DVDL is seeking a director of cultural and design initiatives (part-time or full-time) to join its team in New York.
With experience reimagining community, cultural and public spaces of the future, you are a multi-hyphenate architect/urban designer who thinks about how these spaces might be even further improved through design approaches that embody community dynamics, human behavior, and environmental psychology, and focus on the impact of design on our minds and bodies. We are seeking a professional experienced in the design, real estate and cultural fields, artful in developing new business relationships and moving clients forward on projects that prioritize the creation of innovative and flexible environments that serve people and communities for the future.
DVDL is 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, individual or public space: we help advance and innovate.
With much cultural planning and design innovation work on the horizon, for public institutions and private clients, 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 director of cultural and design initiatives will have a real estate, design and cultural background and be a resourceful multitasker, and curious innovator, with the ability to lead ambitious projects and hold strong client relationships. This candidate will have stellar ability to represent the agency with existing and potential clients, have a knack for business development, 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 project 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 real estate and the design of public spaces and cultural institutions (particularly museums), and field knowledge of environmental psychology, design innovation and arts and culture of the future, along with an aptitude to be client-facing, inspiring interaction with our team, clients and broad network.
- lead multi-faceted national and international projects and clients through arts and culture forecasting projects, content and interpretation projects, visioning, space plan analysis and program development, stakeholder engagement and architect selection processes, along with providing strong creative direction on projects throughout the duration of building, renovation and development
- manage, and bringing design advisory expertise to, projects that rethink public, community and cultural spaces, 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, are financially and ecologically sustainable, 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 and guiding the work of 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
- develop and manage agency projects, ensuring projects are timely delivered with a high level of original creative and intellectual content, manage stakeholder and community engagement strategies and activities for specific projects, and oversee and collaborate on the development of project content and documentation
- develop comprehensive project plans to be shared with clients and collaborators, lead client relationships, drive meeting agendas, and make presentations to clients and stakeholders
- analyze existing buildings, programs and developments, including their urban and cultural contexts and financial, demographic and operational models, and provide comprehensive reports, recommendations and strategies that guide clients on what programs, spaces, and institutional missions to develop, and the types of architecture and buildings to create
- leverage network and connections to develop new client relationships for the agency
- delegate project tasks based on junior team members’ strengths, skills and experience
- 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
- B Arch
- experienced project manager and architect/urban designer (10 years of industry experience)
- creative mind that can dream up and conceive inventive design strategies 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
- experience with environmental psychology (since so much of our work is about how people are impacted by the spaces we inhabit)
- aptitude for forecasting about arts and culture generally
- experience working with architecture firms, architect selection processes, museums, art and public spaces, exhibition design, and real estate and building projects
- 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)
- M Arch
- experience working internationally, and with private clients and large scale developers
- experience working with real estate sector and multi-use developments, including familiarity with processes, development stages, financial modelling and business planning
Work hours and benefits
This can be a full-time or part-time position. The Director, Design and Cultural Initiatives will work in a hybrid capacity, remote and from in-office, under current policy. (This may be subject to change at the discretion of DVDL.) We provide industry-standard holiday, vacation, and sick days; and offer medical and dental/vision insurance for roles 20 hours/week or more after an initial waiting period.
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 the apply for job button below only, through 5 July 2023 or until filled. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume or CV, and two writing samples, along with the names and contacts for three references (including two past supervisors), in a single PDF file to with the subject line “Director, Design and Cultural Initiatives”.
Due to the volume of receipts, only qualified applicants will be contacted. Starting salary is in the $90,000 to $104,000 range (which will be pro-rated for part-time).
This position is only available to applicants based in the United States