Assistant/Associate Professor, Industrial Design

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Urbana, IL, USA
Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Assistant/Associate Professor, Industrial Design

School of Art & Design

The School of Art & Design at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign invites applications for two full-time, tenure-track faculty positions, at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor, with specializations across a range of design areas to teach, conduct research, and engage new audiences and partners to expand the scope of perspectives currently offered in the Industrial Design program. The anticipated start date is August 16, 2024.

We seek candidates whose practice, teaching, and research expand the boundaries of systems thinking in Industrial Design to recognize and integrate a broader range of living entities into processes of design, manufacturing, and evaluation, incorporating both organic and inorganic material into these systems. Ideal candidates will be attuned to design’s impacts on broader systems in which they operate. We seek educators and practitioners who can teach core knowledge in Industrial Design while expanding beyond business as usual in Industrial Design/Product Design/UIUX Design/Interaction Design to help shape ever more inclusive, supportive, and caring undergraduate and graduate programs.


This position is primarily based in the Industrial Design program, thus familiarity with current and historical approaches to designing products, devices, objects, services, and experiences, as well as demonstrated design drawing skills are required. However, we seek applicants who are pushing beyond traditional approaches to re-center those excluded by the discipline, and/or to invent new methodologies and approaches to address this expanding and evolving field. Areas of particular interest include: Emerging technologies in design; New materials and production; Pluriversal design; Speculative/futures design; STS and Design Theory; Entrepreneurship; Design for health and healthcare, Design for and with neurodiversity, Deploy-ability for disaster relief and community resilience, Applied experimentation in industrial design, Collaboration across disciplines and with community partners, and Design to reimagine inequities faced by historically marginalized communities. Preferred skills and knowledge include - design aesthetics; iterative drawing, 3D modeling, 3D rendering, and 2D and 3D communication. Experience with materials and manufacturing; UIUX research and UIUX prototyping, and with business start-ups and marketing are preferred. Professional experiences in design and other creative industries are desirable.

Candidates are required to have a terminal graduate degree in design, engineering, or a related field. Candidates whose terminal degree is outside industrial design need to demonstrate an understanding of design process, and academic experience in creative disciplines with a focus in 3-D work. Candidates should demonstrate a growing record of scholarly and/or professional research, design work, awarded competitions, publications, and/or exhibitions, demonstrate potential for teaching effectiveness, and have a strong capacity to engage with contemporary design as a social, aesthetic, collaborative, and professional discipline.

We encourage individuals with MDES, MFA, DDES, Ph.D. in design or a related field or a BFA, BSAS/BAAS, or BLA with an advanced degree in another area to apply.


Candidates will contribute to the BFA and MFA programs’ diverse and proactive approaches to leading the design field through research, pedagogy, and service. Through their teaching, research, service, and public engagement, candidates will support the broader equity goals set by the College of Fine and Applied Arts to create and contribute to just, equitable, and sustainable communities, and encourage these qualities in the undergraduate (BFA) and the graduate (MFA & MDES) programs in Industrial Design, the School of Art & Design, and the University of Illinois.

Research responsibilities presume candidates will advance a body of scholarly work. Teaching responsibilities consist of two semester-based courses in the fall and two in the spring (2/2). These will include core and elective undergraduate and graduate courses and studios. Course assignments are based on departmental need. Assistant Professor salary begins at $70K and Associate Professor salary begins at $85K. Additional responsibilities include service through shared governance to the department, school, college, campus, university, discipline, and/or the local community. Candidates will participate in regular assessments of their teaching, research, and service efforts.


Building upon its longstanding reputation for excellence, the Industrial Design programs in the School of Art & Design seek to be responsive to the contemporary design landscape. The current faculty engages in a range of research interests, methods, and modes of practice that collectively navigate areas of design in practice and academia. The BFA program in Industrial Design negotiates challenges at the intersection of traditional craft and rapidly evolving areas of product design, UIUX design, and interaction design, preparing students to effect positive change in contemporary social and cultural systems. The MFA in Industrial Design is a highly individualized program with international scope, that prepares students for a professional career in design practice, management and/or higher education.

Student and faculty work is supported by staffed labs for traditional and contemporary media, including spaces for digital imaging and printing, audio-visual production, rapid prototyping, and darkroom photography. Digital and 3D fabrication labs enable making with a breadth of tools and materials. More information about School facilities is available here. The School offers undergraduate and/or graduate degrees and concentrations in Art Education, Art History, Fashion, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Design for Responsible Innovation, New Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Studio Art.

About the University of Illinois

The School of Art & Design is part of the College of Fine & Applied Arts at the University of Illinois, an internationally renowned research and educational institution. The Urbana-Champaign campus is a public land-grant university and is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system. The University supports faculty as active researchers in the humanities, arts, sciences, engineering, and design through opportunities for funding and vital cross-disciplinary exchange in the campus’s many institutes, centers, and initiatives. These include the Campus Research Board, the Humanities Research Institute, the Center for Advanced Study, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the Siebel Center for Design, and numerous other specialized centers.

The arts also play a vital and recognized role in the University’s service mission as a state university, as evidenced by the historic examples of the Krannert Art Museum, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and the Japan House, each a respected international hub for innovative scholarship and public engagement.
The University actively pursues a commitment to diversity through growing support for its numerous area and ethnic studies programs. Faculty and students in the arts routinely collaborate with these areas in their research and programming; such efforts enjoy support for activities on campus and around the world.

Supported by the nation’s fourth largest research library and abundant technological resources, the University of Illinois provides a rich environment for collaboration and experimental ventures. Urbana-Champaign is located in East Central Illinois, within a three-hour drive of Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. For more information, please visit https://illinois.edu/ for the University, https://faa.illinois.edu/ for the college, and https://art.illinois.edu/ for the school.

Application Procedures & Deadline Information

To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by 6:00 pm (CST) on December 14th, 2023. Interviews may begin prior to the initial closing date; however, the review of applications will continue until suitable candidates are identified. Apply for this position using the Apply Now button at the top or bottom of this posting. Applications not submitted through https://jobs.illinois.edu/ will not be considered. Please create your candidate profile and upload the following as a single multi-page PDF file.

1.         Concise detailed letter of application (2-page max.).
2.         Design research statement (2-page max.).
3.         Design teaching statement (2-page max.).
4.         Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access statement (2-page max.).
5.         Curriculum vitae.
6.         Names and complete contact information for three academic references.
7.         Portfolio of work/publications (up to 15 pieces/articles).
8.         Portfolio of student work (up to 15 pieces) with related course syllabi and project descriptions.

All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. The total application content cannot exceed 10 MB.

If you have questions about this opportunity, please contact Professor Lynne Dearborn, Search Committee Chair, at dearborn@illinois.edu, or Jennifer Steiling, Senior Human Resource Associate, at steiling@uillinois.edu. For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137. 

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal, or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing accessibility@illinois.edu.

Requisition ID: 1021512
Job Category: Faculty
Apply at: https://jobs.illinois.edu