DJDS | Intermediate Architectural Associate
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-4198,give-recurring,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,footer_responsive_adv,qode-theme-ver-10.1.1,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.0.1,vc_responsive

Intermediate Architectural Associate




Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS) is the only nonprofit architecture and real estate development firm in the country 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, we partner with and serve low-income communities of color across the country. Our work counters the societal inequities evident in the dominant architectural models of justice — courthouses, jails, prisons, etc. — by designing and developing new prototypes such as peacemaking centers, mobile classrooms, and re-entry housing for formerly-incarcerated men and women. To achieve the mission and continue our ethos, the team is comprised of architects, designers, real estate developers, operations/events production staff, and community organizers; and projects often involve community members and systems-impacted individuals as experts, consultants, and contractors. Our work is founded on restoration and we incorporate it into our company culture and operations. We engage with our communities and partners with trauma-informed processes and patience. We value — and practice — self-awareness and personal growth in order for all staff members to be able to bridge the communities in which we work, from philanthropy to elected officials to those incarcerated and their communities of care.




We are thrilled to add the role of Intermediate Architectural Associate to the DJDS team. The main objectives for this mid-level role are to provide support on discrete project tasks and to join the creative team on project development and delivery. We require a designer with mature design skills that has demonstrated proficiency in AutoCAD, Rhino, SketchUp, and hand-sketching. If you are interested in the role that design plays in social justice and enjoy working both inside and outside modes of traditional practice then you will find our office to be exciting. DJDS is a design studio; we take projects from concept development through design development and transition to outside contractors for construction drawings and construction management. However, we remain nimble and responsive to our partners’ needs, which often results in new project typologies such as product development, game design, and regional planning and mapping. This role will provide support to the whole design and creative team, along with the real estate development team in support of project incubation. The Intermediate Architectural Associate will report to our main office in Oakland, California; however, the role may include travel time for up to 5% of the job.




  • Provide technical and design support on architectural, real estate development, and creative placemaking projects
  • Prepare drawings and renderings
  • Use all mechanical and computerized drafting tools and related software to plan the layout and design of projects
  • Preparation of all related documentation and relevant code and regulatory analysis
  • Coordinate with creative placemaking teams and community groups when planning for events and workshops
  • Design and production documentation for product development
  • Coordinate with fabricators on all production materials
  • Support the real estate development team with proposals and reports
  • Research products and processes and review relevant literature for projects
  • Intern management (when relevant)
  • Community engagement and public ambassadorship of DJDS (may include public speaking)
  • Perform other duties as assigned or requested (the company reserves the right to add or change duties at any time)




  • Excellent verbal and written communication
  • Strong self-awareness, with cultural competency for a diverse range of cultures, communities, and lived experiences
  • Critical thinking
  • Strong design abilities
  • Complex problem-solving
  • Ability to work on multiple projects and maintain effective communication and quality control
  • Coordination within a nimble and flexible environment
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Willingness to take direction and work as part of a multi-disciplinary collaborative team
  • A strong interest and/or activism in social justice issues is desirable
  • Strong graphic and visualization skills




  • Bachelor’s degree in architecture, construction management, engineering, or related field
  • Minimum five to seven years industry experience (architecture or design)
  • Proficiency in Sketch up, Rhino, AutoCad, and Adobe Acrobat Suite
  • Working knowledge of REVIT preferred
  • Basic understanding of building codes
  • Advanced understanding and proficiency using Microsoft Office and Google Apps
  • Advanced understanding and proficiency using Asana project management software (preferred)




  • Healthcare benefits with options for medical insurance under the company group plan. Employer contributions are determined by the chosen healthcare plan and covers employee premiums only.
  • Compensation for this role will not exceed $80,000




Please send a digital portfolio, following the directions below. If you have a website that includes your portfolio, you may send a PDF of your cover letter and resume, and the appropriate link(s) for the rest.

Subject Line: Intermediate Architectural Associate
Attachment: One multipage PDF not to exceed 3MB

The PDF should include:

  • Cover letter (in your cover letter, please include your definition of Restorative Justice and Trauma-Informed Practice in 4 sentences)
  • 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.