Lead Design Manager

United States, North America
Jul 18, 2014
About The Unit: As part of the University of Chicago's efforts to enhance the arts, the Arts and Public Life Initiative actively encourages the development of relationships between the creative and artistic projects taking place at the University of Chicago with those that are taking place throughout the South Side of Chicago, the city and beyond. Arts and Public Life (APL) will strengthen and develop sustainable partnerships with local artists, design professionals, architects, developers, commerce professionals and researchers to focus on the creations of innovative placemaking models in Chicago, and various other US cities, to support small-scale, culture-driven development among traditional players in the enhancement of distressed neighborhoods, among traditional players in the development ecosystem. By advancing artistic ambition through collaborations, master planning, architecture, landscapes, product mix, and interiors, the place can be a catalyst for public art, creativity and placemaking. Arts and Public Life Initiative, through a 3-year grant, will seek to implement demonstration projects in selected cities and host learning events, workshops and convenings to complete demonstrations, and publish research and lessons from the projects.

Unit Job Summary: The Lead Design Manager will manage current and future construction projects including the design and physical build-out of the Place Lab and will serve as a liaison for visiting design students from national institutions such as Harvard, University of Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, Yale and Savannah College of Arts and Design. The Place Lab, a new University of Chicago project, will help to expand and test a community development model that supports arts and culture as a strategy for transforming communities and promoting local growth and vibrancy. The Place Project will jumpstart community-led development by bringing together artists, designers, urban planners, and policy experts in cities such as Akron, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan and Gary, Indiana. The project will involve training and mentoring on-the-ground partners to localize the approach and develop best practices in the design, architecture and build environment for arts and culture. The Place Project is rooted in the idea that reinventing abandoned spaces through community-led arts and cultural programs can open opportunities in urban communities?both by mobilizing residents to contribute to neighborhood change and by attracting outside investment. The Lead Design Manager will oversee the projects in Chicago and other cities and manage various arts and culture related design initiatives. Working closely with the Director of Operations and Program Manager, the Lead Design Manager will assist in gathering data and information on the current projects for developing case studies to educate city leaders, and creating models of using arts and culture to build economic and development projects. The projects may include designing new prototypes for "next generation" arts and culture uses, including building architecture, interior designs and interactive components. The successful candidate will demonstrate excellent communication skills, the ability to work collaboratively, be a creative and trusted problem-solver, and possess the leadership abilities to turn artistic visions or ideas into visual concepts and drawings. Working collaboratively with Place Lab's Director of Operations, Program Manager, and other grant stakeholders, the Lead Design Manager will lead and coordinate the design and management of small to medium scale architectural projects as well as master planning arts and cultural design concepts projects.

Unit Education: Advanced degree in Architecture from an accredited program is required. Dual degree in Urban Design or Landscape is highly valued. Candidate must have a current Illinois Architectural License, NCARB preferred.

Unit Experience: Minimum of five years of experience in institutional facilities planning and programming required. Project management experience required. Supervisory experience preferred.

Unit Job Function Competencies: Strong design conceptualization and execution skills in all phases of design, from concept generation to construction administration. A portfolio of and background in arts and culture projects, commercial, mixed-use, and institutional projects. The ability to coordinate a set of project documents through all phases of design. High proficiency and professional experience in advanced digital modeling, parametric modeling, and rendering. Strong organizational skills with an ability (and previous experience) in collaborating with and coordinating between team members, clients, and consultants from conception through completion. Able to confidently lead design discussions with clients and consultants. Well developed verbal, written, and visual / graphic communication skills. An excellent understanding of arts and culture design practices. Strong analytical and problem solving skills, a passion for discovery and improvement of distressed neighborhoods, high motivation, and an ability to collaborate and work within a team setting are essential. Creation and detailed development of design and construction documents including architectural detailing. Great communication & client management skills, verbally, graphically and in writing. Proven abilities to think critically and analytically with direct application to work. Highly detailed and precise in all facets of work. Energetic with a proven set of skills that support multi-tasking functions. Construction scheduling and management familiarity.