W2 Professorship in Interaction Design at KISD – Köln International School of Design

Company: KISD – Köln International School of Design

Location: Cologne, Germany
Type: Full-Time
Category: Creative Coder


Application deadline: December 14, 2017
Reference number F021704

KISD – Köln International School of Design of TH Köln, Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Sudstadt campus , requests applications at the earliest possible date for a
“W2 Professorship in Interaction Design”

Starting date: at the earliest opportunity

Your responsibilities:
The successful candidate will represent the area of expertise “Interaction Design” in both the Bachelor and Master degree programs of “Integrated Design” as well as in an interdisciplinary and cross-faculty study program.
Increasing digital networking in almost every area of work and life allows the discipline of design to cover and open up areas of activity that range from improving the quality of interaction of existing products and processes, developing smart adaptive systems, to outlining scenarios that take into account these future and significant changes in organizational, societal, and spatial processes. In this regard, it is the manifold interconnectedness of human action, human life, media, objects, things, and their environments that the focus of attention is directed to.
You perceive “Interaction Design” as an area of expertise which calls for a critical and profound analysis of research subjects to be tested, discussed, and analyzed practically-experimentally and theoretically-scientifically sound, in particular with regard to the topics and fields of “Connected Things | Interactive Materiality”, “Relational Environment | Spatial Interaction”, and “Hybrid Prototyping | Physical Computing” (which you find described below.)

In the field of teaching, you will convey analytical, conceptional, technical, and creative skills in order to develop and professionally implement analog, digital, and hybrid interaction patterns, prototypes, and experimental drafts. You will enable students to critically reflect on and deal with new types of networking technologies, computer ubiquity, altered and transformed ideas of things, materialities, and environments as well as processes, potentials, perspectives, and complexities which arise from digitization.

In your individual creative, artistic, and scientific work, you will develop and discuss how interaction patterns can be designed that deal with the intense entanglement between sensual perception and technological environments. You are particularly interested in the interplay of object, body, thing, and space and their specific action relationships. You understand “Interaction Design” as a discipline that demands a discussion on ethical and political issues closely linked to developments in the realm of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.
Your scientific research will be closely linked and synchronized to your teaching topics. We expect you to actively engage in an open and active exchange with other research and teaching areas of KISD and TH Köln. Through your research activity you will strengthen the faculty’s research profile and will raise external funds. You will be involved in the faculty’s self-administration and in the institute’s conceptual framework and administrative structures with the willingness to assume leadership responsibility for organizational and research- and teaching-related processes.

Professional Competencies
We are looking for an outstanding, highly qualified candidate with proven practical and research experience in the realm of “Interaction Design“ and design and the arts with a strong and profound attitude in individual research and work in order to critically reflect on digitization and interconnectivity, on technological development, and application practice.

Special attention will be given to the reflection, analysis, and development of interaction patterns that deal with the increasing influence and penetration of daily life through digital communication systems, applications, environments, and the steady updating of mobile devices technologies. This also includes a research-based discussion on how humans act and interact in these surroundings of technical artifacts, media, and objects.

Thus, “Interaction Design“ always refers to the development and arrangement of those spheres of action and understands itself as a discipline that attaches particular importance to the technological, material, and spatial interactions between humans and non-humans, technical kind – thereby perceiving the interfaces either as facilitator, mediator, or means of communication in a dialog of various entities.

In order to meet these challenges and demands adequately, it is in particular those following areas in which the successful candidate is supposed to have proven theoretical and practical knowledge and experience:

“Connected Things | Interactive Materiality“
In your individual work and research, we expect you to have a strong interest in analog-digital inter-connectivity – artifacts, media, tools, products, techniques, environments – and its materialization. We are looking for a candidate who perceives, analyzes, and develops material, analog and digital things and processes as active and operational structures in a reciprocal relationship between player and environment. Here, special attention is given to the intense entanglement of code and material and programming of material. The discipline of “Interaction Design“ is supposed to creative-experimentally analyze how physical and digital materiality of things interact and how they are embedded into different spaces, contexts, and environments.

“Relational Environment | Spatial Interaction“
Mobile devices and interactive applications should always be regarded in the context of a specific action in a physical surrounding. Thus, special attention should be given here to the modeling of flexible action patterns, correlations, and technical ecosystems in which bodies, objects, envelopes (or skins), architecture, and urban spaces are embedded. Therefore, the design and development of human-computer interaction always encompasses physical and spatial interactions. This perspective automatically calls for an analysis of structures, systems, and environments that are identified by and claim for an increasing autonomy of action. The successful candidate should thus understand “Interaction Design” as a critical discussion of ethical and political issues closely linked to developments in the realm of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.

“Hybrid Prototyping | Physical Computing“
Prototyping, in particular in its specification of “Rapid Prototyping“, should be perceived, understood, and advanced as a special form of creative speculation, exploration, and reflection. Prototypes serve as tangible and transparent presentations providing information on a distinct moment of the iterative design process. “Hybrid Prototyping“, as it affects the discipline, addresses itself to both the development of material-physical and digital prototypes and wants to intensely link these two formats. At KISD, prototyping is mostly done in the institute’s design labs, and for the discipline of “Interaction Design“, it is both the “Digital Prototyping Lab“ and the “Physical Computing Lab“ which play a major role. We expect the successful candidate to advance in particular the part of “Physical Computing Lab“.

Research Competencies
We expect the successful candidate to have a track record in discipline-specific publications, lectures, talks and/or proven projects in design, the arts, and science and specifically in the realm of Interface/Interaction Design, preferably with regard to the areas and spheres of action listed: “Connected Things | Interactive Materiality“; “Relational Environment | Spatial Interaction“; “Hybrid Prototyping | Physical Computing“. Additional innovative formats, interfaces, or design-relevant expertise will be considered. Experience in acquiring grants and in project development and management with regard to research projects is desirable. The successful candidate is supposed to have a sound knowledge and understanding of the value of research in the design field – in particular with regard to the individual field of research and area of expertise.

International Competencies
A special asset for the candidate to have is the capability of identifying and seizing the manifold potentials of international, inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation in order to effectively and successfully contribute to current and future issues of a global scope. Thus, we are looking for a candidate to have the capability and the expertise in initiating and assuming leadership for joint international projects. We expect the successful candidate to have experience in different cultural backgrounds and to handle cultural differences in a reflected and sensitive manner. Furthermore, we expect a very good command of English for teaching and project monitoring. We appreciate a good command of German for those who are non-native German speakers.

How To Apply:

Your Profile:
We are looking for an outstanding, highly qualified candidate who will represent the area of expertise both project- and practice-based in the realm of teaching and through both a strong creative-experimental and theoretical-scientific approach in the realm of research. We expect you to have proven expertise in developing, implementing, and assessing innovative artifacts in design and technology, media, structures, systems, and environments. The candidate is supposed to identify future opportunities and developments in the dynamic area of “Interaction Design” with an understanding and interpretation of the discipline as conceptual, process-oriented, and referring to the approach of “Integrated Design”.

Professional, teaching and methodological profile:
We expect you to hold a university degree in disciplines like design and the arts with outstanding performances and a PhD (or a respective equivalent excellent quality indicating a special aptitude for academic work according to section 36 paragraph 1 HG or a special ability for artistic work according to section 36 paragraph 2 HG). An academic report must be attached to the application in order to prove a special aptitude for academic or artistic work. Furthermore, we expect you to have a total of at least five years of subject-related career experience (including at least three years outside of the higher education sector).

We are looking for an outstanding, highly qualified candidate with a compelling portfolio with a broad spectrum of work experience in design and the arts, technology and innovation in the realm of “Interaction Design“. Required are extraordinary performances in developing and implementing scientific research and methodologies or extraordinary practical and discipline-related performances accomplished during a proven and relevant professional career in the areas of Interaction Design, Generative Design, Computational Design, Creative Coding, experimental interface development, hard- and software interface development, the development of interactive media in a spatial context, and development of interactive prototypes and environments.

Your application should include a detailed description of your prior practical experiences in the area of “Interaction Design“, previous research projects and research papers. We kindly ask you to also attach a short sketch in which you can present your ideas and concepts you are willing to make use of in strengthening and advancing the discipline’s profile at KISD, being part of the degree course of Integrated Design at KISD.

Please send your convincing application, including a portfolio, an outline for the future development of KISD’s discipline “Interaction Design“, and the customary documents (curriculum vitae, references, list of research projects and publications) referring to reference number F021704, to the President of TH Köln, attn. Mrs. Christiane Kaline, Gustav-Heinemann-Ufer 54, 50968 Cologne, until Dec 14, 2017 the latest. Please send your application and documents in written form and on digital media as a pdf-document.

Questions on the recruitment process to Christiane Kaline

T: + 49 221-8275-3508
Gustav-Heinemann-Ufer 54 50968 Köln
Position-related questions to:

Prof. Dr. Carolin Höfler
T: + 49 221-8275-3440

Since more than 25 years, KISD – Köln International School of Design of TH Köln offers students and employees a unique project-oriented learning and research environment. Studying at KISD is, for all degree courses, integrative, interdisciplinary, and international. Through the cooperation with excellent universities, design and art schools, KISD has at its disposal a vibrant international network for learning, teaching, and research.
We offer our researchers an inspirational work environment. Technology, Arts, Sciences reflects our academic diversity, our interdisciplinary approach, and our internationality. With this concept we consider ourselves a model for the future in teaching and research. We foster a culture of enablement and cooperation between colleagues. International scientific standards, gender equality and inclusion are the guiding principles of our human resources development. We are a certified family-friendly university.