Director of Design Entrepreneurship and Inclusion

Kent State University Kent State University Employer:
Cleveland, OH, USLocation:
Tue, Sep 6 '22Posted on:

Kent State University
College of Architecture and Environmental Design
Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative

Director of Design Entrepreneurship and Inclusion

The Cleveland Urban Design Center is a community design academic extension of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University. The CUDC conducts research, provides technical design assistance to communities, and supports public education and design advocacy programs. The CUDC is located in downtown Cleveland, where it shares space with Kent State’s Graduate Programs in Urban Design, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture.

The Director of Design Entrepreneurship and Inclusion is a new leadership position at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC), created to support the development of new design firms and expand the diversity of design practitioners in Northeast Ohio. The Director of Design Entrepreneurship and Inclusion will work to strengthen pathways into the design professions for people of color; assist local government agencies, institutions, and design firms in identifying diverse designers for project teams; and offer entrepreneurship support for young designers establishing their own firms. They will also work on special projects at the CUDC to grow our research and practice in groundbreaking ways to better serve the needs of urban communities. The CUDC is the outreach division for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University. The CUDC conducts research, provides design assistance to communities, and creates public education and design advocacy programs. The CUDC is located in downtown Cleveland in space shared with Kent State’s Graduate Programs in Urban Design, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Cultivate and maintain a local and national network of Black and Latinx design practitioners and firms, emerging design firms, and young designers.
  • Connect developers, non-profits, and government agencies in Northeast Ohio with design firms that meet their needs and expand the diversity of designers in leadership roles on civic, institutional, 
  • and private sector design and development projects in Greater Cleveland.
  • Identify partners for CUDC proposals and projects to expand the diversity of designers in the communities we serve.
  • Provide coaching and technical assistance for designers starting their own firms, with targeted assistance toward young professionals and Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian-American designers.
  • Organize lectures, workshops, and other programs to showcase the work of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American designers and to discuss issues related to design diversity.
  • Conduct outreach to Cleveland-area youth, including the Making Our Own Space Rapid Response Team and students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s John Hay School of Architecture.
  • Lead and contribute to special projects in the CUDC’s design practice.
  • Participate in the graduate-level architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture curriculum at Kent State’s Cleveland facility.
  • Build relationships with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and assist with recruiting efforts for graduate programs at Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Maintain and update the CUDC’s Design Diversity Index, an existing tool that tracks the number of people of color in architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, and urban planning in higher education and design practice in Ohio.
  • Develop an understanding of local and statewide MBE, DBE, and EDGE requirements; serve as a resource for firms seeking MBE, DBE, and EDGE certification.
  • Assist local design firms in finding partners to meet MBE and DBE requirements and on hiring strategies to increase staff diversity and leadership development.
  • Attend and present at conferences on issues related to design diversity.
  • Publish articles and produce public outreach materials that build the case for design diversity.
  • Serve on the Board of ACE Mentor Program chapters in Cleveland and Akron.
  • Serve as an advisor to National Organization of Minority Architects Student Chapter in Kent.

Qualifications and Skills

  • An advanced degree in urban design, architecture, landscape architecture or planning.
  • Six (6) or more years of experience in architecture, urban design or related practice.
  • Self-motivated leader with an interest in new models of design practice and experience in launching, building, and managing the financial and operational functions of a business.
  • Experience mentoring, coaching/working with designers in early stages of business development.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with the people of diverse racial, socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Ability to build and maintain a national network of design collaborators and to facilitate dialogue on sensitive topics and difficult issues in a complex and diverse environment,
  • Excellent communication skills

Kent State University is committed to the creation and nurturing of a diverse community of individuals through inclusive excellence. Diversity involves recognizing the value of differences and the inclusion of all members of the community including those that experience discrimination or under representation. This is a core value of the organization as we strive for a culturally diverse student body, faculty and staff that reflect the multicultural nature of Ohio, the nation, 
and our world.


For official job description and to apply, visit (Position Number 987217).

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