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Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler

Promoted to Associate Professor

Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance

Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler earned her Ph.D. in Design Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her master’s in the History of Design from the Royal College of Art and Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and her bachelor’s in American Culture from Vassar College. She joined the faculty at Purdue in 2016.

Kaufmann-Buhler is a design historian focusing on American interiors, technology, and furniture design of the 20th century. Her research includes an emphasis on studying mundane spaces and objects as a way of examining the role of design in everyday life, looking at the intersection of the social, technological, and political aspects of design. Kaufmann-Buhler’s timely 2021 book Open Plan: A Design History of the American Office focuses on the development and evolution of the open plan office concept in the United States in the late 20th century.

Kaufmann-Buhler teaches in the Department of Art and Design. She challenges students to consider a broader and more diverse history of designers, manufacturers, users, and consumers to consider important social, cultural, and political issues in Art and Design. She is also affiliated with the School of Interdisciplinary Studies in American Studies and Critical Disability Studies.