Aalto University I Tenure track or tenured professorship in Design and Materialities

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Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and a personnel of more than 4000, of which 400 are professors. Our campus is located in Espoo in Helsinki capital region, Finland.

The School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS) is an institution of higher education for design, media, architecture, motion picture, art education and art. The current key areas of research are collaborative design, sustainable design, practice-led design research, digital media, audiovisual representation, art, visual culture, welfare architecture and emerging technologies as well as urban planning and design. The school produces specialists and innovators of art, design and architecture with strong artistic and technical skills. The School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS) is one of the best art and design schools globally (7th in QS ranking 2018). Students from all over the world come to enjoy the vibrant and high-class education at Aalto ARTS.

We are looking for a

Professor of Design and Materialities

We are now looking for a Professor of Design and Materialities to lead education, research and/or artistic practice in design-driven inquiry on new materials. The professorship is located in the Department of Design in Aalto ARTS. In this position you will have a chance to explore new materials, create new design-driven approaches for innovative material development, experiment with new ways to apply matrials in design and design solutions for sustainable circular economies. By choosing the expression ‘materialities’ to specify the name of this design professorship we draw attention to the wide range of practical and creative skills you need in the position. We also underline the importance of your insightful, multi-faceted conceptual elaboration of material agency in design and the way that you understand the strong impact materials have on our everyday experiences, our quality of life and global sustainability.

Design-driven materials research in Aalto ARTS has its roots in textile design and has recently expanded towards innovative inquiry into bio-materials and sustainable fashion. The work has been undertaken in cross-disciplinary collaboration between designers, scientists and engineers especially with Aalto School of Chemical Engineering. Most outstanding recent examples of our joint achievements include the collaborative development of Ioncell (ioncell.fi) technology and ChemArts education (chemarts.aalto.fi).

Your role and goals

Your role as the Professor of Design and Materialities will place you at in the very core of Aalto University strategy combining two of Aalto’s strategy objectives: ‘materials and sustainable use of natural resources’ and ‘art and design knowledge making’. As the Professor of Design and Materialities you will, of course, have your hands dirty exploring novel materials and their designs. You will also help, plan and lead the research and artistic work of your colleagues and students in Aalto research and innovation ecosystem. You will be teaching and working with international students pursuing bachelors, masters education and doctoral theses as well as with seasoned professionals up-dating their expertise at Aalto. Creating a network of university external partners and engaging them into research and education will be part of your daily business. All professors at Aalto also have numerous roles in department and university leadership. If you are not a senior academic yet, you can develop your competences in the Aalto tenure track. The specific goals of your future work will be agreed in annual objective discussions with your superior.

Your network and team

At the Department of Design your closest colleagues will be in the Fashion Textile Futures, Empirica and Nodus research teams (designresearch.aalto.fi) and Master of Arts programmes in Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design; Contemporary Design and Creative Sustainability as well as the Bachelor of Arts programme in Design (www.aalto.fi/department-of-design). You report to the Head of Department of Design.

Your networks within Aalto will reach beyond Aalto ARTS and include world-leading material researchers, educators and innovators at other schools such as Aalto School of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering and School of Science.  You cross-disciplinary work will also be supported by the university wide structures such as Aalto Materials platform and Aalto Sustainability hub.

Your experience and ambitions

You will contribute to Aalto ARTS research and education with a broad range of competences. Your merits in all of the following areas will be valued. In several of those you excel and in the rest you have solid foundations and passion to learn.

  • You have a master´s level degree in design or another applicable field. We will consider your PhD level degree a substantial merit as well as your transdisciplinary investigations with material sciences.
  • You  have working experience in material research projects or environments and/or leading professional design practice dealing with design-driven material innovations. You are eager to engage in transdisciplinary inquiry.
  • You have a deep specialization in a group of materials, and you can confidently claim to know the big picture when it comes to the wider implications of materials in design.
  • It goes without saying that your collaboration and communication skills are outstanding. Fluent English is required. Finnish and Swedish competencies are merits.
  • Remember to mention in your application your university level teaching and supervision experience as well as educational leadership merits.
  • Finally, we are interested in your passion for making an impact and your professional and academic networks. These can be demonstrated through your engagement and leadership in professional and academic organisations.

The above lay the foundations for your succesful conduct of the professor’s duties and your role as a key member of Aalto and Department of Design community.

Ready to apply?

If you want to join our community, please submit your application through our recruitment system by the 13th August 2019. If you wish to hear more about the position, you can reach out to Professor Turkka Keinonen (email: turkka.keinonen(at)aalto.fi, tel: +358 50 572 3133). For questions related to the application you can contact human resource coordinator Anu Virtanen (email: anu.k.virtanen(at)aalto.fi, tel: +358 50 563 4419).

To apply, please share the following application materials with us:

  • Motivation letter (max. 1 page)
  • Curriculum Vitae (max. 5 pages)
  • List of professional design work and/or academic research publications
  • Design portfolio including 5 most relevant design projects and/or academic research publications
  • Statement of your vision of the professional and academic development of the field with an insight on forthcoming teaching and research priorities (max. 5 pages)

All material should be submitted English.

In the first phase of the application process, Aalto University will select a shortlist of candidates who will be asked to supplement their application materials and will be invited to visit the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. In the second phase of the application process, supplemented applications will be submitted for review by external experts.

For general instructions for applicants including language requirements and CV guidelines for compiling a CV please see: https://www.aalto.fi/tenure-track/interested-in-joining-our-tenure-track.

Aalto University reserves the right to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

Tenure track in Aalto University

The tenure track is open to talented individuals who have excellent potential for a scientific career. Individuals placed on the Aalto University professorial tenure track have the possibility to advance in their career through regular performance assessments, which take into account their merits in all areas of their scope of duty. Launched in 2010, the tenure track has attracted a wide range of international applicants, giving Aalto University the possibility of recruiting top experts and young research talent to join the Aalto University community. The track consists of two assistant professor levels, associate professor and full professor.  Read more about the Aalto University tenure track system at https://www.aalto.fi/en/tenure-track.

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Interested? Apply here.