The Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, seeks candidates to fill two tenure-track faculty positions (Assistant Professor or Associate Professor without Tenure) focused on sustainability, resilience, and equity within the built environment in the context of the climate crisis. The two positions are complementary, envisioned as a strategic cluster hire to focus research, design, and pedagogical efforts on forms of architectural response to this critical, multi-disciplinary topic. They will be positioned in the Building Technology and Architecture + Urbanism areas of the department as outlined below. The expected hiring date is July 1, 2024, or on a mutually agreed date thereafter.
The two faculty positions are intended to contend with the climate crisis, and its bearing on the discipline of architecture. The environmental impact of buildings is severe: they cause nearly 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions through their construction and operation, along with substantial resource depletion, waste production, and destruction of ecosystems. These impacts are expected to increase as cities grow to meet mounting construction needs. The climate crisis also impacts the built environment and frontline communities acutely and unjustly, with hazards of extreme heat, flooding, and increasingly frequent natural disasters. A spectrum of methods and expertise, including innovative technologies, climate-responsive design methods, community engagement, design for climate justice, and interdisciplinary collaboration are needed to face these challenges equitably and substantively. Successful candidates in this search will contextualize their work within this framing and make fundamental scholarly contributions while engaging across disciplinary cultures.
We recognize that candidates operating in this area will likely have a focus towards Building Technology or Design, while still working across these interrelated realms. As such, we imagine multiple scenarios for a successful hire across multiple positions; the two most likely are described here in detail.
A Building Technology Focused Hire The Building Technology (BT) group is focused on technological and science-based approaches to the design, construction, and operation of buildings, with the shared goals of improving performance, efficiency of resource use, occupant wellbeing, and equity in the built environment. Faculty each direct their own research groups and collaborate on projects, teaching, and outreach. Research methodologies in BT include numerical and analytical simulation, physical experimentation, algorithmic development, historical assessment, community engagement and partnership, and policy outreach. Topics of current BT work include structures, materials, building physics, operational and embodied energy use, and urban-scale performance. Faculty duties would include teaching courses in building technology and related topics, potentially including design, at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Successful candidates with this area as a focus are likely to complement and expand the existing areas of research with inventive, high-impact research and teaching. Candidates who advance new directions in operational performance, comfort, or wellbeing in buildings, cities, and communities are especially encouraged to apply.
A Design Focused Position The Design faculty in the department (known internally as the Architecture + Urbanism group) is centered on the production and teaching of architecture, urbanism, and design at a range of scales and contexts. A successful candidate with this area as a focus would have the ability to advance teaching and research in innovative design inquiry that engages climate change, environmental justice, and sustainability. Interest and capacity to work and teach within a rigorous research environment that is addressing contemporary critical, practical, and social issues within the field will be desirable. Faculty duties would include teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in design at the architectural and/or urban scale, as well as related topics, potentially including building teachnology. A particular area of focus would be the intersection of design and building technology as taught through studios, workshops and/or seminars, across undergraduate and graduate programs. Candidates who show a strong promise of creative achievement towards a more equitable and sustainable future within their design work, research, professional practice, community engagement, or a combination thereof are particularly welcome.
While these scenarios outline the scope of the search between the space of building technology and design, we are interested most of all in applicants who combine and collide these realms of inquiry in unexpected and instrumental ways. Thus, candidates interested in any relevant intersection and overlap should apply, without being concerned about a specific area of focus within the department; ultimately, the two hires will be complementary, but also overlapping.
Teaching commitments will include classroom teaching, student advising and mentorship, with a particular focus on graduate and undergraduate studios (for candidates with appropriate background) and seminars, and/or supervision of graduate research and thesis work (including doctoral research) for candidates with relevant background in building performance and research. All successful candidates will be expected to engage and contribute across these activities in some way. Candidates should demonstrate evidence of commitment to their work at the highest scholarly level. This evidence may include works of research, scholarship, and design; they may include peer-reviewed papers in journals and conference proceedings, sole-authored books, exhibitions in culturally influential venues, impactful software modules, built prototypes, community engagement projects, or professional work.
In keeping with MIT's culture of faculty self-governance and the Department's expectations of its faculty, candidates are expected to participate in the intellectual life and administrative functioning of the Department, and to contribute to the Department's research and pedagogical agendas. Candidates should enjoy collaborating with colleagues, be articulate communicators, and be dedicated to helping steer and support the rich, diverse culture of the Department. In pursuing research, teaching or practice, candidates should also be an effective representative of the Department to the external world.
Interested applicants should submit:
- A statement of interest outlining their interests and qualifications for the position, including major professional, research, pedagogical goals and achievements (maximum three pages)
- A statement on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, including past and current contributions as well as vision and future plans in these areas. Applicants are encouraged to discuss approaches to fostering an inclusive environment including but not limited to teaching, mentoring, community outreach, and affirming diverse viewpoints (maximum one page).
- A curriculum vitae
- Names and affiliations of at least three current references with contact information (candidates will be alerted before references are contacted)
- A maximum 36-page, letter-sized portfolio of design, research, or scholarly work. The portfolio can include documentation of design projects, peer-reviewed published papers (or excerpts), other relevant scholarly writing, and/or documentation of work output.
Please submit these materials to: apply.interfolio.com/136680. For technical issues, please contact Interfolio staff at 877-997-8807 or email@example.com. Review of the applications will begin January 15, 2024, and continue until the position is filled.
The positions are intended for early to mid-career scholars at MIT’s pre-tenured ranks (Assistant Professor or Associate Professor without Tenure, both tenure-track). An ability to advance a teaching and research agenda in an academic environment is essential.
Candidates should hold a terminal professional degree in architecture or allied discipline (i.e., M.Arch, MLA), or a doctoral degree in Architecture, Building Science, Sustainable Design, or a related field (Ph.D., D.Des., etc.) by the start of employment. Successful candidates will also show experience and potential in teaching (at the graduate or undergraduate level), and a combination of scholarship, research, and/or design practice.