Design Fellow, Sri Lanka

Design Fellow, Sri Lanka

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Aug 27, 2013
  • comments

Location: Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka
Start Date: Immediate
Type: Design Fellow

Position Summary

Architecture for Humanity is seeking an architect with experience in the humanitarian sector to spend 4 months on the ground developing a schematic design proposal for a series of community centers across Sri Lanka.

The project is a partnership with UN-Habitat, as part of a larger program to provide 30,000 houses and up to 80 new community buildings for post-conflict reconstruction. This initial phase of the project will deliver a design proposal for a community center prototype that can be translated to up to 3 pilot sites. The design will prioritize low cost, low maintenance, environmentally sensitive architecture that demonstrates innovative use of local materials and construction techniques.

The position is an opportunity for a dedicated professional to create positive social change by raising the standards for community architecture in Sri Lanka. It will be seen by the ideal candidate as a rewarding opportunity to use their skills to empower communities through the process of participatory design.


  • Act as a representative of Architecture for Humanity and liaise between clients, project partners and UN-Habitat.
  • Establish (in conjunction with UN-Habitat) roles, responsibilities, milestones and project goals.
  • Assess and select up to 3 sites for the pilot study.
  • Engage in community engagement workshops and participatory design exercises at each of the sites.
  • Create a design brief for each site that will inform both the template and specific designs.
  • Produce a conceptual design and translate this into specific schematic designs for each of the sites.
  • Produce architectural plans, drawings, models and presentations to document the designs and communicate them effectively to project stakeholders and partners.
  • Report regularly on project progress.
  • Perform scope of work in accordance with Architecture for Humanity’s obligations and best interests.

Qualifications (Please apply only if you meet all requirements)

  • Five or more years of professional experience post professional academic degree (preferred).
  • Extensive experience with community engagement and participatory design methodologies.
  • Experience with sustainable construction techniques.
  • Demonstrated experience designing creatively with vernacular materials and construction techniques.
  • Strong architectural drawing, graphics and communication skills.
  • Fluent English, with knowledge of Sinhala or Tamil preferred.
  • Prior experience working in developing contexts, disaster zones or with vulnerable populations.
  • Good inter-personal communication skills.
  • A work ethic that is flexible and easily adaptable.
  • Willingness to live and work in very basic conditions.

Commitment: Full-time (40 hours/week) for 4 months

Logistics: The Design Fellow will be embedded with the UN-Habitat office for the duration of their stay. Transport and logistical support will be provided, as will access to engineering consultant services (if required).

Stipend: $1600 per month.

To Apply: Please send cover letter, resume and portfolio to with “Application for Design Fellow – Sri Lanka” as the subject of your email. Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis.

Please note that this is not a benefits eligible position.

Qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to age, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or national origin.