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Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler

Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler

Associate Professor // Art and Design // Rueff School

Associate Professor // Art History // Rueff School

Associate Professor / Art & Design / Art History, Design History // Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance

Affiliated Faculty // American Studies // SIS

Affiliated Faculty // Critical Disability Studies // SIS

Office and Contact

Room: PAO 3159


Phone: (765) 494-3059


Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler joins the Department of Art and Design at Purdue University as an Associate Professor of Design History. Prior to joining Purdue, she worked as an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Design History at Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. Jennifer earned her PhD in Design Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her MA in the History of Design from the Royal College of Art and Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and her BA in American Culture from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Jennifer’s research examines the role of objects and spaces in everyday life with an emphasis on the experiences and perspectives of consumers and users. Her current project, on the history of the American open plan office, considers the tension between the progressive ideals of the architects, designers, and furniture manufacturers who first promoted the open plan and the material, political, social, and technological problems that workers and organizations encountered as the open plan became a mainstream American office design concept in the late 20th century.

Jennifer has presented her work at various conferences, including the Popular Culture Association, the Business History Conference, and the Design History Society and has recently published an article on her open plan research in the journal Design and Culture.