Studio Director

Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS) Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS) Employer:
Oakland, CA, USLocation:
Mon, Jan 20 '20Posted on:

Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS) is the only nonprofit architecture and real estate development firm in the country that innovates in and around the built environment to address the root causes of mass incarceration. With a focus on restorative justice and restorative economics, we partner with and serve low-income communities of color across the country. Our work counters the societal inequities evident in the dominant architectural models of justice — courthouses, jails, prisons, etc. — by designing and developing new prototypes such as peacemaking centers, mobile classrooms and re-entry housing for formerly-incarcerated men and women. To achieve the mission and continue our ethos, the team is comprised of architects, designers, real estate developers, operations/events production and community organizers; and projects often involve community members and systems-impacted individuals as experts, consultants, and contractors. Our work is founded on restoration and we incorporate it in our company culture and operations. We engage with our communities and partners with trauma-informed processes and patience. We value — and practice — self awareness and personal growth in order for all staff members to be able to bridge the communities in which we work, from philanthropy to elected officials to those incarcerated and their communities of care.


We are thrilled to add the role of Studio Director to the DJDS team. The main objectives for this role are:
- to provide strong project management support to each project team,
- direct project staffing, and
- ensure project budgets and schedules remain on track. 

In addition to the overall studio direction and overseeing project teams, this role will serve as lead project manager on at least two to three projects at any given time. 

DJDS is a design studio; we take projects from concept development through design development and transition to outside contractors for construction drawings and construction management. However, we remain nimble and responsive to our partners’ needs, which often results in new project typologies such as product development, game design, and regional planning and mapping. This role will provide direction and guidance around the processes and systems for bringing these new project types to fruition. This key role will help set the organizational and project culture, and work directly with the executive team to help set organizational priorities. 

The Studio Director will report to our main office in Oakland, California; however, the role may include travel time for up to 20% of the job.


- Lead multiple projects and teams across multiple stakeholders
- Manage and oversee the processes of project management and phasing

::Capacity Building::
- Explore and recommend project management software and systems to help streamline projects and tasks
- Create a process for managing meetings, including the preparation of agendas, note-taking, and distribution of next steps
- Direct, lead, and mentor staff to ensure standards are met and individuals are accomplishing their personal goals

- Develop a system to track the status of all projects and goals
- Create and coordinate work plans, schedules and timelines across projects
- Create and monitor project schedules

::Client Management::
- Establish regular client meetings and attend with appropriate team and consultants as required by contract scope
- Create additional service directives and assign and manage additional services with approval of studio leadership
- Serve as the main point of management contact with clients and city agencies

::Quality Control::
- In accordance with company quality standards, ensure that projects conform to the contractual agreement the firm has made with clients
- Review contract drawings and specifications for completeness, accuracy, and coordination
- Ensure that the project is on schedule and within the approved budget

::Financial Control and Risk Management::
- Control project profitability and liability exposure
- Establish and monitor project budgets along with project progress
- Review project billings and update studio projections regularly
- Monitor project receivables and assist in the collection of receivables

::Business Development::
- Assist in proposal drafts and submissions

::Resource Allocation::
- Ensure staff is effectively and efficiently utilizing time
- Determine amount and type of staff to execute the projects


- Accurate and detail oriented
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Strong self-awareness with cultural competency for a diverse range of cultures, communities, and lived experiences
- Ability to work on multiple projects and maintain effective communication and quality control
- Strong ability to plan, schedule, and direct the work of self and others
- Advanced understanding and proficiency using the following software: Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Asana/Smartsheet or similar project management software
- Basic understanding of: AutoCad and/or REVIT, Sketch-Up, Adobe Creative Suite
- Strong command of project delivery methodology and standard AIA contracting


- Bachelor's degree in architecture, construction management, engineering, or related field
- Minimum ten to fifteen years industry experience (architecture, construction management, real estate development, engineering)
- Advanced understanding of building codes, including national and state local codes


Please send a digital portfolio, following the directions below. If you have a website that includes your portfolio, you may send a PDF of your cover letter and resume, and the appropriate link(s) for the rest. In your cover letter please include your definition of Restorative Justice and Trauma Informed Practice in 4 sentences.

Subject Line: Studio Director Application
Attachment: One multipage PDF not to exceed 3MB

The PDF should include:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Portfolio with the following examples, for which you have primary authorship: 1) Two completed projects for which you served in a leading role, 2) Project examples for which you served in a creative leadership role, 3) Project examples for which you served in a project manager role

Please, no phone calls, emails or recruiters, all applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.

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