Washington University in St. Louis

Kavita and Krishna Bharat Professorship


The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis invite applications and nominations for the Kavita and Krishna Bharat Professorship. We seek to hire an accomplished and dynamic faculty member at the full professor level who works at the intersection of architecture, art, and/or design; emerging technology with an emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI); and engineering. The faculty member occupying this professorship will hold a primary appointment in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and a secondary appointment in the department of Computer Science and Engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering.

Overall, ideal candidates for this professorship will demonstrate a unique combination of technical expertise, creative innovation, interdisciplinary perspective, and vision. With a track record of successful collaborations and a passion for pushing the boundaries of what is possible in our rapidly evolving fields, our new colleague will inspire the next generation of architects, artists, and designers to explore and shape these frontiers via the use of AI and emerging technologies.

Knowledge and experience sought includes some combination of the following:­­

  • AI and emerging technologies: Candidates should be deeply conversant, in their research, teaching, and creative practice, with the latest advances in AI and emerging technologies, such as machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, generative design, robotics, human-computer interaction, extended realities and game design.
  • Expertise in architecture, art, and/or design: Candidates should have an extensive background in architecture, art, and/or design with a record of creative and innovative projects. Experience collaborating with interdisciplinary teams of architects, artists, designers, engineers, and scientists is valued. Experience translating complex technical concepts into compelling visual and spatial narratives is also desirable.
  • Interdisciplinary perspective: Candidates should have a demonstrated commitment to inter- or transdisciplinarity, with significant background in architecture/art/design and computing. Candidates should be able to serve as a bridge between the Sam Fox and McKelvey schools with in-depth experience to engage diverse stakeholders and audiences. The ideal candidate will be able to teach, advise, research, and collaborate in both technological subjects (in computer science) and creative practice (in architecture, art, and design).
  • Impact: Candidates should have a track record of impact in the fields of architecture, art, and design or a combination of two or more through their use of AI and emerging technologies and be an active part of the broader conversation around the future of these fields. Candidates should have a significant dossier of research, scholarly work, and creative practice, including articles, books, artworks, exhibitions, competitive grants, and/or built and speculative projects, that contributes to advancing the state of practice and establishes relevance within their field(s) as well as to wider audiences.­
  • Vision: Candidates should have a clear vision for the intersection of AI and emerging technologies within architecture, art, and design, and for the potential of these fields to shape a better future for humanity. Ideal candidates will be able to articulate their vision in a compelling and inspiring way and engage with stakeholders in academia, industry, and the general public.


The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis is a unique collaboration in architecture, art, and design education within the context of an internationally recognized research university. Comprising the College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, the College of Art and Graduate School of Art, and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, the Sam Fox School offers a depth of pr­ofessional education in conjunction with one of the premier university art museums. Our unique tripartite structure affords opportunities in advanced history and theory scholarship, curatorial opportunities, and collaborative art and design practices advancing work in visualization, media and technology. A new 10-year strategic plan outlines the school’s commitments to leadership in sustainable practices; digital transformation in art, architecture, and design; local and global engagement; and core commitments to sustain excellence across our academic programs. The school and its state-of-the-art facilities are home to a vibrant community of makers and scholars.

The College of Architecture, one of the founding members of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, enrolls approximately 200 students and offers a four-year undergraduate degree leading to a Bachelor of Science in Architecture or a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. This flexibility allows students to pursue other academic interests within the university. The nationally ranked Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design enrolls approximately 180 students and offers design-centered programs of critical inquiry and professional preparation, including international venues. The school offers professional degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture, along with post-professional degrees in Urban Design. Additional post-professional degrees include: Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design and Master of Science in Architectural Studies. Along with dual degree options between the three programs, there are joint degree options with Business, Computer Science & Engineering, Construction Management, Public Health, and Social Work.

The College of Art, one of the founding members of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Communication Design, Fashion Design, and Studio Art; Bachelor of Art degrees in Studio Art and Design (with concentrations in Communication Design or Fashion Design); and second majors in Studio Art or Design. The Graduate School of Art offers the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art through an academically rigorous, individualized course of study that encourages creative activity and collaboration across disciplines and media. The Graduate School also offers the Master of Fine Arts in Illustration & Visual Culture, which combines studio practice in illustration and writing with the study of visual and material culture. Together, the College and Graduate School of Art enroll approximately 300 undergraduate and 45 graduate students. The College is in the process of developing an MDes in Human Computing Interaction and Emerging Technology.

The Sam Fox School is housed in a six-building complex that includes the Kemper Art Museum; with some 8,700 artworks in its collection, the Museum has especially strong holdings of 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century European and American art and a steadily growing collection of global art. In 2019 the school opened Weil Hall, a LEED Platinum certified center for graduate art and architecture education and an innovative making hub for the entire school. The Sam Fox School hosts a dynamic series of lectures, symposia, and exhibitions and enjoys strong collaborations with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Laumeier Sculpture Park, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Saint Louis Art Museum. The Sam Fox School has a strong commitment to social justice, environmental justice, and community-based work housed in the Office for Socially Engaged Practice.

Washington University’s McKelvey School of Engineering is ranked among US News & World Report’s top 50 Engineering Schools. The school\’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering conducts high-impact research and trains future researchers, engineers, and educators in both the fundamental properties of computing systems and how computation can benefit other disciplines. From its origin in 1965 as the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, the department has paved the way for computer science departments, awarding the first computer science doctorate in the United States.

Washington University is an independent research university dedicated to challenging its faculty and students to seek new knowledge and greater understanding of an ever-changing, multicultural world. The University is counted among the world’s leaders in teaching and research and draws students and faculty from all 50 states and more than 80 nations. The University is highly regarded for its commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service to society.


Candidates for the position should hold a PhD, MFA, MArch, or MDes degree, or another relevant terminal degree, with extensive experience in either architecture, art, and/or design. Candidates should have experience teaching and mentoring students at the undergraduate and graduate levels and will play a significant role in our undergraduate programs in Human Computing Interaction and Impact Design, Architecture (if applicable), and/or our forthcoming Master of Design for Emerging Technologies degree. Ideally, the candidate will have experience in developing and teaching courses that integrate AI and emerging technologies into architecture, art, and/or design education. Candidates should possess excellent communication and presentation skills, with the ability to articulate complex concepts to a variety of audiences.


Diversity and inclusion are core values at Washington University; the Sam Fox School strives to increase equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice in our community. Candidates should demonstrate an ability to nurture an inclusive learning and work environment where a diverse array of students can learn and thrive. Please submit an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement (1-2 pages maximum) as part of your application that explains how your teaching, research, mentoring, and/or service experience would support school and institutional EDI efforts.

Materials requested include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, research and teaching statements, EDI statement (see above), a professional portfolio to include examples of student work, and a list of three confidential references, all submitted through Interfolio at apply.interfolio.com/133607. For best consideration, materials should be received by November 30, 2023. However, applications will be reviewed until the search is completed. Questions may be directed to Chandler Ahrens, chair of the search committee, at cahrens at wustl dot edu.