Assistant Professor in Visual Communication Design Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture Finland

Assistant Professor in Visual Communication Design


Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto University has six schools with nearly 20 000 students and more than 400 professors. Our campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland.


Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture is one of the most prestigious international universities of art, design and architecture in the world. The school is a strong source of social influence. Key areas of research are design, digital media, audiovisual representation, art, visual culture, well-being architecture and emerging technologies, and urban planning and design. The school’s history dates back to 1871.


The Department of Media is an academic community of approximately 500 students and 50 faculty members created through a restructuring of the School in January 2010. The department has 9 Professors and 11 lecturers. The department conducts research and provides education in bachelor, masters and doctoral programmes across a broad range of subjects and themes. Since 2010 the study programmes and research of the department have been organized within three units: The Media Lab (New Media), Visual Communication Design and Photography. The current majors in Visual Communication Design are Information Design and Visual Narrative.


The Department of Media invites tenure track applications for:


Assistant Professor in Visual Communication Design


The position will begin during the academic year 2017-18.


Job description


The role of graphic designers has swiftly changed from producing static visual representations to collaborating in dynamic, interactive and iterative projects. Contemporary visual designers need visual and artistic sensibility, but also awareness of, and skills in, digital production methods, as well as openness to multidisciplinary approaches. 


The Department of Media is looking for an assistant professor with a strong professional design portfolio in graphic/communication design and experience of teaching in university-level education. 


The new professor has a broad understanding of the value of design today in society and in culture, as well as in business and entrepreneurship and is capable of working in a multidisciplinary manner. He/She is familiar with contemporary design discourse and fosters critical thinking. The new professor has a vision for leading the study programs in Visual Communication Design within the Department of Media. The main focus of the professor will be in the MA program in Visual Communication Design and the emphasis will be on the major area of studies in Visual Narrative. (The other major offered in the degree program is in the field of Information Design.)


In general, the Department of Media offers a dynamic academic art & design-based community with rich potential and resources for higher education and research within the broad field of Visual Communication Design. The person chosen for this position is expected to lead the future development of MA/BA studies in Visual Communication Design. 




The applicant is expected to have significant art/design qualifications and broad practical knowledge, experience and skills, including contemporary Visual Communication Design and digital design practice, as well as familiarity with relevant theoretical frameworks of art and design, in order to work successfully within an advanced art and design-based academic community.


The position requires at least a masters-level degree, as well as education and design skills relevant and necessary for the development and understanding of the field of Visual Communication Design. Excellent skills in English are required.


The applicants will be reviewed on the basis of their merits in visual communication design practice, teaching, as well as activity in the academic and artistic community. In recruiting on the assistant professor level particular attention will be given to future potential in addition to proven merits. Qualification and practical experience of research in the field is considered an advantage.


Throughout their careers, those in the academic tenure track system are expected to provide higher academic education, to follow the advances of their field, to participate in service to the Aalto University community, to exercise and guide scientific research/creative practice, and to take part in societal interaction and international collaboration in their field. For more information on the tenure track system of Aalto University, please see


Salary and benefits


Salary is internationally competitive and Aalto University provides health care and retirement benefits.


Finland is a great and safe context for family, offering many excellent state-subsidized services, including affordable day care and free schools, which are consistently ranked among the best in the world. 


How to apply


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

  1. Motivation letter

  2. Curriculum vitae

  3. Design portfolio including 5 most significant projects in a single PDF file (max. file size 100 MB). In the case where you would like to submit audiovisual or interactive work, please include a URL in the PDF from which the work can be accessed.

  4. List of personal art/design and/or research publications (the most important ones to be marked with an asterisk).

  5. Brief (max. two pages) overview of your ideas regarding the future development of the field.

  6. Names and contact information of four referees (for possible future request for reference letters).


All application materials should be submitted in English.


The application is a two-phased process. In the second phase, shortlisted applicants will be asked to supplement their application materials and visit the School of Arts, Design and Architecture in mid-October.


Please submit your application through the eRecruitment system no later than August 14th, 2017. The link to the eRecruitment system can be found at the bottom of the page.


General instructions for applicants including evaluation criteria, language requirements and guidelines for compiling CV are given at


For additional information please contact Chairman of Departmental Committee, Professor Philip Dean, email philip.dean(at) In recruitment process related questions, you may contact HR Coordinator Kira Sipilä, kira.sipila(at) until July 13th, and HR Coordinator Ilona Kallio, ilona.kallio(at) from August 7th onwards.  


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.

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