We’re looking for an architect passionate about community-led housing and retrofit to join our architecture and design co-op based in Oxford, could this be you?

Opportunity for an architect to join a unique Architecture Co-operative based in Oxford

Basic details

Position: Architect

Hours: 30-37.5 hours per week (4-5 days)

Salary: £34,100 – £42,400 pro rata (subject to experience refer to working at T/D below)*

Contract: Permanent

Opens: Wednesday 10th April 2024

Closes: Monday 6th May 2024 (23:59pm)

Interviews: Week of Monday 13th May 2024

Start date: from Monday 3rd June 2024

Transition by Design (T/D) is an Oxford-based architecture practice, workers’ co-operative and community interest company (CIC) founded in 2011. We offer varied expertise from community-led housing to Passivhaus design, urban design and participatory design.

Our work is motivated by the belief that collaboration combined with good design can solve complex problems and improve the world we live in. As an interdisciplinary co-operative we have access to a range of skillsets that can unlock solutions to complex problems. We’re passionate about using these skills to make the world a better place by design.


Transition by Design (T/D) is recruiting for an experienced architect to join its studio in Oxford. We are seeking an individual who has:

Essential skills:

  • A Chartered Architect, ARB registered, or highly experienced and capable Part 2 or Part 3 candidate (5 years minimum post part 2)
  • Experience and accountability working in the UK as a project architect from Work Stages 0-7
  • High level of competency and experience (2 years minimum experience running your own projects and 5 years professional practice, ideally in community-led housing/residential, new-build and/or retrofit)
  • Strong project management skills: able to manage small teams; deliver on time and profitably
  • Assist in managing the coops resourcing and project fees
  • Maintain and develop the office’s professional obligations
  • Lead the CDM role function within the cooperative
  • Experience in responding to tender and bid opportunities

Desireable skills:

  • Technical knowledge of low energy and ecological design and able to produce planning, tender and construction drawing packages
  • Experience in community engagement and participatory urban design through workshop delivery and design engagement
  • Passivhaus certified designer and/or PAS2035
  • Strong drawing and representational skills
  • Highly experienced with ArchiCAD and representation software
  • High level of proficiency in using Adobe Creative Suite including Indesign specifically
  • An interest in learning and development, and become the CPD lead in the cooperative to ensure that coop members are supported in this aspect
  • Knowledge of, or interest in, co-operative organisational structures
  • An entrepreneurial approach to architectural practice
  • A healthy interest in or experience of social or environmental activism
  • Experience of needs-based communication or similar

Person Specification

You will be a creative and progressive individual who is committed to challenging the role of the architect in society and building on our experience of ecological design and beautiful architecture. You should have experience and a passion for community-led housing, low carbon design, Passivhaus and retrofit.

To complement our progressive projects and approach we need a candidate with professional rigour who enjoys project management. You need to enjoy enabling and supporting the coop and members on specific projects. At coop level we would like you to lead on resourcing, fee management and professional obligations (PII, CDM, QA systems etc).

It is essential that you have a minimum of 2-years experience running your own architectural projects across work stages 0-7 in the UK. You will have experience and a passion for low carbon design, Passivhaus and retrofit and/or community engagement.

You will have excellent communication and graphic design skills, and a willingness to engage with co-operative forms of governance. Most importantly, you will demonstrate a commitment to the mission and values of Transition by Design. You will be at ease engaging with clients, project stakeholders and colleagues with a confident, professional and friendly attitude.

You will be proficient at using ArchiCAD and the Adobe Creative Suite and will be quick to adapt to using new forms of software and remote working tools.

You will be able to work in our studio in Oxford at least 2 days per week and attend regular site meetings in and around Oxfordshire.

Working at T/D

As a cooperative we strive to ensure we have a supportive and engaging work environment. Here is a taste of how we work at Transition by Design:

  • We value each others’ contribution as a cooperative, and we place a high priority on wellbeing and thriving at work. We offer benefits such as a wellbeing budget, dependent leave and a training budget.
  • We offer membership to employees, once they have passed their probation, meaning you can have a say in the decision making and functioning of the cooperative.
  • Your week to week can be dynamic within the cooperative. We take a range of different approaches in the important work of addressing design, systemic and societal issues around architecture and housing: designing low carbon housing, influencing retrofit strategies at a policy level, participatory workshop delivery, engaging communities in designing community-led housing, technical detailing etc.
  • *We use years of experience to place you within one of our pay bands, cost of living (depending on where you are primarily resident) and year at T/D as a calculation for your wage. Years of experience includes all relevant work experience, time spent caring for dependents or limited capacity to work due to health related factors.
    • We have developed a pay system which aims to meet individual needs, overall financial capacity, systemic needs (e.g mission, future team members, responsibility to the wider world), as well as pre-existing social security structures and various legal regulations. Feel free to enquire about this during the application process.
  • We are proud to be black-led and have a 50/50 gender balance. We have an inclusive and transparent recruitment policy. We encourage all to apply but in particular candidates from diverse and under represented backgrounds.

How to Apply

View the full job description online here

Download the full Job Pack here

Please apply via the online Application Form.

Please complete our Equal Opportunities form here .

No personal information will be seen by anyone involved in the interview process. The equalities form will only be used for improving our recruitment processes. See the forms for more information on how your data will be held and used.

Interviews are held over Zoom (If a virtual interview is not possible please let us know).

Any questions please email recruitment[at]transitionbydesign.org

The deadline for applications is 23:59 on Monday 6th May.

The above equalities form is optional and anonymous. They will not be used during the interview process and the results will be stored on a confidential and secure system which only the HR lead has access to. The gathering of this information helps Transition by Design to maintain a diverse and relevant set of voices and approaches to the built environment.