Assistant or Associate Professor, Furniture Design
Architecture & Design
Critical Review Track (similar to tenure track)
The Department of Furniture Design in the Division of Architecture
and Design invites applications for a full-time faculty
appointment, at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor to
commence fall 2022.
RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its
learning community and integral to an art and design education. We
welcome candidates whose experience in teaching, scholarship,
professional practice, or service has prepared them to contribute
to our commitment to diversity and excellence.
The Department of Furniture Design seeks candidates who exemplify
excellence in the field of furniture and object design. Applicants
should be capable of guiding students through idea generation,
design development, and object-making with a variety of fabrication
technologies and processes, applied to a wide range of materials.
Faculty in the Department of Furniture Design are expected to teach
across the curriculum, including introductory courses, special
topics studios, and senior degree project/graduate thesis. The
department’s pedagogy and curriculum seeks to unify thinking and
making, and faculty engagement with students requires fluidity
between pragmatic, conceptual, technical, and aesthetic concerns.
With studio facilities for wood, metal, plastics, upholstery,
digital fabrication, design, and drawing, faculty work closely with
students in developing their work from initial concept to highly
We are interested in applicants with backgrounds and experiences
that would contribute to faculty diversity, support professional
and curricular engagement with non-western traditions, and/or offer
global perspectives. As is the case in many industries and academic
disciplines, furniture design is in the midst of a critical
reassessment of its power structures, its history, and its impact
on nature and culture. Within this context, ideal applicants would
be adept at contributing to discourse, research, and practice
necessary to evolve our department and advance the discipline.
Candidates whose creative practice and/or teaching engages with
works and bodies of knowledge from historically underrepresented
communities are of particular interest.
- Master’s degree in design or a related field, although
professional equivalencies may be considered.
- Evidence of a high level of creative practice demonstrated by
all or some of the following: a record of exhibitions; commercial
work with industry; receipt of grants, fellowships, prizes or
residencies; service as a juror or visiting critic; coverage in
relevant media; lectures and other presentations; credible research
- 2+ years of experience teaching at the college or university
level with responsibility for syllabus design and course
- Excellence with design processes including research, drawing,
model-making, prototyping, and digital design methods. Knowledge
and experience with a variety of production techniques.
- Knowledge of contemporary practices in design and the evolving
state of professional practice.
- Confident leadership and communication skills, with proven
ability to work collaboratively as part of a team.
Department /RISD Description
- 5+ years of teaching experience at a college or university
level in design or a related field.
- Expertise with CAD and digital fabrication
- Accomplishments in writing and/or scholarly work related to
design criticism, design history, material culture, etc
- Evidence of involvement in innovative program or curriculum
development including partnered and sponsored studios; experimental
and/or collaborative teaching; organizing exhibitions.
- A portfolio of projects that demonstrate mastery in a realm of
craft and/or production
- Experience in grant writing and/or grant-funded
Rhode Island School of Design ( RISD ) is an undergraduate and
graduate college of art and design in Providence, Rhode Island with
approximately 2,400 graduate and undergraduate students. RISD
supports faculty professional practice with sabbaticals,
pre-critical review leave, conference funds, and professional
development grants. RISD has a critical review process, which is
very similar to the tenure process. For more information about
RISD, please visit www.risd.edu.
RISD’s Department of Furniture Design was created in 1995 to
elevate practice and scholarship and to promote research in the
field of furniture design. With an innovative curriculum and
extensive studio facilities, students create work in a dynamic
environment supportive of experimentation and personal growth. The
department cultivates an identity that is broad-based,
incorporating the most relevant aspects of art, design and craft
through a curriculum that promotes critical thinking and “critical
making”. Our curriculum is designed to explore contextual issues,
investigate new challenges of human interface in contemporary
environments, integrate new technologies and address the
complexities of our times. The department addresses the whole of
furniture design through a range of materials, contexts and
approaches. All share the common denominator of creating quality
objects that enhance the experiences of people who use them,
simultaneously expressing the highly individual perspectives of our
talented students. With approximately 90 students (80%
undergraduate, 20% graduate), 24 faculty members (4 full time, 21
adjunct), and 4 support staff (3 technicians, 1 academic
coordinator) the department features a close-knit community of
individuals who share a passion for learning, art and design, and
the expressive potential of objects.
The full-time faculty teaching load is six courses a year. 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 activities and projects, and contribute to the
vibrancy of the intellectual life of the college.
The successful candidate will be required to meet our
pre-employment background screening requirements.
Special Instructions to Applicants
Please submit the following application materials:
- Letter of intent
- Curriculum vitae
- A statement of teaching philosophy (please comment on how you
attend to diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to a learning
- Evidence of teaching excellence (including syllabi) (attach to
the section labeled “Sample Syllabi")
- Portfolio of recent professional work (20 images maximum,
preferably in one PDFwith titles and brief descriptions)
- Examples of student work (20 images maximum, preferably in one
PDF with names, titles and brief descriptions)
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
Determination of rank will be dependent on professional status and
Review of applications begins immediately and continues until the
position is filled. Candidates who submit their materials by
January 15, 2022 are assured full consideration.
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.
Open Until Filled
Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).
Documents Needed To Apply
- Cover Letter
- Curriculum Vitae
- Portfolio of Professional Work
- Portfolio of Student Work
- Teaching Philosophy
- Sample Syllabi