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Stanford Has a Design Job For You

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on January 17, 2006

Are you ready for a dream job in design education? I’m told that Stanford is looking for a new professor to lead the famous Joint Design Program. The tenure-track position is open and the chosen one will teach and develop the undergraduate and masters program in design. I hear that Stanford is looking for an exceptional leader, who may or may not have a Ph.d and who may or may not have much direct design experience. That certainly opens up the search to top designers and design managers from around the world.

Here’s a portion of the statement offering the design position: “We seek candidates who conduct creative and independent research and teaching programs with a deep understanding of design thinking and who draw on art, engineering and behavioral sciences. We are recruiting new faculty in this area because there is a growing need to
understand how users experience products, services, environments and information, how products acquire a cultural significance, how designers can best learn their craft and how groups and organizations shape (and are shaped by) the practice of design. These issues
require familiarity with design methodologies and draw upon a number of research fields across engineering, art, interaction design, organizational behavior, social sciences and business. The
ideal candidate will be an accomplished designer and educator with experience in the conception and creation of products, services, interactive technology, environments and experiences, as well as an interest in the avant-garde. The ideal candidate will also need to be
a strategic thinker and contribute to the advancement and development of design as a discipline at Stanford.”

Actually, my favorite part of the job offer is this: “Stanford University offers an appealing setting for faculty who wish to teach and do research in this area.” Talk about understatement.

Reader Comments

Niti Bhan

January 18, 2006 6:34 AM

Imagine, getting to sit around and think, write and research, ponder and pontificate, in that gorgeous campus, and get paid for it. heaven on earth :)

A.K. Vishwanath.

January 21, 2006 7:25 PM

There is a lot of value to this blog as it
brings together a lot of valuable information
like this.

As for the post, yes, it is a brilliant one.
However, I have the following to bring up from
my side:-

1) Can 'Joint Design Program' of Stanford
participate in history?

The reason I am asking this question is simple.
Let us say if Stanford were to launch this
program at the time of Wright Brothers. Would
Wright Brothers have considered it? If not,
how would Stanford facilitate to participate
in their historic invention and position Joint
Design Program?

If Stanford answers this question, I think they
can nail the candidate easily, given the
homework they have done so well in terms of
defining the position.

So, we pose the question again: What if Wright
Brothers' situation repeats today?

2)If Wright Brothers were to succeed in business,
they would have needed a host of support, given
the vastness of the invention they were seeding.
Hence, if we were to put a Board together to
govern them, I would define it the same way as
in job description; but add the following eminent
support even before going public with the invention,
in addition to base/ foundation set up and core

a) Best early stage investor who can smell
an opportunity miles away.
b) Best IP/Patent attorneys who can position
IP proactively to protect it from business
sharks. For example, how could Wright Bros.
protect themselves from Curtis' litigation?

One answer I came up with was to see if
Wright Bros. could show only take-off and
cruising and leave out showing landing
altogether(if at all possible). That way
anybody can copy at their own risk...!?

c) Team of globalization experts
d) Best of Region Development experts

c & d would cover China & India and
align products accordingly. These
societies have hidden cash or can even
help unravel hidden cash in other markets
or atleast save cash in primary markets.

A set of guys who can knit 'regions' with
mission that best of things are yet to come.

e) Technologists from Apple (Design
showmanship in "Digital Clay". For them
computing is like 'digital clay'. I don't
know whether they have realized this trait
in themselves.), Game machine specialists
from SONY (future of dashboards are in game
machines) game consoles), etc.

e) Nuts and bolts experts. Because I want to
concentrate on invention and innovation
rather than day-to-day nuts-n-bolts. I
should be working with architect clay,
wind tunnel & models, actual design,etc.

f) Theoreticians who can help me with
conviction because I will be generating new
theory everyday and there is no way they can
hunt proof in references; rather they would
have to convincingly support new theories.

g) Key business strategists who are also
experts in game theory who can help
with 'order of exposure' of invention
so that one can focus on vision and what is
'beyond' rather than immediate hurdles.

h) Need good CTO's: Chief Talent Officers.
This is critical in highly connected global

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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