Assistant Professor of Interactive Design

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Job Description

The Department of Art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst seeks applicants for a full-time nine-month tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Interactive Design. Under exceptional circumstances, highly qualified candidates at other ranks may receive consideration. The department values diversity as a factor in academic and artistic excellence. Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.

We seek applications from artists with rich and varied skill sets to teach Interactive Design within a studio art and design curriculum. We are particularly interested in candidates with experimental, hybrid, and/or interdisciplinary approaches. In addition to experience teaching studio-based courses on the topic, the successful candidate will have an active art and/or design practice or a record of regional/national exhibitions, community engagement, screenings, performances, presentations at professional or academic associations and conferences, awards, and/or publications.

As the Department of Art prepares to develop new course offerings and launch a concentration in Design and Creative Technologies, we welcome applicants with a range of approaches and expertise in the expansive fields of Interactive Media and Design. Candidates with the following research and teaching interests, for example, are encouraged to apply:

  • Design and programming for mobile apps, websites, games, installations or internet-connected devices and environments of all kinds.
  • Digital and analog games and interactive storytelling.
  • Extended reality (augmented reality / virtual reality / mixed reality).
  • Generative art.
  • Art and design that explores the communication between the physical world and interactive, computer-based interfaces triggered by gesture, bodily movement, physical forces, and other tangible actions.
  • The merging of traditional craft and other forms of making with technology.
  • Artificial intelligence and/or algorithmic art and design.
  • Emerging creative technologies, including 3D printing, robotics, rapid prototyping, wearables, smart devices, and physical computing.
  • Participatory, performance-based, public, or community-engaged practices.
  • The intersections of sustainability, environmental justice, racism, capitalism, sexism, gender bias, ableism, nationalism, and colonialism as it relates to art, design, and technology.

The appointed faculty member will actively participate in the BA, BFA, and MFA degree programs, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in areas that may include: foundations, digital design, interactive media, creative computing, computer graphics, and interdisciplinary topic-based seminars. The typical teaching load is two courses per semester. Other teaching responsibilities include serving on BFA and MFA thesis committees, student advising, and overseeing digital media facilities and equipment with area faculty.

A commitment to the academic success of all students and to creating an environment that acknowledges and encourages diversity and difference is essential to a successful candidacy. We prioritize applicants who have worked in a multicultural environment, have experience with practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), or have engaged in scholarship on how to teach students from a broad range of cultural backgrounds. Also, the successful candidate will demonstrate strong departmental citizenship. Our department welcomes candidates committed to equitable labor practice in providing service to the University, profession, and community and working productively and collaboratively with colleagues and staff.

Minimum Qualifications

  • An earned MFA, or similar terminal degree, in Art Design, Interactive Media, Digital Media or a closely related field from an accredited institution (or equivalent).
  • Two (2) years full-time teaching at college-level teaching beyond graduate school or the equivalent of eight college-level courses.
  • Ability to critically engage students with aesthetic, conceptual, technical, and historical understandings of digital art, design and interactive media.
  • Focus on research, experimentation, design, prototyping, and production of creative projects that keeps pace with evolving technology.
  • Knowledge and experience teaching undergraduate courses in design, coding, and/or programming for creative projects. Course topics may include but are not limited to: Digital Design and Interaction, Introduction to Web Design, Digital Product Design, Typography for Digital Content and Platforms, Creative Coding, Game Design, Visual and Interactive Storytelling, Design for Virtual Reality, Physical Computing, and Digital Fabrication, depending on candidate expertise.
  • Experience using industry-standard software, hardware, programming languages, and/or in physical computing, such as: Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Figma, Autodesk Maya, Mozilla Hubs, Oculus, HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, C,C++, XML, Processind, MDI devices, and Arduino, depending on candidate expertise.
  • Familiarity with Mac OS and Windows operating systems.
  • Commitment to curriculum and course development.
  • Commitment to mentoring undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Ability to critically engage students with aesthetic, conceptual, technical, and historical understandings of digital art, design, and interactive media.
  • Focus on research, experimentation, design, prototyping, and production of creative projects that keeps pace with evolving technology.
  • Familiarity with Mac OS and Windows operating systems.
  • Commitment to curriculum and course development.
  • Commitment to mentoring undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Commitment to strong departmental citizenship and equitable labor practices.
  • Commitment to strong departmental citizenship and equitable labor practice.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge and experience teaching undergraduate courses in design, coding and/or programming for creative projects. Course topics may include but are not limited to: Digital Design and Interaction, Introduction to Web Design, Digital Product Design, Typography for Digital Content and Platforms, Creative Coding, Game Design, Visual and Interactive Storytelling, Design for Virtual Reality, Physical Computing, and Digital Fabrication, depending on candidate expertise.
  • Competency in industry-standard design software, coding, physical computing and/or 3D platforms, such as but not limited to: Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Figma, Autodesk Maya, Rhino, Mozilla Hubs, Oculus, HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, C++ (openFrameworks), Processing, MDI devices, and Arduino, depending on candidate expertise.

Additional Information

  • Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.
  • Expected start date: September 1, 2023.
  • Preliminary interviews will be conducted by video conference.

Application Instructions

Along with the application, please submit the following required materials:

  • Cover letter addressing research, qualifications, and understanding of collegiality.
  • CV, including a list of courses taught.
  • Contact information for three (3) professional references who are prepared to provide letters of upon request.
  • Diversity statement, addressing contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and identifying past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarship, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities.
  • Statement of teaching philosophy.
  • Two sample syllabi.
  • A PDF portfolio of professional work with links to time-based/interactive material (not to exceed five minutes); links to longer time-based excerpts/works are welcomed for later stages of review.
  • A PDF portfolio of student work with links to time-based/interactive materials (not to exceed five minutes).

For full consideration, please submit application materials by Thursday, January 5, 2023. Preliminary interviews will be conducted by video conference. Incomplete dossiers will not be reviewed.

Please address cover letter to Jeff Kasper and Alexis Kuhr, Co-Chairs, Interactive Design Search Committee, Department of Art, UMass Amherst.