Project Architect

Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS) Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS) Diversity Badge Employer:
Oakland, CA, USLocation:
Tue, Mar 2 '21Posted on:

DJDS is a non profit architecture and real estate development firm 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. To achieve this mission the team is comprised of architects, designers, real estate developers, operations/events production  and community organizers within which the production designs and administrative lead is an integrated part of a multidisciplinary team.  This unique position integrates community-led design process with the technical skills of an architect and the management skills of a project lead.


  • Act as lead driver for DJDS projects, with the internal team and external partners and constituents. 

  • Manage  project budgets up to $500k in annual spend.

  • Collaborate with Directors in developing project proposals, contracts and schedules

  • Craft and maintain work plans tailored to each project 

  • Lead project team members.

  • Use unique skillset, background, and talents to optimize solutions for assigned projects.

  • Responsible for ensuring project staffing is adequate.

  • Train team for each project.

  • Manage project partner expectations throughout the process.

  • Conduct internal milestone and end-of-project review and project close-out.

  • Evaluation of project objectives and milestones, with continual refinement of tactical project aspects as necessary

  • Research aspects of assigned projects to obtain clear understanding of all influencing factors, or obtain them from the appropriate person in the organization.

  • Become familiar with local government officials, policies, laws, and local drivers for assigned projects, where necessary.

  • Articulate goals, uncertainties, and opportunities to internal and external stakeholders in easily understood formats 

  • Advise on opportunities for project funding, if relevant to the project.

  • Involve Directors at key stages of the project and inform them of project progress.

  • Participate in Project Manager meetings and in the development of organizational processes, procedures and other internal projects.

  • Develop familiarity with all project phases involving site acquisition, new construction and rehabilitation, and leasing or sales

Position Summary (Expected duties of a Manager level position)

  • Manage progress and budget of assigned projects.

  • Communicate necessary deadlines to stakeholders including outlines of solutions for delayed or missed deadlines.

  • Lead project meetings and discussions

  • Act as key decision maker for progress of assigned projects

  • Review and approve expenses for assigned projects.

  • Monitor compliance of each project’s contractual obligations.

  • Initiate, build and manage relationships with project partners and community stakeholders. 

  • Report regular updates to DJDS Leadership team.

  • Mentor and guide other members of the team.

  • Educate colleagues to elevate the team’s knowledge and skills.

  • Coordinate efforts with all departments of the organization: design, real estate, advocacy, and community engagement.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and a high level of discretion.

  • Exceptional skills in cross-disciplinary collaborative team work

  • Facilitation skills and conflict management

  • Commitment to DJDS’ mission and goals

  • Attend and participate in thought leadership of DJDS’s organizational model and financial opportunities to include attending and speaking at relevant conferences and convenings

  • Cultural competency for a diverse range of cultures, communities, and lived experiences

  • High level of emotional intelligence and ability to apply it

  • Commitment to learning and understanding robust community-led processes and practices

  • Adaptability to emergent project processes and problem-solving

  • Acute understanding of systemic racism and social inequities and its impacts on a range of individuals from systems impacted individuals and their communities of care to elected officials.

  • Thoughtful, empathetic negotiation skills 

  • The ability to balance the mindset to abundance with the realities of a business needs and flows. 

  • Appreciation for aesthetic design

  • Undergraduate degree in business, urban planning, architecture or related fields required; Graduate degree preferred



  • Healthcare benefits with options for medical insurance under the company group plan. Employer contributes 100% of employee healthcare offered under the group healthcare offerings.

  • Compensation for this role will not exceed $100,000



Please send a resume and cover letter using the instructions listed below.


Subject Line: Project Architect

Attachment: One multipage PDF not to exceed 3MB

The PDF should include:

  • Cover letter (in your cover letter please include (please limit to 400 words max):

    • Your definition of Restorative Justice 

    • Your definition of Trauma-Informed Practice

    • An example where you have observed or participated in Non Violent Communication

    • Your understanding of Emotional Intelligence and it’s relation to personal accountability

  • Resume

  • Portfolio with the following examples, for which you have primary authorship:

  • Two completed projects for which you served in a leading role

  • Project examples for which you served in a creative leadership role

  • Project examples for which you served in a project manager role

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

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