Associate Director: Cultural Planning, Design & Placemaking

Location: New York, NY, USA
Added on: 16 May 2023, Job offer expires on: 30 Sep 2023

Associate Director: Cultural Planning, Design & Placemaking
New York, NY

Do you spend time caring about how communal, cultural and public spaces of the future might be dramatically reinvented and re-designed? We are seeking a forward thinking and dynamic project manager, artful in moving clients, processes and projects forward – a multi-hyphenate architect/urban designer – passionate about creating innovative and flexible environments that serve people and communities for the future.

We are a growing and diverse team of New York-based and remote staff, as well as freelance talent, passionate about creating inclusive, hybrid, interdisciplinary, flexible, and contextual programs for institutions and buildings that can connect with and grow multi-faceted audiences and nurture new people-focused opportunities. DVDL clients and collaborators range from institutions (educational, cultural, museums, and health care), to corporations (real estate developers, hospitality, art fairs, design firms, and retail), to cities, public spaces, government entities, art collectors, private individuals and families. DVDL clients come to us for thorough individually tailored research about where the world is headed, which ideas, programs, spaces, and institutional missions to develop, and what types of architecture and buildings to create.

As an agency of innovators and strategists, DVDL works at the intersection of cultural analysis and human behavior. We believe all organizations should, at their core, be about people first. We use our expertise to develop strategies, models, and concepts that bring the future of communities, cities, corporations, or cultural institutions into focus by helping our clients guide their work towards people and the issues they hold dear. We keep our ears to the ground so that our clients understand current trends as they develop, rather than play the game of perpetual catch-up. Whether that is for a museum, architect, brand, neighborhood, or public space: we help advance and innovate.

With much cultural planning and placemaking work on the horizon, we’re seeking an experienced project manager – also trained as an architect/urban designer – to join our team, to manage multi-faceted national and international projects and clients through arts and culture forecasting projects, space plan analysis and development, and visioning, content, creative direction and interpretation projects that guide clients on the programs, spaces, and institutional missions to develop, and the architecture, buildings and developments to create. The successful candidate in this newly created role as Associate Director: Cultural Planning, Design & Placemaking will be a resourceful multitasker, curious innovator, and creative designer, with proven ability to lead ambitious projects and hold strong client relationships. This candidate will have stellar ability to represent the agency with clients, and be skilled at composing and managing project teams comprised of internal team members, freelancers, client stakeholders and external expertise to achieve successful and high quality outcomes.

Working in close collaboration with the Principal, Managing Principal, other team members and our freelance network, the candidate for this role will bring excellent project management, strategic and concept development skills, experience in design of public spaces and cultural institutions (particularly museums), placemaking and arts and culture of the future, along with an aptitude for inspiring interaction with our team, clients and broad network.


  • Experience managing, and design expertise in, projects that rethink public, communal and cultural spaces, forecast about arts culture for the future, and create new designs, strategies, programs, governance and operational models, approaches, ideas and concepts that do more across people from different cultural backgrounds and contexts, and make environments better for communities
  • Design-related tasks on projects may include, but not be limited to: overseeing space plan development and design processes, overseeing the work of other external architects and designers and providing creative direction, conception and early design of flexible modules for programming and public facing design interventions/installations, exhibition design, architectural references and guiding concept development for public spaces, cultural institutions, large developments and private individuals
  • Stay informed on developments in the field and generate new ideas for environments, shared spaces, placemaking and content and interpretation projects where the agency’s skills might be applied for impact
  • Develop and manage agency projects, ensuring projects are timely delivered with a high level of original creative and intellectual content
  • Develop and manage stakeholder and community engagement strategies and activities for specific projects
  • Oversee and collaborate on the development of project content and documentation
  • Develop comprehensive project plans to be shared with clients and collaborators
  • Interact with clients, drive meeting agendas, and make presentations to clients and stakeholders
  • Project management, and collaborate in the definition, of project scopes, budgets and objectives
  • Oversee third parties/vendors/consultants/freelancers
  • Delegate project tasks based on junior team members’ strengths, skills and experience


Required Qualifications:

  • B Arch
  • Experienced project manager and architect/urban designer (six+ years of industry experience)
  • Creative mind that can dream up and conceive inventive designs for spaces and environments, and guide and inspire other architects, designers and clients to stretch their imaginations in this arena
  • Interest and experience in placemaking, space planning for public spaces and cultural institutions (especially museums), buildings and developments
  • Aptitude for forecasting about arts and culture generally
  • Experience working with architecture firms, museums, art and public spaces, exhibition design or other cultural institutions
  • Experience in co-creation processes and community engagement work
  • Self-starter who can anticipate project needs and communicate proactively
  • Excellent external and internal written and verbal communication skills
  • Solid organizational skills including implementation experience, attention to detail and multitasking
  • Experience with visualization tools, software, processes and best practices
  • Discretion and confidentiality, along with ability to travel
  • Excellent MS Office knowledge as well as Google Workspace
  • Experience with standard design software and the Adobe Creative Suite (mainly InDesign/Photoshop)

Preferred Qualifications:

  • M Arch
  • Experience with environmental psychology (since so much of our work is about how people are impacted by the spaces we inhabit)
  • Experience working internationally, and with private clients and large scale developers
  • Experience in public art programming, space planning, community programming, data analysis and visualization

Work Hours & Benefits

This is a full-time position. The Associate Director: Cultural Planning, Design & Placemaking will work in a hybrid capacity, 5 days per week. We provide industry standard holiday, vacation, and sick days; and offer health and dental insurance for roles over 20 hours/week.

At DVDL we think all organizations should, at their core, be about people first, including our own. We embrace diversity, equity and inclusion and are committed to building a team with a variety of backgrounds, skills and perspectives. Cultivating a culture of inclusiveness isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing. We know that having varied experiences and points of view helps generate better ideas and insights for our changing and increasingly interrelated world.

Accepting applications via email only, through April 17, 2023 or until filled. Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume or CV, and writing sample, along with the names and contacts for three references, in a single PDF file to with the subject line “Associate Director, Cultural Planning, Design & Placemaking”.

Due to the volume of receipts, only qualified applicants will be contacted.

This job was added under Others category

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