of the fellowship is independent time for the Loeb Fellow to pursue a substantial research project on a topic that engages with the principles of Design Science. This could mean work towards an article (or series of articles) for a peer reviewed journal, a book chapter, or longer-term book project, to be published either in print or as a digital publication.

Creation of educational materials to activate the collection for audiences at RISD and beyond).

The Loeb Fellow will create instructional materials that demonstrate a range of possible teaching and learning applications for the Loeb Collection. These materials might include self-service curriculum modules, video series and/or enhancements to the current presentation of the collection online. While the goal here is to activate the collection generally for artists and designers, special consideration should be given to linking the principles and dynamics represented in the models to the natural history holdings of the Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab, which served as the initial home for the Loeb Collection at RISD. Scope and deliverables TBD with Loeb Fellow and Loeb Fellowship Advisory Group after the fellow arrives at RISD.

Facilitation of in-person teaching and learning from the Loeb Collection.

The Loeb Fellow will provide individual and group opportunities for the RISD community to learn directly about and from the Loeb Collection. They will facilitate class visits to the collection and provide mentorship to faculty wishing to integrate principles of Design Science into class instruction. They might also provide guidance to students who want to engage more fully with collection materials and the ideas they embody.

Program development and event planning related to the collection and the principles it illustrates.

The Loeb Fellow will collaborate with library, Nature Lab, and other RISD staff to plan for, suggest participants, and implement programming that builds awareness of the collection at and beyond RISD. This programming could include lectures, symposia (including the 7th Design Science Symposium at RISD in September 2024), workshops, and exhibitions.

Assessment, organization, and promotion of Loeb’s books and teaching archive at RISD.

The Loeb fellow will contribute to work already begun to understand the unique value of the documentary archive included in the Loeb gift to RISD and promote this for the benefit of other researchers through a number of possible means, including comparison with the Arthur Loeb Archive at Stanford, enhanced metadata for collection records in Archivesspace, creation of an online archive and/or exhibition of the records, and proposed actions for the long-term preservation and promotion of the collection.

Required Knowledge/Skills/Experience:

• Graduate degree in biological science, mathematics, design, fine arts, art history or combination of degrees and equivalent level of related professional work experience at the intersection of art, design and science
• Demonstrated ability to comprehend and convey the connections between art, design, mathematics, and science
• Research focus on the connections between mathematical models, the science of natural forms, processes and patterns, and their art|design applications
• Ability to work independently on a proposed research project that engages with materials in and related to the Loeb Collection at RISD and a commitment to share this publicly through both publication and presentation
• Excellent writing and presentation skills and a portfolio of work that reflects personal vision, expansive thinking, and dexterity in their field
• Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively as a member of a team
• Demonstrated commitment and ability to work with a diverse population of students, instructors and staff

Preferred Knowledge/Skills/Experience :

• Training and/or experience in collections curation, digitization and object-based teaching and learning
• Experience in instructional technology or developing online educational resources
• Familiarity with standard suite of library- and archives-based software and platforms (e.g., Sierra, Springshare/Libguides, Archivesspace, JSTOR Collections, Digital Commons)
• Event planning and hosting experience
• Experience supervising graduate assistants or other personnel in an educational setting

Application Process & Documents Needed to Apply:

Please note, applications received by April 29, 2024 will receive first consideration. This fellowship has a projected start date of July 1, 2024.

Please use the resume upload tool in the application to upload all of your application materials. In addition to the standard application (cover letter and CV), applicants must provide the following attachments to be considered:
· A writing sample (e.g., short article, book chapter, podcast, or other example of other form of scholarly communication equal to 5 to 20 pages).
· Names and contact information for three references (letters-of-recommendation are not required)
· An attached research project proposal (PDF) with the following elements:
  • A short description/abstract of your proposed research project (up to 50 words).

  • Detailed project description, including the final form that it will take and the central question that the project explores (up to 500 words)

  • Statement addressing how your research would engage directly with the Loeb Design Science Teaching Collection and other Loeb materials at RISD (up to 150 words)

  • Summary of your project’s relationship to Design Science or how it addresses connections between art, design and science, including the project's relationship to the applicant’s previous and prospective research. (up to 150 words)

  • A timeline or brief summary of how the project will be realized during the two-year fellowship period (with the understanding that independent research will occupy one-third of the fellow's time) (up to 150 words)



Work Schedule:

35 hours/week; 12 months per year

Employment Status:

Full-time; Exempt



Salary Grade Structure

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

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

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. 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.

For internal use only - Job Family:

Library Operations



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.

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