Architectural Designer

Common Living Common Living Employer:
San Francisco, CA, USLocation:
Mon, Aug 6 '18Posted on:

Common is seeking an Architectural Designer to join our Design and Construction Team to create homes for shared living.  The ideal candidate will have a Masters Degree in Architecture, have experience in residential construction administration, and be comfortable in an evolving, fast-paced startup environment.  We are looking for an intelligent individual who can navigate the balance between both the qualitative and quantitative; the creative and practical. The position will require the candidate to jump between layouts, calculations, on-site scoping, drafting, coordination, project management, and illustration. This is an opportunity for a talented thought leader to help conceptualize and execute better housing across multiple cities at a large scale.  

About Common

Common designs, creates, and operates all-inclusive homes, bringing community, convenience, and flexibility to housing. Common members know their neighbors, have more free time, and the opportunity to transfer to any Common home across the country. Since launching in October 2015, Common has opened more than a dozen homes across New York, San Francisco, Oakland, Washington D.C., and Chicago.

It’s an exciting time to be part of Common’s team. We challenge ourselves every day to not just think about ways to make city living better, but to activate on those ideas in meaningful ways. Our team is comprised of real estate professionals, designers, engineers, salespeople, marketers, client service representatives, and so much more. We work collaboratively, value self-startership, and embrace a “whatever it takes” mentality to ensuring our work is done and done well.

Common was founded by General Assembly co-founder Brad Hargreaves and has raised over $65MM in venture funding.

About the Role

The architect’s role at Common is multifaceted.  This position primarily requires the candidate to work closely with our internal West Coast Real Estate Team to design and analyze for our rapidly expanding pipeline.  As our projects range from adaptive reuse of brownstones to ground-up high-rises, the candidate will test-fit layouts and conduct feasibility studies across a wide array of housing typologies.  

In addition to project-specific design, we are constantly refining and challenging our model for shared living.  How does architecture encourage spontaneous interaction and foster connectivity? How do we create buildings in which community transcends anonymity?   Our designs are built and optimized from a feedback loop from our other teams: real estate, member services, and technology development. Working with this data, the candidate will be verbally and visually communicating ideas through diagramming and illustrations to fold architectural thinking into our brand.

Since Common  is not the design architect for our homes, the Architectural Designer will collaborate with our partners’ architects to ensure quality of the brand through advisory and review. Responsibilities will include schematic programming, layouts, coordination with local architects, drawing review, writing specifications, FF&E design, and construction administration.  Unlike the experience one would get in a traditional architecture firm, the job will not include production of drawing sets or formal exploration.

This position is located in our West Coast office in San Francisco, where the Architectural Designer will be the first remote employee on the Design and Construction Team.  The candidate will be expected to navigate our West Coast projects with autonomy and conduct site visits, renovation scoping, and construction administration on their own. They will also directly collaborate with the West Coast Real Estate Team on sales pitches and feasibility studies.  There will be a four month training required at the start of employment that will be based in our Headquarters located in New York City, where the Designer will be acquainted with the rest of the Design and Construction Team and our workflow.

This is an excellent opportunity to join an exciting start up at an early stage, as your work will have a meaningful and significant impact on both the member experience and the formation of future processes at Common.  The ideal candidate is someone looking for a less traditional career path, and instead act as a hybrid between a real estate developer, a conceptual housing investigator, and an architect. As an Architectural Designer, you will report directly to the Director of Architecture and work closely with peers in the Design and Construction Team.  You will learn the ins and outs of residential design across multiple cities and multiple scales. With success, your role will expand as Common continues to scale.


  • Master’s Degree in Architecture required.

  • 3+ Years of experience in an architecture/design firm required.

  • Experience in Construction Administration required.  Experience with Adaptive Reuse projects a plus.

  • Professional experience in residential design and city approval processes required.

  • Portfolio must demonstrate experience or thinking in housing or residential design.

  • Eye for interior design and finishes preferred.

  • Proficiency in Rhino, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign required.

  • Candidate must be detail-oriented and comfortable supporting ideas with both qualitative and analytical reasoning.

  • Candidate must be very organized and be able to multi-task across large number of projects.  Must be able to prioritize and organize against near and long-term goals effectively.

  • Candidate must be a continuous learner who enjoys researching, testing and implementing best practices.

  • Quick adaptation to an expanding variety of platforms, apps, and workflows in a fast-paced startup environment required.

  • Candidate must be a direct and proactive communicator who can be independent but ask questions when needed.


To apply, click here.

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