Freelance Architectural Designer - New York City or the Netherlands

DVDL DVDL Diversity Badge Employer:
New York, NY, USLocation:
Wed, Jul 27 '22Posted on:

DVDL is an agency of innovators and strategists working at the intersection of cultural analysis and human behavior. We use our expertise to develop strategies, models, and concepts that bring the future of your community, city, corporation, or cultural institution into focus. We help our clients understand how to guide their work towards people, and the issues that they hold dear. In the past, you might have called us museum planners or place-makers. And yes, we do that work. But we think all organizations should, at their core, be about people first. That is why we keep our ears to the ground so that our clients can make sense of current trends as they develop, rather than playing the game of perpetual catch-up. Whether that is for a museum, architect, brand, neighborhood, or public space: we help innovate.

We are a growing team of New York City based, remote staff, and freelance talent passionate about making inclusive, hybrid, interdisciplinary, flexible, and contextual programs for institutions and buildings that can connect to and grow with diverse audiences, opportunities, and challenges. Our clients range from museums, universities, art fairs, and libraries, to cities, parks, real estate developers, architects, and art collectors

We are currently looking for a fixed term freelance Architectural Designer based in either New York City or the Netherlands to join our team to work on several upcoming projects from August 2022 to January 2023.  Working in close collaboration with David van der Leer and our internal team, this role will provide work for a cultural building and the development of its activation plan, and two museum projects in a temporary capacity, with the possibility of the position turning into a permanent position.

Work will include scanning and visualizing relevant data, conceptual and strategic research, space analysis and diagramming of sites, as well as research for comparable projects and future innovation in interdisciplinary fields. The position requires excellent concept development skills, a deep interest in culture for the future, interpersonal skills, and the ability to interact professionally and clearly with the rest of the team, as well as clients and people in our network.


·      Conducting facilities assessment of an existing building by utilizing existing plans and confirming with select measurements, preparing existing conditions drawings to be used as the basis of space planning efforts, including evaluation of the condition of the building structure, envelope, finishes and building systems; utilization of the building spaces; and recommended improvements. 

·      Participation in meetings with project teams and select stakeholders and development of a proposed program based on feedback from stakeholder input sessions.

·      Space analysis and creating diagramming of visitor flows, and tabular accounting and to quantify programmatic requirements including target areas, key amenities, site criteria and adjacencies.

·      Conducting space planning to provide conceptual design/space planning options for existing buildings or potential new facilities. Options will include proposed layout of programmatic elements, access and circulation requirements, critical furnishing and equipment, and identification of key design elements. 

·      Creating schematic floor plans and design options for potential new facilities or new uses for existing facilities to include a planning criteria matrix, and block diagrams illustrating desired characteristics of the proposed facility based upon input provided by the Project Team, and in line with intended use and strategic vision.

·      Develop and visualize concepts and trends through drawings, sketches, graphics, or collages

·      Review a set of building and site plans, drawings (sections, elevations), as well as photos of existing and past usage

·      Conduct benchmark research on cultural institutions and public spaces

·      Conduct research on trends in cultural institutions, education, health, wellness, sports, food, funding, and similar topics

·      In close collaboration with DVDLs team, develop statements on where the future is headed and provide recommendations for clients

·      Collect, map, and analyze current trends—from the social, demographic, economic, and cultural to the technological and political

·      Conduct building site visits and building analysis in New York City, and potentially other locations in Canada, the Netherlands, and Finland. 

·      Represent the agency with clients and potential clients together with the team and Principal

·      Prepare presentations and reports in InDesign 




  • Based in New York City and the Netherlands only 
  • Architecture license is not required, position is potentially open to design graduate students or junior architects with the right skills
  • Experience with design processes
  • Bachelor’s degree in architecture, urban design, urban planning, building construction technology or alternatively the social sciences
  • Ability to effectively visualize concepts and trends through drawings, sketches, graphics, or collages
  • Demonstrated knowledge, skill, and ability to manage computer-based facilities and space management systems
  • Basic knowledge of building codes; ability to inspect and determine the adaptability and cost of renovation of existing structures; knowledge of related regulations and statutes
  • Thorough knowledge of the principles, practices, and methods of Space Management
  • Strong organizational and time management skills including the ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure
  • Ability to provide study reports, technical documentation, papers and/or project plans for staff members
  • Independent, self-directed, and resourceful in creative and operational capacities
  • Effective verbal and written communicator 
  • Highly collaborative and experience working with a diverse range of people
  • Demonstrates a high degree of professionalism, organizational skills, and flexibility
  • Proficiency using InDesign and Adobe Professional, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator


  • Experience working with museums, art spaces, exhibition design or cultural institutions
  • Affinity with placemaking, public space, and cultural institutions
  • Ability to prepare and deliver presentations to client groups
  • Ability to represent the agency externally in project meetings


Work Hours & Benefits

This is a part-time, 6-month freelance position starting in August 2022, with the potential to turn into full-time employment after January 2023.

At DVDL we think all organizations should, at their core, be about people first, including our own.  We embrace diversity, equity and inclusion and are committed to building a team with a variety of backgrounds, skills, and views. Cultivating a culture of inclusiveness isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing. We know that having varied perspectives helps generate better ideas and insights for our changing and increasingly interrelated world.

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, CV and portfolio as a SINGLE PDF to with the subject line “Freelance Architectural Designer - NYC/Netherlands to the volume of receipts, only qualified applicants will be contacted. Fee is commensurate with experience.



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