Kent architecture

Kent State University Seeks to Bridge Academia and Practice by Hiring a Director of Design Entrepreneurship and Inclusion | New

Following last week’s review of an open opportunity for an Intermediate Designer for the National Medal of Honor Museum at Rafael Viñoly Architects, we are using this week’s edition of our Job Highlights series to explore a role as Director of Design Entrepreneurship and Inclusion at Kent State University’s (CUDC) Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative.

The role, located in Cleveland, OH, requires an individual with 6+ years of design experience to help conduct research, provide technical design assistance to communities, and support public education and design advocacy programs.

Kent State University student work by Peter Nogay

Why the role interests us

The role at CUDC offers insight into steps academic institutions are taking to expand their impact beyond campus design studios. Such efforts often benefit students and the community, as we saw in June when we reported on University at Buffalo students who were building tiny houses to help address homelessness.

In Buffalo’s case, the vehicle for community impact was the university’s internal design-build program called the Small Built Works Project, which over the past 21 years has seen dozens of projects undertaken to develop and install public benefit programs through Buffalo. Similar community initiatives to address homelessness were also undertaken this year by Drury University in Missouri and Rice University in Texas.

Related on Archinect: University at Buffalo Students Build Tiny Homes to Fight Homelessness

The role of Director of Design Entrepreneurship and Inclusion at CUDC is also notable for its focus on supporting diversity in the profession. According to the organization, the new role was created to “support the development of new design ventures and expand the diversity of design practitioners in northeast Ohio.”

Among the role’s responsibilities are to “strengthen pathways into design professions for people of color; assist local government agencies, institutions and design firms to identify various designers for project teams; and provide entrepreneurship support to young creators who are starting their own businesses,” the job description reads.

Related on Archinect: Pratt and Clemson Both Launch Scholarships for Underrepresented Architecture Students

Over the past year, our editorial has seen several US architecture schools launch similar initiatives, often involving the creation of new faculty positions. These include the University of Virginia School of Architecture creating the position of Associate Dean for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and Penn State Architecture creating the position of Associate Dean for access and equity.

Related on Archinect: $1 Million Donated to UT Austin School of Architecture in Honor of John S. Chase, Their First Black Graduate

2022 also saw the Pratt Institute and Clemson University launch scholarships within their schools of design and architecture focused on students from underserved or underrepresented communities. Meanwhile, in February, the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture received a million dollar donation in honor of John S. Chase, the school’s first black graduate. and the first licensed black architect in the state of Texas; funds that will be dedicated to increasing diversity and representation among staff and students.

Such initiatives come at a time when successive reports from NCARB and NOMA have highlighted the disproportionate struggle that women and people of color face during their architectural education.

Related on Archinect: African American Women Significantly Less Supported in Architecture Schools, NCARB and NOMA Report Finds

Further Reading for Interested Applicants

Job Highlights is one of many ongoing weekly series showcasing the opportunities available on our industry-leading job board. Our Meet your next employer profiles and interviews of interesting studios with vacancies currently available on Archinect Jobs, while our weekly summaries organize job opportunities by location, career level and job description.