Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Assistant Professor (without tenure), Department of Architecture

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Architecture, together with the Schwarzman College of Computing (SCC) seeks candidates for a tenure-track faculty position in Data and Design to be hired at the Assistant Professor level to begin July 1, 2023 or on a mutually agreed date thereafter.

The need for a sustainable built environment demands new tools and new approaches to design and visualization. We are seeking a new faculty member dedicated to design research efforts that leverage information, creative computation, and digital tools to create new approaches and impacts—from the scale of neighborhoods and communities, to the scale of the planet. 

The position is open to multiple interpretations of this challenge; these include design as an interface to information, new conceptions of the role of information in design processes and outcomes, the creation of intelligent design tools, speculative and creative computation, data-rich installations, visualization-as-animation, and critical approaches to spatialized visualization in the context of machine learning and artificial intelligence. We are interested in new modes of practice, and new approaches to the social, cultural and ethical aspects of design in a landscape of data and its application to design problems.  

At the Institute level, this position will contribute to larger conversations at MIT about the role of data and computing in creative thinking, culture, expression, and problem solving. Alongside colleagues at the intersection of computing and fields such as music and linguistics, the successful candidate will help reveal how data and computing can inform design, and also, crucially, how design thinking and culture can inform new approaches to computing. While candidates will be expected to situate themselves in a department concerned with the future of the planet and built environment, they may also situate themselves in one or more specific scales at which the department undertakes these efforts; from the design of objects, to landscapes, to physical architecture, which remains at the center of the department’s work.

In addition to this context at the Institute level, this year MIT announced the creation of the MIT Morningside Academy for Design, a new academy which aims to foster collaboration and innovation on campus. The Academy will be housed in the School of Architecture and Planning, and it will create and administer academic and research programs across MIT, especially between the School of Architecture and Planning and the School of Engineering. Launching Fall 2022 it will be a major interdisciplinary center that will build on the Institute’s leadership in design-focused education and become a global hub for design research, thinking, and entrepreneurship. It will act as a center that will encourage design work at MIT to grow and cross disciplines among engineering, science, management, computing, architecture, urban planning, and the arts. The academy will strengthen MIT’s ongoing efforts to tackle pressing issues of global importance, such as climate adaptation, public health, transportation, civic engagement, and social justice.

At the department level, the successful candidate will contribute to teaching in design programs at every level, with an emphasis on research-focused graduate work and undergraduate teaching in architecture and design. The successful candidate will show potential to develop courses that reach across disciplinary boundaries, as part of a larger, Institute-wide conversation on design, to which the Department of Architecture is a central contributor. 

Uniquely situated at the intellectual intersection(s) of the Department of Architecture and the SCC, this faculty position will provide strategic linkages between the cultures of architectural design and computation. While the candidate’s tenure process will be located primarily in Architecture, they will contribute actively to the growth and development of the SCC, including teaching courses that support shared SCC and Department goals, and working in service roles contributing across both communities as well. Above all, the successful candidate will be proactive in identifying opportunities for new forms of connectivity between the Department of Architecture and the SCC.

One of MIT’s first departments, and home to the first professional program in Architecture in the US, the MIT Department of Architecture is dedicated to an equitable, sustainable, humanistic and technologically sophisticated vision of design and pedagogy. The academic structure of the department is unique in that each of its five disciplinary areas (1) Architecture + Urbanism, (2) History, Theory and Criticism, (3) Building Technology, (4) Art, Culture and Technology, and (5) Computation work at equal intensity across disciplinary boundaries to create an environment in which innovative research and scholarship fuse with the pedagogical agendas of ongoing design inquiries. The department also engages productively in research and education alliances with the other units in the School (the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the Media Lab / Program in Media Arts and Sciences, the Program in Art, Culture and Technology, the Center for Real Estate, and Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism). Given this context, the department is explicitly committed to excellence in both pedagogical and research activities.

The SCC is a college that works across all five of MIT’s existing schools. The college is designed to lead in computing education and research across a wide range of disciplines, as well as in computer science, AI, and related fields. The SCC both brings together existing MIT programs in computing and develops new cross-cutting educational and research programs. For existing programs, the college facilitates coordination and manages growth in areas such as computer science, artificial intelligence, data systems and society, and operations research, as well as helps to strengthen interdisciplinary computing programs such as computational science and engineering. For new areas, the college is creating platforms for the study and practice of social and ethical responsibilities of computing, for multi-departmental computing education, and for incubating new interdisciplinary computing activities.

The Department of Architecture and the Schwarzman College of Computing (SCC) are committed to fostering interdisciplinary design work and research that can address grand challenges facing our society. We are especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the academic community. The successful candidate will have a shared appointment in both the Department of Architecture and the SCC, in either the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) or the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), with teaching duties within Architecture and SCC, including the Institute-wide Common Grounds initiative in computing education. We seek candidates who will provide inspiration and leadership in design and/or research, and contribute proactively to all levels of teaching in the Department of Architecture and the SCC. The ability to contribute to undergraduate as well as graduate coursework will be a major criterion in the search. 

The candidate is expected to participate in the intellectual life of the Institute, and the ability and readiness to teach and develop pedagogical initiatives that transcend disciplinary boundaries. Faculty duties include teaching courses, advising students, and conducting original scholarly research and/or contributing to the disciplines via professional practice. 

Candidates are expected to hold an advanced degree in Architecture, Design, or Art/ Media Studies (at the Master’s or Ph.D. level) or a Ph.D. in Computer Science, Data Science, Engineering, Physics, or Applied Mathematics or a similar discipline by the beginning of employment. The committee is particularly interested in candidates whose education and understanding demonstrates the ability to engage across these disciplines.

MIT is an equal-opportunity employer.  We value diversity and strongly encourage applications from individuals from all identities and backgrounds. All qualified applicants will receive equitable consideration for employment based on their experience and qualifications, and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.  MIT’s full policy on Nondiscrimination can be found here.

Minimum Qualifications:

Candidates are expected to either hold an advanced degree in Design (MFA, DDes or equivalent) or Architecture (M.Arch. or Ph.D.) or a Ph.D. in Computer Science, Data Science, Engineering, Physics, or Applied Mathematics or a similar discipline by the beginning of employment.

Application Instructions:

Applications will be accepted only online through the Interfolio website at apply.interfolio.com/101574.

Materials must be submitted as PDFs in standard US letter size 8-1/ x 11 inches and include: a letter of intent/statement of interest outlining your interests and qualifications for the position, including major professional, research, pedagogical goals and achievements; a curriculum vitae; a one-page statement on research; a one-page statement on teaching; a selective, letter-sized, maximum of 36-page portfolio of design, research, or scholarly work; and the names and complete contact information for three current references.

We also request a statement on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, including past and current contributions as well as vision and plans for the future in these areas. Applicants are encouraged to discuss approaches to fostering an inclusive environment.  Applicants are encouraged to discuss approaches to fostering an inclusive environment including but not limited to teaching, mentoring, and affirming diverse viewpoints.

Review of applicants will begin December 1, 2022. For technical issues, please contact Interfolio staff at 877-997-8807 or help@interfolio.com/101574.

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