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Shelter Design and Research Lead

Every Shelter

Every Shelter

Design, Operations · Full-time
Houston, TX, USA · Kampala, Uganda
60,000 – 75,000 USD per year
Posted on Friday, January 5, 2024

Title: Shelter Design and Research Lead

Organizational Level: Reports to Chief of Staff with daily interaction with CEO

Location: Houston, Texas (with some mandatory international travel)

Position Type: Full Time


Refugees are displaced on average for over 20 years. On average less than $450 is spent per family on housing for this duration. In other words, the globally displaced are experiencing a housing crisis. Every Shelter is building a new shelter eco-system stemming from their experience inventing and scaling new shelter goods.

Design competency around refugee-shelter, relief architecture, and physical provisioning is a core strategic imperative for the long-term success of the organization. We see this role as investing in that design competency, with the longer term, multi-year “return” of successfully building a design studio committed to solving displacement housing challenges. This role in the immediate term would use that vision to set the pace and framework for the associated responsibilities of making that vision happen over a 3-5 year window. This studio would, among many things, seek to provide a formal route to licensure for aspiring and practicing architects.

Every Shelter would also like to create an “apprenticeship pathway” through this role, for our architectural and design function whereby we can grow the important niche Every Shelter plays and contributes to in the humanitarian sector. To that end, working directly with CEO, Scott Key (M.Arch), on design tasks will be imperative and this role will be expected to take on more and more of that workload.

Critical to this role will also be developing relationships with design-centric institutions and other global shelter experts. As Every Shelter’s in-house design and research lead, this role will seek to build productive relationships and partnerships globally in this space and help the future of Every Shelter’s in-house “Relief Architecture” Design Studio.

The strategies and responsibilities assigned to this role to achieve that vision are listed below.


This role has three primary responsibilities:

  1. Technical and creative design for current and future program work a. Leading design decisions relating to all architectural prototypes, inventions, and interventions produced by Every Shelter. b. Designing and drawing conceptual, schematic, and construction documentation for all projects (multiple builds per year). Will interface regularly with our international staff to realize built projects. c. Graphic design responsibilities which will include a breadth of programmatic requirements, including summarization reports/booklets which publicly represent Every Shelter’s design work.
  2. Leading shelter research and studio publication a. Conducting research in vernacular architecture of specific sites in order to better inform design decisions. b. Creating rigorous documentation of all designed projects for the means of distribution, publication, and knowledge sharing (including lectures and exhibitions). c. Develop relationships with like-minded persons, organizations, and institutions (BRE @ Oxford, “The Shelter Clusters”, ETH, Relief Web, etc.) d. Develop and deliver presentations for the Global Shelter Cluster, and related events. e. Cultivate speaker opportunities for Every Shelter.
  3. Project management and oversight a. Leading construction and implementation of shelter design solutions. b. Providing technical support, guidance, and direction to programs teams.
  4. Other duties as assigned as the expectation with all Every Shelter employees is to address critical needs as they arise.


● B. Arch or M. Arch from an NAAB-accredited program.

● 1-3 years of related project experience

● Proficient in Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), AutoCad, Rhino, and/or SketchUp, and rendering software

● International travel and work experience will be seen as a plus

To apply:

Please email your Resume and Cover Letter ONLY to Austin Hermann (austin@everyshelter.org). If recommended for this position - please indicate your reference.

Ensure to include this as your email subject [Shelter Design and Research Lead]

Application Deadline: 1 March 2024

Every Shelter is an equal opportunity employer.

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