16 Feb 2016

Professor of Practice in Visual Communication Design | School of Arts, Design & Architecture, Aalto University

School of Arts, Design & Architecture (ARTS), Aalto University

Faculty position as Professor of Practice in Visual Communication Design (Information Design), Department of Media 

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. It has six schools with nearly 20 000 students and 4 700 employees, 390 of which are professors. It has two campuses located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland.

The School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS) is an institution of higher education for design, media, architecture, motion picture, art education and art. The current key areas of research are design, digital media, audiovisual representation, art, visual culture, welfare architecture and emerging technologies as well as urban planning and design. The school produces specialists and innovators of art, design and architecture with strong artistic and technical skills.

The Department of Media is an academic community of approximately 500 students and 60 faculty members. The department conducts research and provides education in bachelor, masters and doctoral programmes across a broad range of subjects and themes. The study programmes and research of the department are organized within three units: The Media Lab, Visual Communication Design and Photography. The current majors in Visual Communication Design are Information Design and Visual Narrative. More information on the Visual Communication Design (formerly Graphic Design) programmes can be found at http://graphicdesign.aalto.fi.

The Department of Media invites applications for Professor of Practice in Visual Communication Design (Information Design):

The position will be filled on the basis of artistic merits and the successful candidate will be appointed for a fixed 5-year term with the title of Professor of Practice. The position will begin during the academic year 2016-17.

Aalto Professor of Practice system is intended especially for the fields of art, design and architecture but can be applied to other fields as well. The Professor of Practice position provides departments with the possibility to hire highly respected professionals for opening new areas of teaching and research/ artistic and professional work. The position also provides possibility for re-evaluation and dynamic development of a field.

Professors of Practice are expected to exercise and guide artistic activity and education and/or research, to follow the advances of their field, to participate in service to the university community, and to take part in societal interaction and international collaboration in their field.

Job description

The Visual Communication Design unit is looking for a professor with a strong professional portfolio in information design and teaching experience in higher education.

The era of big data has arrived. The demand for design solutions for visual presentation of information is driven by, among other things, this rapid expansion of available data, and the accompanying growth in computational capability and tools to process it. Information design is a competence with applications far beyond the traditional design spectrum and can be applied in professions like journalism, science and engineering, business intelligence, and the civil service.

In response to this growing need, Aalto ARTS Department of Media will initiate a major course of study specialised in Information Design in the fall of 2016. The new professor has a broad understanding of the value of information design in society and culture, as well as in business and science, and has a vision for guiding the new Major in Information Design within the Masters Programme in Visual Communication Design. 

Information design is at its core a highly interdisciplinary field, combining skills from graphic design, interaction design, computer science, statistics, geoinformatics, journalism, and more. Applicants with a strong background in visual design and familiarity with one or more of these areas are encouraged to apply. Information design also intersects with most fields of science, technology and business, so there are many opportunities for cooperation with other Aalto departments and programmes.


Professor of Practice is considered a professor position with subject to external evaluation. Artistic merits will be emphasized in the selection process: the applicant is expected to have significant artistic qualifications that are comparable to a doctoral level degree, good knowledge of theories of visual communication design and wide practical experience in the field. Applicants will be reviewed on the basis of the following areas: artistic merits, teaching, research, collaborative skills, and activity and leadership in artistic or academic community.

Aalto University follows the salary system of Finnish universities, but applicants may also provide salary requirements.

How to apply

The application process includes two phases. In the first phase the applicants are required to submit the following material:

- Motivation letter

- Curriculum vitae

- List of publications (the most important ones to be marked with an asterisk)

- Design portfolio including 5 most significant projects in a single PDF file (max. file size 100 MB)

- Brief (max. 1000 words) overview of your ideas regarding the future development of the field and how these might be implemented in a Masters program.

All application materials should be submitted in English. Aalto University does not accept any letters of recommendations during the first phase of the application process.

From amongst the applicants in the first phase, Aalto University will select those who will be asked to supplement their application materials with e.g. a teaching portfolio, and to visit the School of Arts, Design and Architecture on 15 April, 2016. Supplemented applications are submitted for review by external experts (the second phase of the application process).

Please submit your application through the online eRecruitment system no later than 7 March 2016 (Finnish time UTC +02:00)

General instructions for applicants including evaluation criteria, language requirements and guidelines for compiling CV can be found via this link: www.aalto.fi/en/tenure_track/for_applicant.

For additional information, please contact Chairman of Departmental Committee, Professor Philip Dean at philip.dean@aalto.fi. For recruitment process related questions, you may contact HR-Coordinator Johanna Glader, tel. +358 50 524 0728, johanna.glader@aalto.fi.

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