Please apply early We may begin interviews before the closing date, and may even hire if we meet the ideal candidate. Please apply now if you are interested in this role.
WikiHouse is a modular building system that aims to make it easy to design, manufacture and assemble beautiful, zero-carbon, high-precision homes and small buildings. We are trying to transform the way society builds in the 21st century by putting knowledge and tools into the hands of every business and community.
As well as publishing WikiHouse files and guides for free, we also provide a set of paid design services, to help clients and their architects successfully deliver their projects using WikiHouse. This often includes a chassis design service or a bespoke block design service.
Although we do not work as scheme architects, we will also often work with clients and design teams to design layouts, standard house types, visualisations and details, as well as the WikiHouse chassis itself. We may also give them guidance about the best ways to use WikiHouse on their project.
That’s where you come in.
We are looking for a WikiHouse Projects Lead, who will provide those design services.
This role is likely to suit those with architectural design skills and experience, especially those with good project management and communication skills.
In this role you will
Help potential customers decide whether WikiHouse Skylark is suitable for their project or not.
Liaise with customers, their architect and structural engineers and manufacturers as you agree and carry out design services for them.
Produce production information for WikiHouse chassis and blocks. This usually includes 3D models, CNC cutting files / order lists, cost estimates and assembly manuals. (Increasingly we are trying to automate as much of this as possible).
Work with the WikiHouse product team and structural engineer to design new WikiHouse blocks.
Provide architectural, specification and other general delivery advice to customers.
From time to time you may also:
Contribute to product development and improvement of the WikiHouse system.
Design new house types and neighbourhood layouts. We are developing an adaptable library of reusable design patterns for beautiful, walkable neighbourhoods, and generous, healthy, user-centred homes that feel timeless, not ‘prefabricated’.
Create illustrations and visualisations.
Continuously look for ways to improve or automate the process.
Make site visits, guiding and recording builds on site and collecting lessons learnt.
Maintain an up to date record of all projects delivered and in the pipeline. This will allow us to plan ahead, deliver and invoice on time, and keep an overview of our impact as well as to identify patterns. This will help you look for ways to continuously improve our services and product.
Help shape strategy.
Share information with the WikiHouse community through news, talks and presentations etc.
Help respond to queries in the WikiHouse forum.
3D design skills Must be proficient with Rhino and/or SketchUp, and sufficiently adaptable to experiment with other 3D CAD tools.
A basic technical understanding of construction and low-energy buildings You do not need to be an engineer or construction expert (although if you are, that’s fantastic), but you should have a reasonable working understanding of the principles and factors involved in construction and low-energy design. If terms like ‘airtightness’, ‘U-values’, ‘thermal mass’ ‘embodied carbon’ and ‘MVHR’ are unfamiliar to you, this probably isn’t your gig.
Project management skills Experience or a natural talent for project management, including planning ahead, anticipating problems, clear-thinking and organised documentation. Preferably this will include some experience of managing or working on projects in architecture, engineering or construction in the UK, including invoicing clients and dealing with disputes.
Communication skills Able to build trust with clients and set clear expectations in advance. Sometimes finding ways to politely say ‘no’ or re-steer customers, whilst remaining always helpful and empathetic. You will also need to feel comfortable with remote working, including presenting your work and ideas to the team, collaborating, sharing your work and communicating what you need in a sometimes uncertain environment.
Self-led Although you will work alongside the WikiHouse team, and be fully supported, you will need to take ownership of your area of work, observe, make judgements, manage relationships and issues with clients, make suggestions without needing to be instructed. Not just being reactive, but spotting opportunities to improve things, pitching them, then going away and making it happen.
Rigour & attention to detail Due to the stop–start nature of development projects, you’ll be running several projects at once, and sending out manufacturing information with very little scope for error. You will need to be disciplined and rigorous in tracking the progress and status of projects, and checking information before it goes out.
Responsible You will need to have basic awareness and good everyday judgement and responsibility around things like appointment agreements / terms of service, invoicing, tort liability, warranty insurance, planning and building control and CDM regulations. If you’re not familiar with all these – don’t worry – we’ll help.
Nice to have
Aesthetic skills An instinct for beautiful, well-proportioned architectural designs and urban design that follows local, timeless, human-centred urban and rural patterns.
Knowledge of UK planning and building regulations.
Interest in DfMA An awareness of (and enthusiasm for) the principles of Design for Manufacturing & Assembly (DfMA) and offsite manufacturing. A focus on opportunities to standardise or productise part of a process, and to think of buildings in terms of their whole life-cycle.
Computational design Skills or experience in computational design – for example using tools / platforms like Grasshopper, Dynamo or Hypar.
BIM Skills or experience of working with BIM tools.
Visualisation Skills using illustration or visualisation tools such as illustrator, photoshop or rendering software.
Passionate about green building and democratising development An enthusiasm for sustainable, human-centred design, and especially for small scale, community-led development. A passion for transforming the built environment for the better.
What's in it for you?
Work with an incredibly friendly, motivated and talented team of people in a sometimes demanding, but always kind, inclusive and supportive environment.
Ridiculously flexible working. Work where you want and when you want (most of the time at least).
Work on stuff that matters, with potential to have a serious impact on reducing carbon emissions and creating beautiful, green buildings and neighbourhoods what will be loved for decades, while helping to transform the way the world builds.
Got questions? Not sure if you quite fit this role? Get in touch. Or just apply anyway.