Faculty hires in ‘cluster’ should ‘support our BIPOC and other marginalized communities within their respective discipline’
A good architecture professor should be able to teach his students about building strong structures, but what is more important at the University of Minnesota is dismantling structural racism for the school’s latest hire.
The new “Design Justice Cluster-Hire Initiative” seeks to “create space, policy, and practices that support the inclusion and retention of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) as well as other communities who have been historically underinvested.”
Applicants to the College of Design should be “committed to advancing a scholarly, pedagogic, and/or service agenda specifically focused on design justice.”
This could be evidenced “either through architectural design teaching, in their design studio pedagogy, and/or in research, practice or service to the discipline of architecture.”
The tenure-track teaching hire should display “excellence in the teaching of design studios” and be “supported by the strong promise of significant creative achievement in the field through design work, scholarship, research, professional practice, or a combination thereof.”
The mission of the design justice initiative is to advance “anti-racism” and refugee rights, among other liberal agenda items.
The university defines the Design Justice mission in this way:
Design Justice is supported by a group of individuals across design disciplines, known as the Collective, who are committed to anti-racism, decolonized pedagogy, and the liberation of communities who have been underinvested historically, in both design academia and the design industry. Areas of scholarship, teaching, and/or service will involve: anti-racism, racial justice, racial disparities, and/or racial discrimination; equity, power/privilege, and/or bias; benefits to the BIPOC, immigrant, and refugee populations; environmental and social justice; and/or other forms of studying and countering systemic oppression.
Other hires that should understand design justice include the college’s job openings for graphic design, interior design and product design.
The university may have to compete with a fellow Big Ten university for applicants.
The University of Michigan posted a job opening in June that sought a “Anti-Racism By Design” professor.
“Candidates will show a deep understanding of racial formations as they relate to design practices,” the university said.
IMAGE: W Maireche/Shutterstock.com/SignsForJustice/HAERS