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Studio Design Leader - Education

Company: HKS, Inc.
Location: Los Angeles
Posted on: May 28, 2023

Job Description:


HKS is seeking a talented Studio Design Leader to join our Education practice.

Responsible for advancing Design Excellence (as defined by the Design Enterprise) in the respective studio. They must ensure and participate in critical design dialog across all project teams within the studio and evaluate the quality of studio work against the strategic plan. The Studio Design Leader often leads or participates in multiple projects concurrently. The role focuses on growing leadership skills related to relationship-building, collaboration and interpersonal skills while working on great projects for exceptional clients. A recognized leader in the Higher Education industry (Academic/Science) with a recent portfolio of built work. Has established relationships with campus leadership in California Higher Education institutions



  • Supports all project design leaders and project teams within the studio and evaluates the quality of studio work against the strategic plan, in collaboration with studio and office leadership
  • Collaborates in strategic planning and facilitates communication for specific practice with other leaders, such as vetting studio marketing strategy and allocating needed resources
  • Ensures project teams develop measures that can be evaluated during all stages of the project for the design enterprise standards of integration, innovation, and impact
  • Collaborates on projects assigned to respective studio by focusing on the project process, development of the vision and goals, service/delivery, work environment and project documentation
  • Collaborates during the initial marketing stages through completion of construction, including programming client needs, conceptual and schematic design, design development and delivery
  • Collaborates with leaders such as Project Manager, Studio Practice Leader and Regional Design Director to lead the team through all phases by guiding, advising and mentoring other designers on project work, developing design direction and leading critiques
  • May act as a primary interface with clients for respective studio, building and strengthening connections through a comprehensive understanding of their mission, goals, policies, needs and progress
  • Manages client expectations, team communication and consultant coordination for respective studio in collaboration with project team leadership
  • Monitors staffing, utilization and growth management across the studio, including recommending adjustments where necessary
  • Serves as a technical resource for the studio, assisting in the resolution of complex problems, and helping them grow in their roles
  • Reviews concept development and, in collaboration with Studio Practice Leader and Regional Design Director, provides leadership, inspiration and motivation to the design team to create the highest quality design documentation and to achieve client satisfaction
  • Partners with Office Director as a liaison between the firm leadership and staff, communicating firm and regional initiatives and priorities
  • Emphasizes and incorporates HKS strategic priorities, such as Design Measures into client solutions
  • Operates with "ONE Firm" mindset, minimizes the sector and operational variables within the office in collaboration with Regional Design Director
  • Integrates HKS services, expertise and innovation in all projects, while actively seeking opportunities to incorporate HKS best practices, sustainable design solutions, subject matter expertise and resources strategically and efficiently for the client, user and community
  • Exercises skills of persuasion and negotiation on critical issues

    • Sets the tone for project quality and client experience across the studio
    • Communicates to the project team and studio the initiatives and goals of the Design Enterprise and the creates and environment of critical thinking and intellectual curiosity
    • Helps nurture and guide leadership development of staff within the studio in multiple roles
    • Models and holds others accountable to the firm's cultural values, including a commitment to quality, innovation, learning and growth
    • Oversees and actively invests in the professional development of staff through mentoring, performance management and career planning
    • Partners with Studio Managers and Office Director on efforts in attracting, training, retaining, growing and recognizing diverse talent
    • Facilitates team's self-evaluation to distill and distribute project lessons learned within the firm
    • Manages conflict effectively and encourages a healthy team environment
    • Represents the interests, concerns and problems within the studio and ensures issues are addressed and resolved expeditiously
    • Fosters and maintains a collaborative professional working relationship with teams, including promoting communication and creating approachability
    • Actively promotes and incorporates the firm's principles of Design and Technical Excellence through the integration of responsible and sustainable design practices with the art of design

      • Collaborates in driving ongoing financial performance of office by reviewing and developing quarterly fee projections, and reviewing consultant fees and agreements as needed
      • May collaborate with Office Directors to develop annual budget/business plan
      • Maintains awareness of project financial performance, including invoicing and collections
      • Collaborates to prepare collaborative work plan for projects, including consultants
      • Monitors budgets and profitability targets for respective studio
      • Collaborates as needed in terms of fee proposals and contracts, including add service requests
      • Collaborates to develop project job costs, budget and associated schedule; maintains and regularly communicates with project team
      • Applies skills to minimize risks, maximize value and seeks means to improve efficiencies and reduce costs
      • Collaborates with other project leaders to deliver project on defined budget requirements and maintains accountability to project plan and planned utilization rate

        Revenue or Opportunity Generation:
        • Collaborates and strategizes with business development and other firm leadership within the "ONE Firm" philosophy (e.g. large, complex, program-driven projects with a significant intellectual component) on project pursuits, marketing efforts and industry events to maintain existing client relationships and establish new business within respective studio
        • Positions HKS for future design work through strong client relationships, and up-front planning and consulting assignments that reinforce HKS's thought leadership capabilities
        • Secures appropriate architectural projects to meet the office's overall business goals
        • Collaborates with studio to ensure prompt and timely response to proposal requests
        • Leads or supports the negotiation of scope and fees on contracts; monitors for changes in scope to initiate additional service letters
        • Engages and networks with local community to elevate HKS's role in the business community on behalf of the practice area
        • Creates and maintains visibility for HKS within the geography being served to be considered for significant project selections
        • Understands and knows the nuances of their marketplace and devises strategies to grow the practice

          • Accredited professional degree in Architecture, Interior Design or relevant years in education or experience
          • Licensure or certification in chosen field preferred
          • Typically 15+ years of experience, including experience in a leadership role with demonstrated success in both project work and talent/resource development
          • Significant experience in the practice area of the studio, including a deep higher education portfolio in academic and science project work
          • Demonstrated experience in programming complex projects preferred
          • Sustainable design accreditation preferred
          • Familiarity in the capability and benefits of related software preferred
          • Familiarity in the functionality of Vision
          • Experience in MS Office Suite, including Microsoft Project and Microsoft Teams preferred
          • Proficiency in logistics management including connecting people and resources to the right place at the right time
          • Successful track record in directing and providing leadership for design teams from business development presentations through developing strategy and design concepts
          • Successful track record in success building, nurturing and fostering new client relationships
          • Demonstrated thought leadership preferred (speaking engagements, white papers, articles)
          • Excellent presentation skills
          • Strong leadership, organization, communication and relationship management skills
          • Strong organizational skills and the ability to work on multiple projects at the same time
          • Ability to work closely with design leaders to promote an inter-disciplinary design approach and philosophy, and to facilitate its advancement across the firm
          • Ability to manage team with diplomatic and collaborative leadership style which puts value on relationships and collaboration, both internal and external
          • Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and professional manner both verbally and in writing
          • Ability to problem solve and apply innovative solutions
          • Ability to collaborate and encourage collaboration in a team environment
          • Ability to effectively meet deadlines at expected quality


            Base Salary Range: $117.8K-$179.7k annually - Los Angeles and San Diego locations only

            The estimate displayed represents the general base salary range of candidates hired in Los Angeles and San Diego only. Factors that may be used to determine your actual salary may include internal equity, experience, education, specialty and training.

            HKS offers a comprehensive total compensation & benefits package with health, dental, and vision care coverage, 401(k) plans, life & AD&D insurance, short/long term disability plans, paid days off (sick leave, parental leave, vacation), and much more for benefits-eligible employees. To learn more about our benefits visit this page.

            If you currently work for HKS, please submit your application via the Internal Careers Portal.

            HKS is an EEO/AA Employer: M/F/Disabled/Veteran

Keywords: HKS, Inc., Los Angeles , Studio Design Leader - Education, Education / Teaching , Los Angeles, California

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