Van Alen Institute seeks a Researcher to manage a multifaceted initiative celebrating the Institute’s 120th anniversary in 2014.

This part-time, ten-month position will be responsible for executing all aspects of the Institute’s 120th-anniversary research initiative, which will illuminate and clarify Van Alen’s history as a catalyst for design innovation.

Over the course of 2014, the Institute will produce a program of research, events, and print and online media to bring more than a century of architecture and design history to a broad audience, while using this opportunity to look toward the future. All aspects of the Institute’s history—its design competitions, exhibitions, fellowships, deep engagement in the public realm, and role as a convener in bringing the design community together to consider key urban questions—will be explored within the context of Van Alen’s current activities as an international leader in innovative and interdisciplinary research, policy, and design.


With oversight from Van Alen Institute’s Executive Director, and in collaboration with the Director of Research, the Researcher will have the following responsibilities:

• Execute a year-long archival research initiative, including the documentation and interpretation of more than 100 years of historical records, drawings, competition boards, photographs, correspondence, and other artifacts from Van Alen’s archive.

• Collaborate on the development, editing, and production of a four-part publication to be released over the course of 2014, including commissioned essays from notable figures in Van Alen’s history.

• Develop and produce a series of themed anniversary programs.

• Produce a 120th-anniversary exhibition to be presented at Van Alen Institute’s ground-floor gallery space.

• Coordinate with Van Alen’s Development Manager and Program Curator on the planning and production of related programs and events.

• Attend weekly project meetings with the Director of Research and other project collaborators.


• Background or interest in architecture, urbanism, planning, architectural history, or related fields is required.

• Experience as a researcher, whether professionally or as a graduate student, is required.

• The ideal candidate will have demonstrated skills as a meticulous editor, able to write, copy-edit, fact-check, index, secure copyright clearances, and manage the production of a print publication on a strict timeline.

• Ability to work independently while adhering to the project’s budget and schedule is essential.

• Experience with Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and related design applications is required.

• Archive management, project management, and production experience are a plus.


This part-time, ten-month position will run from February 1 to November 25, 2014. A stipend will be provided to the selected applicant.


Since its founding in 1894, Van Alen Institute has promoted innovative thinking about the role of architecture and design in civic life. Today the Institute’s competitions, research, and public programs shape the public conversation and bring design excellence to the built environment of cities and sites around the world. Van Alen’s influential legacy of competitions includes Public Property: An Ideas Competition for Governors Island (1996), which kicked off an international conversation about Governors Island and its redevelopment as a public resource, and TKTS2K: A Competition to Design a New York Icon (1999), which led to the TKTS booth in Times Square and reactivated public space at the busiest pedestrian intersection in New York City.

The Institute’s current projects include Rebuild by Design, a multi-stage, regional design initiative to promote resilience, public health, and prosperity in the Sandy-affected region through innovative planning and design, a project of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with the collaboration of Van Alen Institute, New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge, the Municipal Art Society, and the Regional Plan Association. In the coming year, Van Alen will relocate its operations to a newly designed, street-level venue that will be more visible, accessible, and participatory in public life, and in 2014, the Institute will celebrate its 120th anniversary as a catalyst for design innovation by conducting a series of events and projects to explore the organization’s more than century-long legacy.

Learn more at www.vanalen.org.

Please submit a cover letter addressed to Jeff Byles, Director of Research, along with a resume as a single PDF document by Wednesday, January 8, 2014 to jobs@vanalen.org. No phone calls, please.