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Director of Design, Interiors

HOK is a collective of future-forward thinkers and designers who are driven to face the critical challenges of our time. We are dedicated to improving people's lives, serving our clients and healing the planet. Together, we cultivate a culture of design excellence at the confluence of art and science, blending the power of creative expression with a clear sense of purpose.

We are currently seeking a Director of Design for our Interiors Group.  As Director of Design for Interiors, you are responsible for the overall design leadership of the Interiors practice.  Promoting quality design efforts of all departments within the office and acutely involved in marketing and business development activities.

Design Quality / Project Management

  • Responsible for the regional Practice interior design leadership.  Responsible for setting and implementing HOK design standards and for the overall administration and organization of the interior design function which is in concert with HOK design philosophies.
  • Guides and advises design teams on projects, providing overall design direction to ensure consistent and high-quality design throughout the business unit.
  • Utilizes knowledge of furniture, fixture and equipment, architectural/interior finishes, lighting, art, signage, color and materials to carryout design intent.  Keeps well connected with manufacturers and design industry to ensure access to newest and most innovative products and services available.  Maintains leading edge prominence within industry.  Keeps abreast of new products, trends, technology, and business sector growth.
  • Responsible for conceptual design excellence; initiates project design concepts and idea discussions, and provides guidance to design teams during project design development.
  • Responsible for support and successful execution of Interiors department goals and business plan for the business unit.
  • Serves as project designer on selected projects—conceives and executes design, being mindful of clients’ needs and vision, requirements, project budget, schedule, and site issues.
  • Conducts research and seeks thorough understanding of client needs for project requirements and design solution opportunities.
  • Engages clients in explorations that respectfully challenge their understanding of appropriate interior design solutions.
  • Communicates design intent in a clear and compelling way; demonstrates the incorporation of client’s requirements and goals within design solution.
  • Assists in the preparation and delivery of design presentations to clients and drives consultant work to achieve design goals.
  • Assists in preparing fee and workload projections for assigned projects.
  • Understands and enforces conditions of client contract.  Mindful of additional design services opportunities and fee service augmentation.
  • Incorporates Integrated Sustainable Design solutions into projects.
  • Implements and utilizes HOK Standards for all projects and processes.  Personally contributes to HOK Standards through new procedure initiation and development. 
  • Fosters a commitment to external and internal client service.

 Marketing / Business Development

  • Identifies new business opportunities while developing current client relationships.  Listen for and seek out new projects which may exist or are being formulated. 
  • Participates in selected marketing and business development opportunities.
  • Develops and nurtures positive client relationships.
  • Assists marketing department in development of marketing campaigns, materials, webinars, etc. and overall proposal preparation.  Provides oversight to marketing staff in the development of standard materials that describe the design portfolio, systems, and processes of the interior’s practice.
  • Leads the preparation of award submittals.
  • Assists in the preparation of press releases and other materials publicizing assigned projects.
  • Works closely with project managers with respect to budget and schedule constraints.
  • Utilizes and encourages best uses of design technology for presentation and production purposes.
  • Assists others with project deadlines as available.
  • Maintains an appropriate billable and non-billable percentage of personal and departmental time.
  • Guides and monitors design activities on all Interiors projects; conducts office project technical and design reviews.

Staff Development

  • Acts as mentor by coaching and motivating design teams and individuals; fostering an environment of mutual respect and trust among members of the group as it grows and develops.
  • Prepares and delivers design staff evaluations; responsible for performance development, compensation decision-making and workload allocation processes of department.
  • Supports diversity, HOKU programs and develops continuing education opportunities (e.g. site visits, lectures, road trips) to expose design staff to influences which will stimulate design creativity and innovation.
  • Participates in interviews and recruiting of professional staff.
  • Encourages staff exploration and innovation to achieve project design excellence and continual improvement.
  • Fosters and maintains a collaborative professional working relationship with management and project team members.
  • Participates in value-added professional associations, maintain active membership, and attend conferences as appropriate.
  • Participates in appropriate professional and client-oriented organizations, maintain active memberships and attend conferences and activities.
  • Participates with other Directors of Interiors and Interior Design in HOK firm-wide activities.  May serve on the HOK Design Board.
  • Fosters an environment of mutual respect and passion for design among team members and within the office.
  • Conducts employee performance evaluations.
  • Leads office design reviews and critiques.
  • Develops continuing education opportunities for the design staff (e.g. site visits; lectures; road trips) to expose design staff to influences which will stimulate their design thinking.
  • Takes personal responsibility for fostering a green workplace through sustainable work practices.

Required Skills

  • Significant talent in design, design development and project leadership for large-scale interior design projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and mentor design staff.
  • Advanced knowledge of design, trends, construction methodology, materials application and manufacturer-supplier appropriateness.
  • Advanced knowledge of furniture, fixture and equipment (FF&E), architectural/interior finishes, lighting, art, signage, color and materials to carryout design intent.
  • Ability to manage the design group with a collaborative leadership style which puts value on relationships, both internal and external.
  • Ability to think strategically, implements change, enforces policy and resolves conflict.
  • Thorough understanding of project work plans, schedules, staffing, and budgets.  Demonstrated ability to execute projects profitably.
  • Proven ability to prioritize oneself and the work of others in order to meet deadlines and provide high quality service to clients.
  • Proven ability to create and maintain strong working relationships with external clients and internal staff.
  • Proven ability to masterfully present, effectively sell and negotiate the firm-wide services of HOK.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Thorough knowledge of sustainability, integrated design and LEED guidelines.
  • Knowledge of buildingSMART, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Integrated Project Delivery (IDP).
  • Proficiency in the basic technical skills of interior design including the following computer skills:
    • Knowledge of Deltek Vision highly preferred.
    • Proficiency in MS Office, including Word, Excel, Outlook and Project.
    • Proficiency in Newforma preferred.
    • Proficiency in Revit and BIM is preferred.
    • Knowledge of 3D Modeling software such as 3D Studio Max and Viz 2006 required.
    • Knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketchup, and InDesign graphic software required.


  • Bachelor’s degree in interior design or architecture required.  Master’s degree preferred.
  • 15 plus years’ experience with large interiors or architectural firm or division and 10 plus years as a senior level Interior Designer responsible for the design and project management of interiors.  Supervisory experience required.
  • Published and/or award winning projects a plus.
  • Must be professional Interior Designer and have passed the NCIDQ exam or be a registered Architect with current license required.
  • If registered Architect, NCARB registration preferred.
  • LEED credential required within 6 months of employment.  

HOK is committed to providing our employees with a comprehensive benefits plan to meet their current and future needs. Benefits include medical, dental and vision coverage; 401(K) savings plans; disability, life and accident insurance; paid time off (PTO); and parental leave. In addition, HOK employees enjoy a flexible work schedule with the option to work remotely on Mondays and Fridays.

HOK is a drug-free workplace.  HOK is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a protected veteran or status as a qualified individual with a disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable Federal, State or Local law. 



333 S Wabash Ave, 14th Flr, Chicago, Illinois

Position Type


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