Assistant or Associate Professor, Furniture Design

Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted date
Nov 5, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Arts, Art, Design & Graphic Arts, Other Arts, Communications, Digital Media, Professional Fields, Architecture
Employment Type
Full Time

Posting Details


Assistant or Associate Professor, Furniture Design


Furniture Design


Architecture & Design

Employment Type


Critical Review Track (similar to tenure track)


Position Description

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 resolved object.

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.

Required Qualifications
  • 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 activity.
  • 2+ years of experience teaching at the college or university level with responsibility for syllabus design and course development.
  • 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.
Preferred Qualifications
  • 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 programming.
Department /RISD Description

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

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.

Faculty Responsibilities

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.



Pre-employment Requirement

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

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please submit the following application materials:

  1. Letter of intent
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. A statement of teaching philosophy (please comment on how you attend to diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to a learning community.)
  4. Evidence of teaching excellence (including syllabi) (attach to the section labeled “Sample Syllabi")
  5. Portfolio of recent professional work (20 images maximum, preferably in one PDFwith titles and brief descriptions)
  6. 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 finalists.

Determination of rank will be dependent on professional status and teaching experience.

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.

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 Number


Open Date

Close Date

Open Until Filled

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

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
Optional Documents

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