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Professor in Furniture Design

Stockholm Furniture Fair Aalto booth

Aalto University is a university with over a century of experience. Created from a high-profile merger between three leading universities in Finland – the Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Art and Design Helsinki – Aalto University opens up new possibilities for strong multidisciplinary education and research. Aalto University has 20 000 students and a staff of 5 000 including 370 professors.

The Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture is a Nordic leader in higher education for design, fashion, games, media, architecture, film, art education and art. We produce world-class research in art education, design and design thinking, digital media and visual culture, urban planning and architecture. Our graduates innovate in and beyond their fields, drawing on over a century of tradition, a humane and forward-looking approach, and the latest technologies. Our new campus in Espoo, just west of Helsinki, makes working together among and across disciplines easier than ever before.

The Department of Architecture at Aalto University is an internationally renowned education and research unit. With respect to Finland’s esteemed architectural heritage, we search for new solutions to the challenges of sustainable development. To us, architecture is an art form that requires practical skills and individual artistic development, as well as sustainability knowledge relevant to design and planning. We educate critical thinkers who accept their responsibility to research and design a socially, culturally and ecologically sustainable built environment.

The Department of Architecture offers degree programmes in architecture, landscape architecture and interior architecture. At the moment, the BA level courses are taught primarily in Finnish whilst MA and doctoral level studies primarily in English. For more information, please see: http://architecture.aalto.fi/en/

We are now looking for a:

Professor in Furniture Design

The successful candidate will be appointed for a fixed 5-year term with the title of Professor (Design practices). The position will begin in August 2021 or as agreed and it is placed within the Programme of Interior Architecture in the Department of Architecture.

Furniture design has a long and illustrious history at Aalto University and its predecessor with consistent international visibility and recognition. In order to maintain its leadership in the field, Aalto ARTS has opened a call to find a Professor (Design practices) in Furniture Design whose task is to update the field to meet the complex demands of today and the future. The purpose of the professorship is to elevate and redefine the field of furniture design by developing teaching and artistic/professional activities and creating an interface towards research based on the strong tradition of the field. Activities of the department are mainly located in the Otaniemi campus of Aalto University in Espoo (Helsinki metropolitan area).

Your role and goals

As a Professor (Design practices) we expect you to exercise and guide research and/or artistic activity, to educate students on this basis, to introduce them to existing furniture design traditions and support them in advancing the field. This entails practice, theory and experimentation with existing and emerging skills, technologies and materialities. We also expect you to participate in service to the Aalto University community and to take an active role in societal interaction and international collaboration in the design field. We expect the professors to teach courses themselves and we also encourage them to invite visiting professionals to share their knowledge and experience.

Your experience and ambitions

Profound expertise in the field of the professorship is necessary, and international experience and familiarity with the Nordic countries is of advantage. The candidate should have experience in university-level teaching and architectural design practice. Experience in leading research projects and academic leadership positions is an asset. Completed pedagogical studies and a doctoral degree in Architecture or in some other relevant field is valued.

Significant expertise in teaching and artistic work and/or research is required for obtaining a Professor (Design practices) position. Furthermore, a commitment to develop the field through research and/or artistic work and teaching activities is necessitated.

For this professorship the applicant is expected to have:

  • MA degree in a relevant field or comparable artistic/professional qualifications 
  • Broad professional knowledge and experience or a strong profile in experimental or conceptual practice
  • Experience in versatile collaborations with relevant partners in the field of design and its related businesses
  • Strong competencies in interdisciplinary collaboration 
  • Knowledge of sustainability
  • Ability to teach and engage students 
  • International networks within the field of design 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English 

The applicants will be reviewed on the basis of the following areas: teaching, artistic merits and/or research, collaborative skills and experiences as well as active engagement in artistic or academic communities.

What we offer

As an employer, Aalto University provides excellent learning and development opportunities as well as occupational health care services, commuter ticket benefit and versatile exercise services by Unisport. Aalto University follows the salary system of Finnish universities, but applicants may also propose their own salary requirements.

The Professor will be part of an inspiring and supportive community of experienced professionals and highly motivated students. The Professor will also have the opportunity to use the Department’s extensive networks both nationally and internationally, and enjoy our great resources to build educational workshops, master classes and student productions with the help of our production service, Aalto Studios (https://studios.aalto.fi/).

Aalto was ranked as the #7 university in Art and Design by QS in 2020. Aalto Department of Architecture is ranked highest in Finland and among the top fifty (#41) architecture schools in the world (QS 2020). Projects by the department are nominated for national and international awards, such as the Finlandia Prize (2018) and the ArchDaily Building of the Year award (2018).

Ready to apply?

To apply, please share the following application materials with us in English and in PDF format:

  1. Motivation letter (1-2 pages)
  2. Curriculum Vitae according to the guidelines by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity.
  3. Design portfolio including max. 10 most significant projects (size limited to 20 MB)
  4. Teaching portfolio including teaching merits and approach to teaching,  according to Aalto University guidelines
  5. Brief overview of your ideas regarding the future development of the field (max. two pages)
  6. Statement describing your vision of research and/or artistic work and teaching in the field of Furniture and Product Design (max. 2 pages).

Please submit your application materials no later than on January 17th, 2021 (Finnish time UTC +2). The link to the eRecruitment system ('Apply now') can be found at the bottom of this page. The departmental recruitment committee reserves the right to ask additional material from the applicants.

From amongst the applicants in the first phase, Aalto University will select those who may be asked to supplement their application materials. Supplemented applications are submitted for review by external experts in the second phase of the application process. Based on the application materials and external evaluations, the Departmental Committee will choose the most suitable applicants to participate the online site visit and deliver teaching demonstrations in spring 2021 (preliminary dates are 14-15 April 2021).

Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period or to consider additional candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

For more information

For additional information, please contact Professor Pentti Kareoja, tel. +358 40 768 0659, email pentti.kareoja(at)aalto.fi. In questions related to the recruitment process, please contact HR Specialist Mari Kaarni, mari.kaarni(at)aalto.fi.

About Finland

Finland is a great place for living with a healthy and safe living environment, politically stability, and well-organized Nordic society offering many excellent state-subsidized services including affordable day care and free schools and universities.

Finland is consistently ranked high in quality of life: http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/finland/  and was just listed as the happiest country in the world: http://worldhappiness.report/news/finland-again-is-the-happiest-country-in-the-world/ . For more information about living in Finland: https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/why-finland .

Aalto University – Towards a better world -video
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Welcome to Aalto and Finland -introduction material

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