Architectural Design Leader
San Francisco, CA 
Posted Today
Job Description


We are a team that is full of ideas, experience, creativity, shared knowledge, collective insight, passionate opinions, insatiable curiosity, incomparable talent, and uncompromising integrity, commitment and expert skill. Our culture is about aspiration, embracing change and challenges, continually listening and learning, and inspiring collective growth. As an inclusive integrated architecture and engineering practice, we value the diversity of experience, perspectives, expertise and abilities that advance both the work we do and the world we share.

Our Northern California offices are looking to add an experienced Design Leader to our staff. The successful candidate will take on a leadership role with both clients and staff to foster a studio culture which embraces our mission of Advancing Your World through Critical Thinking, Integrated Practice and Design Excellence. Like all key roles at HED, a successful Design Leader will provide leadership, collaboration, direct action and the support of others. This is a senior level position, highly visible to clients and employees, that requires maturity, assertiveness, integrity and the ability to lead, inspire and persuade.


  • Design Excellence and Thought Leadership - Advancing the conversation about design excellence within the office and across the firm - Recognizing that design is the critical differentiator in allowing us to win the work we want, the Design Leader will be responsible for keeping design issues and design excellence consistently at the forefront of our internal education programs.
  • Creative leadership - The Design Leader will be responsible for guiding the conceptual design and creative development of all projects undertaken by the office in a variety of project types, including Corporate Commercial, Higher Education, Healthcare, Science and Technology and K-12 Education sectors.
  • Positioning for and winning project assignments - In collaboration with Market Sector Leaders, Principal-in-Charge and Project Managers, the Design Leader will prepare or assist in the preparation of appropriate content for interviews and RFP responses and is expected to be a key contributor at project interviews when needed.
  • Efficient completion of design tasks - the Design Leader will assist in managing the efforts of the assigned design staff in collaboration with the Architecture Discipline Leader. Management efforts will include assisting in setting budgets in collaboration with P.I.C. and Project Managers and assisting/guiding staff with adherence to established budgets.
  • Selection, evaluation and advancement of staff - The Design Leader will provide input to the Architecture Discipline Leader and Managing Principal on talent needs, and the quality and efficiency of the effort of assigned staff, as well as act as a mentor and recommend means of advancement of staff in terms of their design skills.
  • Selection and improvement of design tools and processes - With the support and collaboration of our Practice Technology (PT) group, the Design Leader will be responsible for development and selection of best-in-class tools and processes for advancing the quality of our work and will collaborate with the Managing Principal, PT Leader, and staff to implement.
  • Community - Externally advancing the awareness and reputation of HED in the community and marketplace - A successful Design Leader will assume an active and meaningful role in the San Francisco/Sacramento design communities.
  • Alignment of efforts with business strategy - The Design Leader will maintain consistent communication with Studio Leaders and Managing Principal to understand marketing and business development goals, supplement networking efforts and fill gaps in expertise resulting from adjustments to strategic goals.
  • Time "on the boards" - It is anticipated that the Design Leader will be hands on and spend a considerable amount of time designing projects or bringing their expertise to bear on advancing design of projects.
  • Office leadership - The design leader will be a member of the Northern California offices leadership team.


  • Bachelor's Degree in Architecture, Master's preferred.
  • Professional Licensure.
  • LEED Accredited preferred.
  • Minimum 10 years' professional experience.
  • Knowledge of all aspects of professional AE services from marketing through project close-out, including design and technical expertise.
  • A comprehensive understanding of the coordination aspects and related requirements of all design disciplines.
  • Ability to motivate others and develop teamwork; excellent writing and speaking skills and strong organizational skills, and a compelling presenter.
  • Ability to work well with others under deadline situations.
  • Detail-oriented, self-motivated, enthusiastic and flexible.
  • Working knowledge of design software programs, especially those used in our design technology platform (Revit, Rhino, and Enscape).
  • Possess strong business acumen.
  • Ability to interact well in various business and social settings with all types of people in a mature and professional manner.
  • Capable of performing all duties of a Project Team Leader and Project Manager (see Position Descriptions).
  • Computer literate, able to use modern office technology such as Word, Excel etc.


  • Capable of traveling to and from project sites for attending client, project and construction meetings.
  • Ability to access existing and new project sites for observation, investigation and evaluation purposes.
  • Ability to use equipment for communication and documentation purposes.
  • Visual acuity to perform responsibilities.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, protected veteran status or status as an individual with disability.


Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Required Education
Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience
10+ years
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