Start Date: mid-May / early June 2015
DownCity Design is a community-based design/build studio that empowers youth through design education. Our mission is to improve cities across the state of Rhode Island by getting young people involved in creating small-scale structures to improve their communities. Participants in our free in-school, after-school, and summer programs work together to design and build interventions that make their neighborhoods better places to live, work, and learn.
Since our founding in 2009, DCD has transformed the lives of over 700 youth who have participated in our intensive design education programs. In the past 6 years, our students have built over 30 urban amenities in and around Providence, including community gardens, play structures, greenhouses, and outdoor classrooms. Our young designers identify and deeply understand a community need or problem, brainstorm and prototype possible solutions, share and refine their ideas, and build solutions. Our programs help develop essential skills and habits of mind like collaboration, communication, creative problem solving, and persistence, while showing teens that they have the power to make change happen.
The Program Director is part of a community of individuals who are committed to promoting the mission of DownCity Design. Our expectation is that the Program Director will bring to this position deep creativity, a cooperative spirit, fluid communication, flexibility, and a willingness to learn and grow.
The Program Director has oversight of all DownCity Design programs, including Youth Programs, Community Design Days, and Special Projects. The Program Director is responsible for supporting and coaching Design Educators, helping to develop curricula, and ensuring that all of our programs align to our core program philosophy. The Program Director is also in charge of managing construction projects, finalizing construction documents, and maximizing program resources. He or she supports the Executive Director in advancing the mission of DownCity Design, and maintains external relationships with program partners.
This position will commence between May 18 – June 1, 2015.
Specific duties include:
Program Leadership and Management
• Develop design education curriculum resources and work with Design Educators to adapt those resources to meet the needs and constraints of particular programs.
• Lead and facilitate hiring process and training/support of new Design Educators.
• Support Design Educators with regular observations and feedback, as well as providing opportunities for training and professional development.
• Support Design Educators and partners with recruitment of students for programs.
• Communicate regularly with program partners to coordinate program logistics and troubleshoot problems.
• Track program projects and help to ensure that they are fully completed within a pre-determined timeframe.
• Implement and manage data collection systems that will enable us to demonstrate the impact of DCD programs.
• Help to identify opportunities for targeted program fundraising or in-kind donations.
• Support the Executive Director in grant writing by providing key program information for grant narratives and reports.
• Work with Executive Director to set goals for sustainable growth of DownCity Design programs.
• Additional responsibilities consistent with the role of advancing the organizational mission.
• Support Design Educators in the development and finalization of detailed construction documents, and work with Design Educators to choreograph construction.
• Secure permissions for construction projects (including owner/client permissions and (where necessary) obtaining city permits and DIG Safe approvals.
• When appropriate, work with structural engineers to ensure project designs are structurally sound and to specify appropriate hardware and construction methods.
• Work with partners to ensure that there is a sustainability/maintenance plan for the continued lifespan of all built projects.
• When necessary, organize Volunteer Build Days to ensure completion of projects within a set time frame.
• Maintain clear, consistent verbal and written communication with project partners.
• Build connections with other community organizations, keep informed about relevant community meetings, and participate in those meetings when they relate to our mission.
• Support Executive Director in communications efforts to spread the word about DCD’s mission and work.
• Serve as lead Design Educator for approximately 16 hours of DownCity Design programs each week, when those programs are in session.
• Lead groups of students through the process of designing and building small-scale structures to meet community partner needs. This includes curriculum design, leading instruction for each class, generating construction documents, and overseeing safe construction of projects.
• Oversee the work of the DownCity Design Program Coordinator, which includes logistical coordination, program recruitment, tool purchasing and maintenance, shop organization, and procurement of program supplies and construction materials.
• Meet regularly with the DCD Program Coordinator to set deadlines, manage workflow, and provide feedback on performance.
OVERSIGHT AND ADMINISTRATION
The Program Director will report directly to the Executive Director and will provide regular weekly updates on ongoing program activities. Performance will be reviewed three months after date of hire, with an annual review thereafter.
This is a full-time, permanent position. The Program Director will be expected to work an average of 40 hours per week throughout the year, with occasional evening and weekend hours.
The ideal candidate will have/be:
• A deep knowledge of architectural design processes and structural design principals; Masters of Architecture (MArch) degree strongly preferred
• Highly organized, detail-oriented, and professional; management experience is a plus
• Teaching experience (ideally working with middle or high school students)
• Strong curriculum design skills
• Solid design skills and past experience with design/build projects
• Experience creating detailed construction documents (AutoCAD or Rhino 3D)
• Comfort with construction techniques and safe tool use
• Experience coordinating projects and communicating with partners and constituents
• Openness to creative collaboration and working as a team
• Excitement about project-based learning and social practice
How to Apply
Deadline to submit applications is April 6, 2015. Please send a resume, cover letter, and portfolio of at least 3 design and/or teaching work samples to Adrienne Gagnon, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls, please.