Assistant or Associate Professor of Spatial Dynamics, Rhode Island School of Design

Position Description

The Division of Experimental and Foundation Studies, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) seeks three Assistant and/or Associate Professors of Spatial Dynamics, with appointments to begin fall 2020.

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, and/or service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence.

The Division of Experimental and Foundation Studies invites applications from artists, architects, and designers who are enthusiastic about teaching first-year students who will go on to major in one of sixteen art, architecture, and design programs at RISD. We seek domestic and international candidates whose creative practice and/or teaching centers on one or more of the following: 1.) works and bodies of knowledge from historically underrepresented communities, 2.) issues of sustainability in art and design, 3.) deep knowledge of computation and technology within a cultural context.

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. 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.

Candidates should have a developed professional practice in art, architecture, or design. The Division is open to hiring artists and designers from various disciplines and interdisciplinary practices including but not limited to time-based media, performance, social practice, artistic research, traditional approaches, emerging media, experimental materials, and new technologies.

Given the transdisciplinary nature of the division, we welcome faculty who might also be interested in teaching in the Drawing or Design areas of the first-year programs. Faculty members in Experimental and Foundation Studies are also highly encouraged to teach upper-level classes outside the first-year studio courses. Opportunities for this exist across departments at RISD and within the two Concentrations of Drawing and Computation, Technology, and Culture (CTC), both offered within the Division.

RISD Description
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is a college of art and design in Providence, Rhode Island with approximately 2,400 graduate and undergraduate students. RISD’s Division of Experimental and Foundation Studies (EFS) administers the studio programs for all 480 first-year undergraduate students, the graduate Department of Digital + Media, and two interdisciplinary undergraduate concentrations in Drawing and Computation, Technology, and Culture. The Division has 26 full-time and 40 part-time faculty teaching in these programs. 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 and to apply online, please visit

Faculty Responsibilities
Faculty in Experimental and Foundation Studies teach four courses a year, advise students, participate in curriculum development, serve on division and college committees, contribute to the vibrancy of the intellectual life of the college, and maintain active professional practices.

Union: Yes

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 including how the candidate addresses diversity and inclusion as fundamental to a learning community
  4. Evidence of teaching excellence (including syllabi),
  5. Portfolio of recent professional work (20 images maximum, preferably in one PDF)
  6. Examples of student work (20 images maximum, preferably in one PDF).

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 7, 2020 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.

Required Qualifications
Applicants should have a terminal degree in a relevant field, evidence of teaching at the college level, a strong record of creative work and evidence of ongoing professional achievement. In some cases, an undergraduate degree with commensurate experience may be considered. Rank will depend on professional status and years of teaching experience.

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. 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.

Good interpersonal skills, clarity, generosity, ability to engage across various cultures and creativity in both personal work and teaching are essential. Faculty are expected to be able to integrate new technologies into their courses. 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.

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