Employment at ArtCenter


Faculty, Design for Social Innovation, full-time, (non-tenure track)

About ArtCenter

Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education and has had an international reputation for its rigorous, transdisciplinary curriculum, faculty of professionals, strong ties to industry, and commitment to socially responsible design. We are an independent, nonprofit, four-year college offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in eleven specialized programs and graduate degrees in 10 art and design disciplines.

This position is one of six new faculty job openings across the disciplines of the College, which seeks to expand upon the strategies and perspectives available in the ArtCenter classroom, foster institutional expertise in the intersections between art and design practices and legacies of racism and colonialism, and advance more just and equitable futures both within and beyond the ArtCenter community. Preference will be given to candidates whose work engages global, anti-racist, and decolonizing frameworks in relation to the fields of art, design, and/or media.

Job Summary

Every position at ArtCenter plays an important part in carrying out the values, goals, strategic vision, and mission of the College. This includes diversity, equity, inclusion and culture.

Designmatters, ArtCenter’s award-winning Social Innovation department, seeks a candidate for a full-time faculty position of Social Innovation Design. This position is open rank, with placement commensurate with experience. Reporting to the Executive Director of Designmatters, the incumbent will develop and teach undergraduate courses and studios that align with the Designmatters Program Learning Objectives.

The incumbent will develop and teach undergraduate courses and studios that align with the Designmatters Program Learning Objectives: 1) Trans-disciplinary and Team-based Collaboration 2) Anti-racist and Decolonial Perspectives 3) Community Values, Social Change and Advocacy 4) Design Research and Ethics 5) A Culture of Equity-Minded Designers. Faculty will work with the Designmatters Department to continue to update and evolve the Designmatters Program Learning Objectives to support the educational needs of students entering career pathways in the field of design for social innovation.

Faculty will be responsible for developing and teaching an Introduction to Design for Social Innovation course, the first required course for all undergraduate students pursuing the Designmatters minor in Social Innovation. An iteration of this course may also serve as the foundation for ArtCenter online social innovation design badging and certificate programs, for which the faculty will be a key adviser. Faculty will also work with Designmatters and other educational departments at ArtCenter to develop up to six annual Designmatters topic studios, upper-term undergraduate studios that give students the opportunity to work on issues in Public Policy, Social Entrepreneurship, Health, Sustainable Development and Social Justice through the lens of design and art, often with external community partners. Faculty will teach a minimum of two Designmatters topic studios per year.

The teaching load of this position is the equivalent of three five-hour per week classes in each 14-week semester. The school requires all full-time faculty to provide three hours per week as “service hours,” which include such responsibilities as serving on review panels, committees and participating in other administrative work. ArtCenter runs year-round, on a system of three 14-week semesters, with two three-week breaks and one four-week winter break.

This position requires full-time teaching responsibilities, administrative service, and instructional duties, which may be outside of Designmatters and which may include occasional substitute teaching, service on collegewide committees such as Faculty Council, faculty and student mentoring and advising, core curricular planning, scholarship and portfolio student reviews, physical gallery and program website curation, outcome assessments with corresponding data collection, and attending departmental and College all-hands meetings. Full-time faculty are also responsible to help create visibility and recognition for the program and to maintain external relationships with designers and leaders experienced with issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Reports to: Executive Director, Designmatters

FLSA status: Exempt

Job posted 12/8/21. How to Apply -- please provide the following materials:
  • Letter of interest addresses the alignment of Designmatters and the position with candidate’s own research and interests, and past experience with any of the following: design education, community engagement, social innovation or impact, practice-based research or cross-discplinary collaboration
  • Curriculum Vitae with a list of three professional references
  • Teaching statement
  • Sample of work (acceptable formats include, but are not limited to: published articles, writing in progress, and 8-10 images of work)
  • Official transcripts will be required at time of employment
  • ArtCenter Employment Application  Download ArtCenter Application

Applications will be accepted until the application deadline. Qualified applicants should send all requested materials and employment application to HR@artcenter.edu and reference “Cluster Hire- Designmatters” in the subject line.

Application Deadline: Reviews of applications will begin February 25 but the position will remain open until filled



  • Master’s degree in Design, Social Innovation or related field from an accredited college or institution, or equivalent professional experience
  • Minimum of 3 years teaching at the undergraduate or graduate level
  • Minimum of 3 years of work experience or research relating to design, social innovation, social change, community engagement or related fields
  • Ability to develop effective curriculum appropriate to the fields of study and practice
  • Ability to develop and maintain valuable working relationships with educational partners, educational institutions and other organizations relevant to the department
  • Strong presentation and communication skills — verbal, written, and visual
  • Ability to handle confidential information with tact and discretion and recognize the confidential nature of ArtCenter business, as well as requirements under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • Must be able to work with and understand our culturally diverse student and faculty body with their needs and goals
  • Demonstrated experience in and commitment to diversity, and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships within Art Center’s diverse communities

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Design, Social Innovation or related field

Essential Functions

Core Duties and Responsibilities

  • Teaching and creating courses in the Desginmatters Program and other graduate or undergraduate programs at the College as research, projects and topics align with design for social innovation
  • Provide classroom instruction, maintain and report student attendance, preparation of instructional material including class syllabi, grading students’ assignments and exams, posting students’ grades, consulting with students, replying to students’ inquiries, and facilitating course evaluations
  • Mentor and guide students beyond the classroom

Other Responsibilities and Service Opportunities

  • Assist in cultivating guest lectures, visiting designers, publications and student competitions
  • Cross-disciplinary course content
  • Assist with student gallery, grad show and web content
  • Assist in creating visibility and recognition for the program among prospective students, the design community, creative industries, and potential donors and sponsors
  • Maintain external relationships with designers and leaders experienced with issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity
  • Serve on College-wide committees as appropriate, including the H&S Faculty Directors, Faculty Council, Research Committee, and others

Mandatory Duty to Report

All employees who know or have reason to know of allegations or acts that violate ArtCenter’s Title IX Policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking shall promptly inform the Director, Title IX Compliance and Programs, or designee or the Associate Dean of Students or designee. Faculty with a mandatory duty to report are required to disclose all information including the names of the parties, even where the person has requested their name remain confidential.

Pursuant to the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), all employees who know of or have reason to suspect child abuse or neglect involving alleged victims under age 18 shall promptly inform local law enforcement or the county welfare department.

Physical Demands and Working Environment

The conditions herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

Environment: Work is performed primarily in a standard classroom setting with frequent interactions with other individuals. Due to the nature of the work environment, there is regular exposure to fumes, chemicals, dust and noise.

Physical: Employees stand or sit most of the time, but may be mobile for brief periods of time. Primary functions require sufficient physical ability and mobility to work in a classroom setting; to stand or sit for prolonged periods of time; to occasionally stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, reach, and twist; to lift, carry, push, and/or pull light to moderate amounts of weight (up to 20 pounds); to operate modern office equipment requiring repetitive hand movement and fine coordination including use of a computer keyboard; and to verbally communicate to exchange information.

Vision: Must be able to have the visual capacity to perform activities such as preparing and reading class materials, viewing a computer terminal and other normal office work with or without correction.

Hearing: Must be able to communicate effectively in the course of normal office communication or exchange ideas with or without correction.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the employee assigned to this job; they do not purport to describe all functions. Employees may be assigned other duties, and the essential functions may be changed from time to time as necessary.

Equal Opportunity Employer

ArtCenter is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate against its employees or applicants on the basis of race, color, religious creed, sex, ancestry, national origin, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic characteristic pregnancy, marital status, military, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal law. Equal employment opportunity is extended to all persons in all aspects of the employer-employee relationship, including without limitation, recruitment, hiring, upgrading, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, leave of absence, transfer, discipline, layoff, recall and termination. This commitment applies to all persons involved in the operations of ArtCenter and prohibits unlawful discrimination by any employee of ArtCenter. 

Land Acknowledgment

“ArtCenter College of Design occupies the region of the ancestral and traditional land of the Hahamog'na Tongva people, the stewards of the San Gabriel Valley area around present-day Pasadena.”

ArtCenter College of Design is committed to excellence through the establishment of a diverse faculty and staff that best represents our student body and its surrounding communities. The College considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, or disability. Applicants who wish to request an accommodation for a disability may contact the Human Resources Department at (626) 396-2270.