Senior Urban Designer At Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Website SOM_Design Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Job Overview

SOM, one of the most influential design firms in the world, is seeking innovative, creative, independent, and critical thinkers who aspire to the highest standards of excellence. Join our collaborative design practice as a Senior Professional Urban Designer for the opportunity to build a strong and thriving career.


  • Professional Degree in Architecture, Planning, Urban design, or Landscape Architecture.
  • Professional licensure process is close to completion; LEED accreditation is strongly preferred.
  • Fluent English speaker (Arabic desirable)
  • Minimum 8 years of experience or equivalent knowledge, skills and abilities.
  • Significant experience in large-scale planning, mixed-use and transit oriented development, and consistently demonstrated facility working in a fast-paced and intensely collaborative professional environment.
  • Effectively communicates internally with project teams and externally with consultants and clients through timely and appropriate written, oral, and visual means.
  • Demonstrates expertise in AutoCAD, Rhino, Grasshopper, Enscape, Lumion, parametric and rendering software, and other graphic software as well as Adobe Creative Suite, Google Suite and Microsoft Office; Revit proficiency a plus.


Position Responsibilities

  • Serves as an emerging leader of the CDP Team. Consistently demonstrates a highly disciplined and effective work ethic.
  • Demonstrates an advanced understanding of planning and urban design concepts, building typologies, critical dimensions and systems, utility and infrastructure systems, land development imperatives and planning / zoning codes, and phasing and implementation techniques.
  • Is able to enrich design concepts through sophisticated knowledge, demonstrated research acumen, and expert application of technical, visualization, and other sophisticated communication strategies
  • Exhibits initiative, process innovation, problem solving, and decision-making quality with a high attention to precision and accuracy at a project level.
  • Envisions and develops diagrams, renders site plans, and contributes to all manner of graphic and visual production.
  • Effectively implements quality control standards for deliverables.
  • Creates and innovates with a strong conceptual design ability applied to complex projects at divergent scales and in varying geographic and social contexts; integrates interdisciplinary criteria to effectively move forward the design of large projects.
  • Actively collaborates at a project, consultant team, and client team level by critically and constructively evaluating ideas. Contributes to and actively participates within the studio and office.
  • Manages time and workload of own work efforts and those of others to meet project task deadlines and commitments, with occasional interaction and direction from team leaders.
  • clearly defines team member expectations and responsibilities, empowers others, and delegates where appropriate based on team members’ recognized abilities and potential.
  • Inspires and leads others by example, participates in staff mentoring and training,
  • Conducts and increasingly directs high-level research, precedent, and relevant scale studies;

Leadership Responsibilities

  • Inspires and leads others by example, participates in staff mentoring and training, clearly defines team member expectations and responsibilities, empowers others, and delegates where appropriate based on team members’ recognized abilities and potential.
  • Directly supervises staff and is committed to direct reports’ professional development.
  • Develops and engages in talent strategy to find specialists, leaders, and future professionals for the firm through resume review and interviews.
  • In collaboration with team members, develop a clear and consistent work plan to achieve the project budget, deliverables, and schedule.
  • Actively engages in internal and external professional development opportunities.
  • Contributes to the implementation of sustainable strategies in all project assignments and the associated development of staff knowledge.
  • Contributes to the development of standards, policies, and procedures.
  • Protects SOM from financial and legal risk.


Health and Wellness: Medical, dental, vision, disability, and life & accident insurance

Savings: 401K matching, pre-tax spending accounts, and employee discount programs

Work/Life Balance: Hybrid/Flexible schedules, paid family leave, paid vacation, backup child and elder care, and an employee assistance program

Professional Development: Reimbursement for professional licenses, associated renewals, and exam fees as well as specialized in-house career development


Are you ready to join a team of creative professionals working on transformational projects around the world? Take advantage of this exciting opportunity to build a better future with SOM.

Portfolios must be submitted for all design positions (Architecture, Interiors, Planning, etc). Applications without work samples will not be reviewed.  Portfolios should be one PDF attachment, 10-20 pages, maximum 5 MB. Submit portfolios as part of your application in the section where the application asks you for your Resume or CV.

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