Senior Urban Designer

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) Employer:
San Francisco, CA, USLocation:
Thu, Oct 22 '20Posted on:

At SOM, we are a collective committed to shaping a better future for our clients, communities and planet. We aspire to create the most sustainable, impactful work through creative, interdisciplinary teams with all the resources and diversity of a global firm. We value those who are passionate about excellence, innovation, integrity, inclusivity, and collaboration. Together we can achieve great things.

Success at SOM Means

  • Ideas: We believe in a meritocracy of ideas. We look to everyone to actively contribute to the discourse in the firm.
  • Knowledge: We believe that expertise is the result of lifelong learning. We are not expected to know everything, but rather to passionately pursue answers, develop new skills and deepen our knowledge.
  • Product: We strive for excellence in the concept, quality, and delivery of our work.
  • Individual: We value individuals who bring the highest standards of professionalism and personal integrity in the way they work. Each person can develop and contribute their wealth of attributes, skills and knowledge to support the overall health of the firm.
  • Team: We value the power of interdisciplinary integration. A positive team culture in which everyone collaborates openly towards common goals is essential.
  • Firm: We have a history of making transformative contributions to the profession and our communities. We are constantly innovating and attempting to bring new approaches, solutions and processes to our work.

Position Responsibilities

  • Consistently demonstrates a highly disciplined and effective work ethic.
  • Serves as an emerging leader of the CDP Team.
  • Generates sophisticated planning and design ideas.
  • Conducts and increasingly directs high-level research, precedent, and relevant scale studies;
  • Envisions and develops diagrams, renders site plans, and contributes to all manner of graphic and visual production.
  • Effectively implements quality control standards for deliverables.
  • Creates and innovates with a strong conceptual design ability applied to complex projects at divergent scales and in varying geographic and social contexts; integrates interdisciplinary criteria to effectively move forward the design of large projects.
  • Demonstrates an advanced understanding of planning and urban design concepts, building typologies, critical dimensions and systems, utility and infrastructure systems, land development imperatives and planning/ zoning codes, and phasing and implementation techniques.
  • Is able to enrich design concepts through sophisticated knowledge, demonstrated research acumen, and expert application of technical, visualization, and other sophisticated communication strategies
  • Manages time and workload of own work efforts and those of others to meet project task deadlines and commitments, with occasional interaction and direction from team leaders while guiding and teaching less experienced staff.

Leadership Responsibilities

  • Actively leads projects, teams and initiatives with an emerging degree of autonomy.
  • Directly trains and mentors CDP team members and, more broadly, architectural, engineers, interiors, and graphics staff in the office and at large as appropriate.
  • Directly supervises junior staff and is committed to direct reports' professional development.
  • Develops and engages in talent strategy to find specialists, leaders, and future professionals for the firm through recruitment, resume reviews and interviews.
  • Actively engages in internal and external professional development opportunities.
  • Develops and/or manages, in collaboration with team members, a clear and consistent work plan to achieve the project budget, deliverables, and schedule.
  • Demonstrates leadership in the implementation of sustainable strategies in all project assignments and the associated development of staff knowledge.
  • Coordinates and supports business development, public relations, and marketing opportunities.
  • Leads in the development of standards, policies, and procedures.
  • Protects SOM from financial and legal risk.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Professional Degree in Architecture, Planning, Urban design, or Landscape Architecture.
  • Significant experience in large-scale planning, mixed-use and transit oriented development, and consistently demonstrated facility working in a fast-paced and intensely collaborative professional environment.
  • Exhibits initiative, process innovation, problem solving, and decision-making quality with a high attention to precision and accuracy at a project level.
  • Actively collaborates at a project, consultant team, and client team level by critically and constructively evaluating ideas. Contributes to and actively participates within the studio and office.
  • Effectively communicates internally with project teams and externally with consultants and clients through timely and appropriate written, oral, and visual means.
  • Inspires and leads others by example, participates in staff mentoring and training, clearly defines team member expectations and responsibilities, empowers others, and delegates where appropriate based on team members' recognized abilities and potential.
  • Minimum 10-15 years of professional experience, professional licensure process is close to completion.
  • Demonstrates expertise proficiency in AutoCAD, Rhino, Grasshopper, Enscape, Lumion, parametric and rendering software, and other graphic software as well as Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office.
  • LEED accreditation strongly preferred; Revit proficiency a plus.

SOM offers opportunities to work on transformational projects, competitive salaries, health insurance, wellness, retirement and financial and other work/life plans.

At SOM, we welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace. We believe an inclusive environment benefits our employees, our firm, and our community, while also enriching and challenging our own thinking about design. We are proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Visit this page to learn more about SOM's employment policy and how to apply offline:

For more about SOM:

Portfolios must be submitted for all design positions (Architecture, Interiors, Planning, etc). Applications without work samples will not be reviewed.  Portfolios should be one PDF attachment, 10-20 pages, maximum 5 MB. Submit portfolios as part of your application in the section where the application asks you for your Resume or CV.


To be considered, you must apply directly on our career portal. Click here to apply.

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