Open positions

Assistant Professor, Design Formgiving

Aalto University is where science and art meet technology and business. We shape a sustainable future by making research breakthroughs in and across our disciplines, sparking the game changers of tomorrow and creating novel solutions to major global challenges. Our community is made up of 13 000 students, 400 professors and close to 4 500 other faculty and staff working on our dynamic campus in Espoo, Greater Helsinki, Finland. Diversity is part of who we are, and we actively work to ensure our community’s diversity and inclusiveness. This is why we warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to join our community. 

The Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS) is a Nordic leader in higher education for design, fashion, games, media, architecture, film, art education and fine art. We produce world-class research e.g. in design, digital media and visual culture, art education, urban planning and architecture. Our graduates innovate in and beyond their fields, drawing on over a century of tradition of our institution, a humane and forward-looking approach, and the latest technologies.  

The Department of Design is a community of creative and responsible researchers and design experts. We educate front-line design professionals and visionaries for established, changing and emerging fields of design. ( 


We are now looking for a 


Assistant Professor, Design formgiving 


In this position you will have a chance to make an impact on the future of design education and profession. Join us in shaping the future! 

The Department of Design in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture is seeking to strengthen its education and research excellence with a new tenure track professor in Design formgiving. The position will be filled at assistant professor level in the Aalto university’s tenure track career system.  

Design is a creative and future-oriented field that makes sense of today and shapes tomorrow. With the design formgiving tenure track professorship we aim to strengthen our research and education with expertise on design as state-of-the-art contemporary formgiving practice. The position focuses on design as a creative and solution-oriented sensemaking that operates through shaping physical and digital objects and related actions, by framing challenges and solving problems, and that addresses abstract concepts, experiences, processes, relations - all having important material implications. The design formgiving professor expertise integrates formgiving with diverse layers of professional design practice from strategic thinking, contemporary tools and production methods, design outputs to end-user understanding.  

Your role and goals 

Aligned with Aalto University’s aim of shaping a sustainable future, the design formgiving expertise is expected to contribute to the evolving and expanding field of design and to cross-field collaborations. The professorship requires an excellent research profile and will contribute to art and design knowledge-building. Examples of possible research areas include questions on designing design, on material implications of form giving, the role and impact of material sensemaking, focus on design as a creative practice and practice-based design research, on current and emerging formgiving practices, diverse materials and technologies.  

A successful candidate has recorded experience and a high ambition in teaching design courses, and motivation to contribute to curriculum development including updating the kind of formgiving competences needed in the changing world. Teaching responsibilities include integration of design knowledge and design methods in contemporary and emerging design topics in BA and in MA levels. 

Your network and team 

By joining the Department of Design as one of the global forerunners in design research, you will be working with a dynamic community of world leading researchers and creative professionals. Depending on your profile, your main team will be faculty members connected to the BA in Design, and MA in Collaborative and Industrial Design.   

Your experience and ambitions 

We are looking for a new colleague with a clear vision of the research agenda that combines design theory, methods and practice. You will have  

  • A doctoral degree in design or related field 

  • Demonstrated track record in research in the field of the professorship 

  • Experience in education at university level  

  • Some experience in working with industry or in design practice 

  • Excellent skills in English  

What we offer  

  • Meaningful and inspiring environment. We are proud of our purpose to shape a sustainable future. We spark the game changers of tomorrow, and renew society with research-based knowledge, creativity and an entrepreneurial mindset. 

  • Culture that inspires and includes everyone. All our work is guided by the values of the university: responsibility, courage, and collaboration.  It’s the people that create Aalto, now and in the future. We want to be an open community where equality and inclusion enable curiosity, innovation, collaboration and wellbeing.  

  • Responsible and meaningful role with true impact in our University’s/ School’s success, and in the end, in the wellbeing and development of our society. 

  • Support, coaching and support.  

  • Great possibilities for competence development and learning. We constantly keep learning to find the most impactful ways to empower – and invest in – our people. 

  • Workshop and studio infrastructure with no comparison in the Nordics where you can work and research with multiple materials, techniques and approaches. 

Our vast array of professional development opportunities means you will grow and learn, having the chance to participate actively in staff trainings and development projects based on your interests and needs.  

The workplace is in Otaniemi, Espoo. The Otaniemi campus is a thriving and connected community of 100 nationalities, 13,000 students and 4,500 employees. Life at the transformed campus is vibrant and filled with amazing architecture, calming nature, and a variety of cafes, restaurants, services and good connections along the recently opened metro line. 


Join us! 

To apply, please share the following application materials with us through our recruitment site ("Apply now!”) by September 23, 2024 midnight Finnish time (GMT+2).  

  • A motivation letter (one page)  
  • A research statement containing a brief account of past achievements and vision and plan for future research (max 4 pages) 
  • Design portfolio (presenting max 3 cases/works/projects)  


Please note: Aalto University’s employees should apply for the position via our internal HR system Workday (Internal Jobs) by using their existing Workday user account (not via the external webpage for open positions). Aalto University’s students and visitors should apply as external candidates with personal (not aalto) email. 


If you wish to hear more about the position, you can contact Associate Professor Tuuli Mattelmäki, tuuli.mattelmaki(at) 

In recruitment related questions, kindly contact HR Partner Katju Helminen, katju.helminen(at) 


Want to know more about us and your future colleagues? You can watch these videos: Aalto University – Towards a better world, Aalto People , and Shaping a Sustainable Future. Read more about working at Aalto:  

Check out our new virtual campus experience: 

About Finland 

Finland is a great place for living with or without family – it is a safe, politically stable and well-organized Nordic society. Finland is consistently ranked high in quality of life and was just listed again as the happiest country in the world: For more information about living in Finland:

More about Aalto University:

  • Published:
  • Updated:
URL copied!