Senior Project Architect - Designing Justice + Designing Spaces
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Senior Project Architect




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 designers, real estate developers, graphic designers, operations/events production and community organizers within which the Project Architect is an integrated part of a multidisciplinary team.  The unique position serves as a lead architect or architectural associate on all projects and related programming. The position follows and integrates the core activities involved in basic architecture services as well as expanded tasks that include community engagement, workshop facilitation, research, industrial design digital fabrication and the design of interior environments.


RESPONSIBILITIES (Sr. Technical Level, 10+ years of experience)

Senior Project Architect

  • Consult with clients to determine project scope, budget and timeline of project(s).
  • Work collaboratively with the community engagement team to organize and create contextually appropriate tools, materials schedules to facilitate effective community engagement processes and data collection to inform the design process.
  • Utilize DJDS coding analyzing processes to effectively translate community engagement data to be used for preliminary design concepts and storytelling.
  • Work collaboratively with the Design Director and architecture design team on conceptual design, development, and presentation of project concepts. 
  • Clearly communicate and quickly advance design concepts that reflect the engagement data  in an organized and efficient manner with high attention to innovation, and detail via hand sketching, 3D modeling, model making and other relevant design communication methods.

  • Use all mechanical and computerized drafting tools and related software to plan the layout and design of project(s).
  • Prepare all information necessary regarding designs materials and any and all other elements related to the project(s).
  • Assist in procuring appropriate project consultants relative to the project scope.
  • Coordinate  with project consultants regarding project schedules, drawing coordination  Communicate with cost estimators/contractors to obtain cost estimates
  • Direct project team in the preparation of all related documentation.
  • Produce and manage construction drawings.
  • Conduct on-site inspections during each construction stage and monitors compliance and completion of items from the plans.
  • Research products, processes and review relevant literature required for projects.
  • Have comprehensive knowledge of building materials, finishes, furniture and lighting.
  • Have comprehensive knowledge of construction detailing.
  • Attend project owner/architect or owner/architect/contractor meetings and site visits and work closely and collaboratively with principals, clients, architects, contractors, and consultants.
  • Ensure the overall design intent is incorporated into the detailed documentation and properly executed.
  • Manage and complete construction administrative tasks 

Project Architect will assist the Project Manager and may be responsible for some of the following as needed:

  • Work collaboratively with the project team to ensure deliverables are prepared and presented with the content format, and timeframe that are mutually understood among clients/partners and the internal team.
  • Craft and maintain work plans tailored to each project using project management software and prioritize workload and tasks for assigned projects.
  • Work collaboratively with the Interdisciplinary DJDS Design Studio to define and coordinate the respective project tracks for efficient workflow both internally and externally for clients, partners and consultants ensuring that project deliverables are on time, on budget and within the contract scope.
  • Act as lead driver for assigned projects and act as the primary point of contact with project clients.
  • Use unique skillset, background, training, and talents to optimize solutions for assigned projects.
  • Responsible for communicating with the Studio Director to  ensure project staffing is adequate.
  • Conduct internal milestone debriefs and end-of-project review.
  • Complete Project Briefs to ensure the teams understanding of the client, project scope, client and DJDS organizational objectives and mission alignment. 
  • Evaluate 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.
  • Work with local architect of record when applicable to become familiar with local government officials, policies, laws, building/zoning codes and local drivers for assigned projects.
  • Involve DJDS Leadership at key stages of the project and inform on project progress.
  • Ensure that documentation conforms to the best practice, quality control, and assurance standards of the office.
  • Coordinate consultant and engineering documentation.
  • Communicate with public agencies and jurisdictions

Technical Support for Architecture Design:

  • Utilize skills and experience in BIM drafting, REVIT preferred.
  • Utilize skills and experience in InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop to create visual packages for clients.
  • Utilize Architecture knowledge to research California State Building Codes and Standards.

Mentorship for Architecture Design Staff:

  • Participate in Project Manager meetings and consult on the development of organizational processes and procedures pertaining to projects
  • Foster and maintain a collaborative professional working environment with project design staff.
  • Mentor and direct work of less experienced design staff on projects. 
  • *The company reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

Position Summary

(Expected duties of a Technical level position)


  • Manage design process and technical coordination of assigned projects.
  • Communicate necessary deadlines to stakeholders including outlines of solutions for delayed or missed deadlines.
  • Lead project meetings and discussions as needed
  • Assist in  decision making for progress of assigned projects
  • Initiate, build and manage relationships with project partners and community stakeholders. 
  • Mentor and guide other members of the team.
  • Facilitate and participate in knowledge sharing workshops/presentations to elevate the organizational skills 
  • Participate in speaking engagements and press related interviews on behalf of DJDS
  • Integrate efforts and schedules with all departments of the organization: design, real estate, advocacy, and community engagement for each project.
  • Attend and participate in thought leadership of DJDS prototypes and typologies through Hive Mind sessions.

  • 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, as well as an interest in criminal justice reform
  • Attend and participate in thought leadership of DJDS’s organizational model and financial opportunities to include attending and speaking at relevant conferences and conventions
  • Strong self-awareness, with cultural competency for a diverse range of cultures, communities, and lived experiences.
  • High level of emotional intelligence and ability to apply it.
  • Robust understanding of community-led processes
  • Adaptability to uncertainty and emergent project processes 
  • 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. 
  • Acute understanding of systemic racism and social inequities



    • 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 commensurate with experience.



    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: Senior 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