Assistant Professor of Design in Simulation, Spatial and Data Visualization

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts)

Department of Interior Design and Department of Graphic Design

Position F62360

Full-time 9-month tenure-eligible position beginning August 16, 2019
Application Deadline: Friday, January 11, 2019

The Opportunity:

The VCUarts Department of Interior Design ( in collaboration with the VCUarts Department of Graphic Design ( invites applications from dynamic, collaborative-minded designers with qualifications, experience, and demonstrated strength working across the fields of simulation, visualization, spatial augmentation, data analysis, big data, IoT, GIS, complex systems, tangible interfaces, and spatial statistics.

The successful candidate will have expertise in the processes and methodologies that facilitate effective encoding of information visually, physically, and experientially to produce outcomes, artifacts and insight based on data gathering, analysis and interpretation. The faculty member will employ a wide range computational tools, creative technologies and systems needed to analyze, depict, and quantify data. Processing, analyzing and communicating information derived from data present ethical and analytical challenges for visualization, and the faculty must be able to examine and critically contribute to the ethical discourse in the field. The successful candidate will be able to help students facilitate an understanding and creative exploration of complex information, patterns, behaviors and systems.

VCUarts ( in Richmond, Virginia offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees in design, fine and performing arts, art history, and art education, with a unique emphasis on creative immersion. Far more than receiving simply an education or preparation for a career; students leave VCUarts with the practical, professional and personal skills needed to make a life in art and design, no matter how they define it. That’s why VCUarts’ programs emphasize both doing and knowing: why the majority of its faculty are working artists, designers, and scholars; and why they encourage students to take advantage of the many academic and intellectual opportunities that come with being part of a research university. Today, VCUarts graduates can be found throughout the academic and professional fields and have been recognized with everything from Emmys to MacArthur Fellowships.

VCUarts is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Dance, the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the Virginia Department of Education, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education.

VCUarts is ranked as the #1 public university arts and design graduate school in the county by US News and World Report. The school is comprised of sixteen programs, includes more than 3,000 students, and has become known as a pillar of artistic creation and expression. Its emerging artists explore their potential and strive for high standards set by faculty members acknowledged for their inspiration and achievement.

Major Responsibilities

This position is a 9-month tenure-eligible hybrid faculty position in the Department of Interior Design in collaboration with the Department of Graphic Design with an academic rank of Assistant Professor. Responsibilities include the development and teaching of new undergraduate courses in the collaborating departments, as well as across VCUarts in support of collaborative undergraduate and graduate curriculum. New course development and teaching will evolve from the faculty member’s research strengths and interests, and evolving needs in the field.

The faculty member should be a passionate practitioner who models curiosity and rigorous optimistic engagement to students and fellow faculty. The faculty member will broaden participation among members of underrepresented groups. They will demonstrate through research, teaching, and / or public engagement the richness of diversity in the learning experience and will integrate multicultural approaches and perspectives into instructional methods and research tools. New course development and teaching will evolve from the faculty member’s research strengths and interests, and evolving needs in the field.

VCUarts is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural and inclusive environment and strongly encourages applications from all racial/ethnic, gender and social identities. We are especially interested in candidates who combine their creative research with activism and entrepreneurship at the community, national or international level, with a focus on equity, diversity, social and racial justice and/or visual literacy.

The faculty member is expected to: provide leadership by mentoring student artists; foster collaborative curriculum and research across the arts and broader campus; promote methods to utilize and grow research and production facilities and other assets in support of research and teaching; secure external funding; and generate national and international academic, community and industry partnerships.


Teaching responsibilities include a deep commitment to effectively teaching design methodologies and theories of making and thinking to undergraduate and graduate students. The ability to relate contemporary tendencies in design practice to historical, theoretical and critical issues is essential. An aptitude for exploring the continuity between analog and digital contexts and bolstering the culture of energetic engagement of the school, as well as leadership in developing techniques designed to meet the needs of diverse learning styles and intellectual interests is also essential.


The faculty member will contribute to VCU’s national reputation through scholarly and creative activity that should contribute to a body of knowledge within design and reflect a high standard of quality and competence. To this end the faculty member will actively disseminate creative engagement in design research nationally and internationally. The faculty member will be required to have an established research agenda and a clear potential for external funding, as appropriate, and potential for scholarship or creative expression to complement and expand existing expertise in the department.


The faculty member will serve on Departmental, School and University committees as designated by the Chairs, and will maintain active involvement in national or international organizations and bodies. Engagement with community is strongly supported.



  • MFA or terminal degree in design or design-related field, which may include, but not limited to, experience in: Interior Design, Graphic Design, Product Design, Industrial Design, Experience Design, Computational Design or Architecture.
  • Thorough record of meaningfully dissemination of work through well regarded creative research channels.
  • Well-versed in the concepts driving design research, critique and speculative production, as well as the ability to relate contemporary trend in design practice to historical, theoretical and critical issues.
  • Must be a passionate practitioner who models curiosity and rigorous optimistic engagement to students and fellow faculty.
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.
  • Strong planning and project management skills.
  • GIS familiarity.
  • UI/UX experience.
  • Familiarity with some combination of the following: Java, Python, Ruby, C++, Objective C, Javascript, C#, HTML / CSS, WebGL, Node.js, Processing.
  • Experience with Piktochart, Venngage, Infrogram, me,, Canva, or similar.
  • Familiarity with a range of allied technologies including scanning, sensors, and other data capture systems, as well as technologies used for AR/VR/MR and 3D immersive environment.


  • Strong record of teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level.
  • Demonstrable interest in developing productive connections across creative disciplines.
  • Academic, research and/or professional experiences at urban research universities, Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), or Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).
  • Experiential learning through lived experiences and/or professional service that inform world views and/or perspectives about minority group status, to include race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and disability.

Application Instructions:

To apply, please submit application materials via VCU eJobs at Only electronic applications submitted via eJobs will be accepted.

Application materials should be to the attention of Search Committee Chair. The following documents should be included:

  • A Letter of Interest that conveys relevant academic and professional experience and describes experiences and/or professional service that inform world views and/or perspectives about minority group status, to include race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and disability;
  • Teaching Philosophy;
  • Current CV;
  • A list of three current references including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses (references will not be contacted prior to applicant’s approval); and
  • Portfolio of work— visual documentation conceptualizing research and teaching, including examples of student work.

The Letter of Interest + Teaching Philosophy should be submitted as one PDF in the “Cover Letter/Letter of Application” section in eJobs; the CV + list of references should be submitted as one PDF in the “Curriculum Vitae (CV)” section of eJobs; and, due to file size limitations, the portfolio of work should be submitted in the “Other Document” section of eJobs as an accessible link in a PDF that points to a website or cloud storage (with access instructions) to view all visual work.

Applications are due on Friday, January 11, 2019

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing accessible and equitable living, learning and working environments free from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability.

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