Architecture Teacher Scholar

The Architecture Department in the College of Architecture & Environmental Design at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is seeking two full-time lecturers as teacher-scholars for a commitment of one academic year with the possibility of reappointment to an additional year. California Polytechnic State University is a teaching-centered university that is committed to the “teacher-scholar model” in which teaching and scholarship are valued as mutually beneficial practices--offering vibrant learning experiences for students through meaningful engagement in faculty scholarship and advancing faculty scholarly activities through teaching.  Positions begin on September 13, 2021.

Teacher Scholars will engage in full-time teaching, including a design studio and additional courses during each of the 3-quarters of Cal Poly’s academic year. In addition, Teacher Scholars are also encouraged to engage in related creative pursuits that contribute to our evolving curriculum. The position is designed for those with a clear pedagogical intent and intellectual project, and who are interested in academic careers and expanding modes of architectural practice. Established Cal Poly faculty will provide mentorship and a collaborative environment within which an exchange of ideas around curriculum and pedagogy can be explored. Selected applicants will also be invited to propose creative research projects that engage a class in a collaborative project. These could be design build projects, installations, publication projects, exhibitions, or similar.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Engage in the undergraduate architecture program through teaching in our established curricular areas, including design studio; history, theory, and criticism; architectural technology; professional practice; and elective courses. Candidates are asked to identify areas of expertise that contribute to the mission of the department. 
  • Teach a design studio plus additional courses Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters.
  • Actively contribute toward the evolving pedagogy and curriculum. 
  • When research and creative work is undertaken, share this work with the architecture community through exhibition, lecture, or other means determined by the candidate.
  • Participate in departmental meetings and retreats focused on curriculum assessment and development.

The Architecture Teacher Scholar position was established in 2021 with the goal of bringing emerging educators to the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo campus to infuse the curriculum and community with a rich diversity of discourse, design philosophies, methods, techniques, and pedagogical approaches. Likewise, the position is also an opportunity for those interested in a career in academia to gain experience in a highly ranked architecture program.


The Architecture Teacher Scholar will receive a one-year full-time position with the possibility to extend the duration of the position for an additional year based on mutual agreement between the Teacher Scholar and the Architecture Department. 


Successful applicants must hold a professional degree in architecture from an accredited program (B.Arch., M.Arch., or equivalent); eligibility for licensure; and professional experience. Demonstrated commitment to student-centered learning and teaching, as well as the ability to collaboratively work in multidisciplinary settings is required. Demonstrated proficiency in written and oral use of the English language is required.

Additional consideration may be given to those with advanced degrees, previous teaching experience, and/or relevant experience in professional practice, as well as to current PhD candidates who have completed their coursework and exams (ABD). Candidates must demonstrate an innovative, adaptive, and integrative approach to architectural education. Due to the collaborative nature of teaching at Cal Poly, a record of successful collaboration is required. Through the application process, candidates will have the opportunity to discuss their specific ability to contribute to one or more of the detailed curricular areas listed below. To learn more about the Architecture curriculum, visit the Cal Poly Catalog.

Preferred Qualifications by Curricular Area:

  • Design and Visual Communication Studios (ARCH 131, 132, 133)
    Evidence of ability in fundamentals of design and various methods of analog and digital representation. Evidence of ability in making with wood, metals and other materials. Candidates must be able to teach Rhino and select applications from the Adobe Creative Suite.

  • 2nd Year Architectural Design Studios (ARCH 251, 252, 253)
    Evidence of ability to integrate spatial quality and experience with materiality, context, program, structure, and aspirational values for the desired performance of architecture. Evidence of ability in analog and digital representation. Candidates must be able to teach Rhino and select applications from the Adobe Creative Suite.

  • Architectural Technology Fundamentals (ARCH 207, 241, 242)
    Evidence of fundamental and emerging knowledge in the technical aspects of building design and construction. Experience with technical site analysis and design, material systems and methods of construction, and passive and climate-adapted strategies for promoting human wellness and environmental stewardship. 

  • Architectural History (ARCH 217, 218, 219)
    Evidence of engagement with contemporary issues and problems in the fields of architectural/urban history, theory and/or criticism.

  • 3rd Year Architectural Design Studios (ARCH 351, 352, 353)
    Evidence of ability to teach integrated building design with large mixed-use programs. Integrated design includes the thoughtful composition of structure, site, skin, circulation, space and the project’s story. Candidates must be able to support student development of digital skills.

  • Architectural Systems Integration (ARCH 307, 341, 342)
    Evidence of current and emerging practices related to the integration of architectural systems such as building form, structure, environmental control systems, and energy. Experience in construction methods, building envelope design, life safety and supplemental comfort systems (heating, cooling, lighting and acoustics).

  • Architectural History, Theory, and Criticism (ARCH 320 and 420)
    Evidence of engagement with contemporary issues in architectural/urban history, design, theory, and/or criticism.

  • 4th Year Architectural Design Studios (ARCH 451, 452, 453)
    Evidence of ability to teach complex architectural design problems involving the comprehensive integration of architectural theory, design processes, and building systems. While we do offer 4th year studios off-campus at our Los Angeles and San Francisco campuses, this position is only offered at the San Luis Obispo location at this time.

  • 4th Year Issues in Contemporary Professional Practice (ARCH 443)
    Licensure and evidence of meaningful engagement in the practice of architecture.

  • 5th Year Thesis (ARCH 481, 492)
    Evidence of knowledge in architectural theory, criticism, and design. Evidence of the ability to apply this knowledge to guide student research, rhetorical argumentation, and advanced architectural production in pursuit of a unique undergraduate architectural thesis.

  • Electives
    We welcome teaching in your area of expertise in addition to the core curriculum. You may propose an elective course and provide a description in your Candidate Statement.

About the Department

The Architecture Department has a strong reputation for providing a rigorous education, and the department has consistently ranked as one of the top undergraduate programs by DesignIntelligence for over a decade. The architecture program attracts a diverse population of students from across the United States and abroad.

At Cal Poly, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and cultures fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Cal Poly’s commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. Cal Poly is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

Visit our webpages for further information about the college, department and its programs, and university.

About the College

The polytechnic tradition at Cal Poly emphasizes application, reflection, collaboration and project-based learning, succinctly described as “learn by doing.”  The CAED encourages creative inquiry, making, and theoretical speculation, supported by extensive analog and digital fabrication facilities and the Neel Resource Center. The CAED also maintains a nine-acre outdoor experimental construction laboratory, Poly Canyon, and an indoor fabrication and construction facility, the Simpson Strong-Tie Materials Demonstration Lab.

How to Apply

Review of applications will begin on June 13, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. Visit the job posting on Cal Poly Jobs for detailed information on how to apply.

Salary and teaching assignments are commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Contact for application information.


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