Urban Designer

Gehl Gehl Employer:
San Francisco, CA, USLocation:
Fri, Jul 16 '21Posted on:

Gehl is searching for talented full-time Urban Designers to join our San Francisco team. The interested candidates should have 3+ years of professional experience in urban design. If selected, you will join a team of people working globally on 'making cities for people' by placing the needs of people at the center of planning, design and the building of healthy, resilient, and inclusive places.

The Position

Gehl is currently experiencing growth in the master planning field, and we are increasingly guiding complex, multidisciplinary teams through all aspects of masterplanning, from vision to implementation. As trusted advisors to our clients, our obligation is to deliver the best possible quality in all our projects - from the first sketch through to landscape and public space implementation. This also requires a basic understanding of the technical aspects of building construction in order to create building design guidelines and for engaging in dialogue with other architects. As part of our talented team of Urban Designers, the selected applicants will contribute to Gehl’s ongoing development within the masterplanning field in advising how masterplans and specifically the public realm can contribute to quality of life, economic competitiveness, safety for all citizens, social inclusion, and urban sustainability.

Projects will include urban infill, campus and district master plans, streetscapes, and mobility and public life strategies. Within the Urban Designer’s role on projects, active participation in meeting facilitation, engagement sessions, charrettes, and presentations will be expected.

You will be based in San Francisco but will be working on a national, and potentially international, portfolio, which may require travel. 


Candidates should have a strong background in urban design and understanding of the principles of people-first design; a Master’s or Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Design, Landscape Architecture or Architecture; a minimum of 3 years post-graduation work experience preferably working in an urban design studio with masterplanning experience; an exemplary urban design portfolio demonstrating design aptitude, ability to work at multiple scales, and graphic communication ability.

We seek confident and curious designers with a range of technical skills: An understanding of building massing and block design; housing and commercial typologies; site circulation; programming; master planning and project development; public processes and community outreach. An understanding of urban scale and the interplay between buildings, public spaces, and streetscape is essential.

In addition, candidates should show strong graphic skills and ability to communicate ideas and concepts through clear diagrams and data visualization. We seek candidates with sensitivity to graphic design, including balanced layouts, typography, and an expressive use of digital illustration. We are drawn to candidates who demonstrate interest in interdisciplinary practice, recognizing the contribution of social science, sociology, psychology, and other areas beyond the field or architecture.

We seek team members who: are driven by ambition and idealism, but pragmatic and realistic; are active listeners and team players; are open to learning and sharing new knowledge; are sensitive to working with a diverse team and clients; and who possess a professional attitude.

As a firm recognized for its strong and compelling communication, we value your ability to synthesize and tell a story. We will focus on candidates who have a compelling portfolio with a strong voice and that shows work in a range of scales and contexts. Non architectural creative work that demonstrates abilities and interests beyond our field is welcomed.

Knowledge of languages other than English is a plus, especially Spanish. Professional licensure is not required.

Key Responsibilities & Skills

  1. Support project teams with production of materials, working closely with other designers, project managers, and project directors.

  2. Support communications with clients, other consultants, funders and public agencies. Work with project teams to strategize presentation material and direct the development of Gehl presentations and reports.
  3. Create working sketches and diagrams to communicate questions and ideas within the project team, and to consultants and clients.
  4. Research and understand regulations, policies, strategies, guidelines and precedents that guide the project.
  5. Ideate and graphically communicate concept alternatives for a range of project scales, from furnishings to sites to districts.
  6. Apply Gehl’s evidence-based design methodology by translating observed use patterns into “people first” design. Communicate this reasoning in clear, graphic arguments.
  7. Develop design solutions that integrate social function, practicality, context, and innovation.
  8. Solve spatial problems for circulation and movement, with a focus on active mobility.
  9. Stay abreast of trends and ideas in the urban environment, referencing precedents to communicate ideas, and apply this knowledge to current projects.
  10. Work collaboratively with design teams, both internally and externally.

Click here for more information about the position, and to submit your application.


Interested candidates should submit the following materials via Homerun.

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