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Assistant Professor, Graduate Interaction Design Program
Ranked Non-Tenure, Part-time
APRIL 2021

The Graduate Interaction Design Program (MDes) at CCA is a one-year, intensive STEM designated program built to provide graduate students with the tools to create better relationships among people, products, and environments worldwide. Now entering its seventh year, MDes graduates flourish at the intersection of craft-based design skills, systems thinking, leadership development, collaboration and communication skills, and human-centered technology — all with measurable social and business impact.

At the heart of the program is the Social Lab. Students and faculty partner with community organizations and nonprofits to collaboratively identify their community’s needs, then co-create, co-design, implement, and measure social change. One recent Social Lab project included co-creating a tangible leadership development program for a youth arts center, including activities designed to help kids (age 7–18) develop self-awareness and confidence. Another Social Lab collaboration was with the African American Art & Culture Complex, co-designed with CCA Architecture students, resulting in a beautiful parklet that celebrates the organization’s mission in developing unique public programming.

The MDes graduate possesses:

  • critical thinking and reasoning abilities,
  • an understanding of core design practices of rigorous research and analysis, practical prototyping, iterative visual and physical form, and storytelling skills,
  • awareness of greater systemic context and ramifications of 2nd and 3rd order user impact,
  • and how their inherent qualities contribute to the shape and productivity of project teams, and ultimately, to an organization’s bottom line.

As such, they gain positions along a continuum of practice, often becoming leaders in their fields — they set up independent studios, contribute deeply to civic life, further their entrepreneurship in startups, make impacts in enterprise software technology, and much more.

Located in San Francisco, the ecological, cultural, and technological capital of California, CCA’s MDes faculty are working professionals and design leaders with regional, national and international influence. Through their teaching and networks, they expose students to diverse design opportunities and encourage each one of them to develop a personal point of view that is culturally astute and socially minded.

The MDes program is seeking candidates for a part-time, ranked, benefits-eligible, non-tenure-track (RNT) position at the assistant professor level to commence teaching starting with the Fall 2021 semester.

RNT faculty teach 3–4 courses per year, requiring faculty to balance teaching responsibilities and service to the college with continued professional practice relevant to their teaching. RNT faculty are appointed for three years, and their appointments are renewable thereafter pending successful review or promotion.

An individual in this role will join the College’s diverse faculty population that spans the breadth of contemporary design, craft, architecture, fine arts and the humanities. The ideal candidate will have the capacity to teach across the MDes curriculum, which operates over 12 months in three back-to-back semesters. Individuals with diverse expertise can also share their knowledge with students in other programs through participation in critiques and end of semester reviews.

In keeping with the College’s commitment to diversity, community engagement, and social justice, we seek candidates who will cultivate an equitable studio environment and foster a curriculum with diverse perspectives. In addition, RNT faculty responsibilities include participating in program service and leadership, curriculum design, admissions, serving on committees, and college-wide service. The successful candidate will demonstrate enthusiasm for the craft of creating thoughtful and meaningful design, a capacity to integrate interdisciplinary learning, diverse and global perspectives, an interest in leading students to engage with community issues, and a commitment to teaching within the creative environment of an art and design college.

CCA is situated in the San Francisco Bay Area, at the intersection of art and technology, of progressive design for manufacturing and DIY, of global awareness and local engagement. The Bay Area is a growth center for a range of sectors, including high technology, social media, green industry, outdoor recreation, biotech, health and medicine, innovative non-profits, humanitarian design, venture capital, and entrepreneurship. These densities of activity provide unmatched opportunities for curriculum development and professional relationships.

Founded in 1907, CCA is an independent non-profit art college with undergraduate programs in architecture, design, fine arts, visual studies, and writing. The college also has graduate programs in architecture, design, curatorial practice, design strategy, fine arts, visual and critical studies and writing. Through these programs, the college has created a dynamic and interdisciplinary environment to fulfill the school’s motto of make art and design that matters. Diverse cultural perspectives enrich the CCA community and the college believes that continuing to expand the horizons of the students and faculty is essential to achieving its educational objectives. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls 1,700 full-time students.


Future focused

An ideal applicant is an individual knowledgeable about the design industry writ large, steeped in the theories and practices of interaction design, and committed to helping to forecast issues and considerations for the not-too-distant future. These considerations may include:

  • Holistic, multi-modal design thinking and doing
  • Diversifying our curriculum, inclusive of underrepresented voices and views
  • Centering, speaking to, and teaching about vulnerable populations
  • Cross-disciplinary collaboration in distributed teams
  • Reframing constraints of form and function given emerging technologies
  • Communication for business impact and social justice
  • Ethics of machine learning and artificial intelligence


  • A bachelor’s degree in design or a relevant field
  • A minimum of five years professional experience in interaction design, as evidenced by a strong portfolio with exceptional interaction design work, and/or demonstrating UX design experience leading iterative human‐centered research activities
  • Evidence of successful teaching in a culturally competent manner
  • Capacity to teach specific MDes program courses, especially Design People and Society (design and user research), Leadership by Design (individual and team leadership), Systems, and Prototyping (physical and digital prototyping)
  • Evidence of commitment to using design to effect positive change in areas such as design for social justice, digital citizenship or, digital literacy (demonstrated through the candidate’s professional work, teaching, research output, or volunteer activities)



  • Evidence of successful teaching at the college level
  • A graduate degree
  • A global perspective
  • Interest and capacity to create an elective course of your own design



Chair of Master of Interaction Design (directly)

Dean of Design (indirectly)


Candidates must be legally eligible to work in the United States. CCA is delivering course content primarily online until returning to campus is safe. Candidates must be local to the Bay Area by spring 2022.

Commensurate with experience and includes a comprehensive benefits package.

Application review will begin on May 24, 2021.  Search remains open until complete. Position start date is August 2021 in advance of the incoming student cohort.

Qualified applicants must complete the online application by uploading the following materials:

  • A cover letter in which you address your qualifications for the position
  • A teaching statement that describes your philosophy, teaching objectives, and pedagogical approach
  • A separate one-page point of view on where interaction design is and where it needs to go
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Evidence of teaching effectiveness, such as syllabi, workshop activities, teaching evaluations, or examples of student work
  • Portfolio of professional work (ideally a link to a website)
  • Optionally, links to any examples of prior talks or recorded lectures

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Questions about the position can be directed to Josh Silverman, Chair, josh@cca.edu. Additional materials may be requested by the search committee at a later time.

EEO Statement
As an educational and cultural institution, California College of the Arts has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people, with special attention to supporting groups historically underrepresented in higher education. We believe that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence, and our student, faculty, staff, and trustee bodies should reflect the diverse world in which we live, with attention to race, ethnicity, religious creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and ability. California College of the Arts is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.

This is the online sign-up for a fall 2021 Senior Installation time slot in a CCA campus gallery. Final date and space assignments will be communicated via email by October 1st. If you are planning to have your physical Senior installation at a CCA Exhibitions gallery you must sign up by September 23, 2021, at 11:59pm PT. Senior Installations will be scheduled in November and December 2021. 

Senior Installations offers seniors the opportunity to practice installing and presenting their work inside a physical gallery space on campus, receive in-person critique from faculty and students, and document their work in a professional setting. Installations take place in the Oliver Art Center in Oakland and the Hubbell Street Galleries in San Francisco, with the support of a staff preparator. We are unable to host opening receptions or serve food and drink inside the galleries. At this time, the galleries are only open to the CCA community with proof of vaccination. We hope to be able to expand attendance later in the semester, but this is not guaranteed. Participation (or an alternate format approved by Senior Projects faculty) is required as part of your Senior Projects course.

We recognize the uncertainty of the times, and recognize that your installation plans are still being developed, so please answer the questions as best you can, and then you can update us separately as your work needs develop. If you have questions in regards to your expected graduation date please make sure to contact your Academic Advisor. If your expected graduation date changes after you've applied for an exhibition, please make sure to update the Exhibitions department of this immediately so we can adjust the calendar accordingly and make space available to others. 

Exhibition planning resources are available here. Floor plans for the galleries can be found here. Notification of exhibition assignments for seniors will take place via email to your CCA email address by October 1, 2021.  

Please contact exhibitions@cca.edu with any questions. 

California College of the Arts