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4 days ago
  • Level Senior
  • Professions Project Management, Artist
  • Type Full Time
  • Location London, United Kingdom
Deputy Director of Design and FuturePlanV&A



Projects Department
The work of the Projects Department focuses on managing, implementing and delivering the major programme of capital projects at the V&A known as FuturePlan. Using the best architects and designers, FuturePlan is transforming the V&A buildings by revitalising visitor facilities and redisplaying the collections, whilst restoring modern design and innovation to the museum. The purpose of FuturePlan is to bring clarity to the physical space of the museum, re-emphasise the quality of the original building and ensure that the collections are beautifully displayed and easy to understand. The V&A is embarking on an exciting new phase including a 5-year capital programme at South Kensington, a new V&A building on the Olympic site in east London, a new collections centre and new masterplan at the Museum of Childhood.
The Deputy Director of Design and FuturePlan will be a key role in the management and coordination of this exciting capital programme, and it will have oversight of all FuturePlan projects as well as other projects across the entirety of the museum’s estate. The scale, complexity and value of projects across the museum spans a vast range, with each bringing significant challenges and opportunities for the museum, its staff and the public at large. Communicating with stakeholders – internally as well as externally – in addition to the sensitive management of expectations is a key requirement for the museum as it embarks on these ambitious schemes. Some are on-site in South Kensington whilst others are off-site, but all of them must be incorporated into an ongoing programme, for which this role will be responsible.

V&A Design Studio
The V&A’s in house Design Studio mission is to promote, champion and undertake the very highest quality design throughout the Museum, with a particular focus on interior projects, exhibitions and generating 2D Design for the Museum. It is responsible for creating and sourcing the best and most appropriate design solutions for all special exhibitions, displays and permanent galleries; and for creating and setting a stylish and coherent look and feel to the Museum’s galleries and public areas.

Purpose of job

The objective of this post is twofold.
1) The post-holder will deliver the V&As programme of capital projects and commissions as part of V&A FuturePlan at South Kensington particularly those primarily intended to make a significant impact on the overall presentation and ambience of the museum, presenting to the very highest standard, the Museum’s Visitor Facilities, Galleries, Garden, Courtyard and Public Spaces, in such a way that the widest possible audience can enjoy the Museum.
The post-holder will also act as client for these projects and be responsible for ensuring that they meet the Museums strategic objectives. Other special projects will range from changing displays, wayfinding, installations and artist commissions (not exhaustive). The post holder will be responsible for directing cross-departmental project teams comprising members of staff from curatorial, conservation, education, finance, learning and IT departments. They will also have line-management responsibility, in addition to the Design team, for the team of project managers and co-ordinators who act as facilitators and liaison officers for each FuturePlan project.
The post holder will with the guidance of Director of Design, Exhibitions and FuturePlan directing and commissioning work from other external consultants such as architects and designers. They will work closely with and line manage the Head of FuturePlan Programmes, who will oversee the FuturePlan programme, to ensure that individual projects are properly resourced, co-ordinated and communicated to all stakeholders, that they comply with and enhance all relevant V&A strategies and are completed on time and within budget.
The post holder will play a fundamental and highly significant role shaping V&A FuturePlan projects and will act as Project Director for specified FuturePlan projects.
As Project Director, the post holder will take lead responsibility for delivering the project brief to the budget and programme, ensuring that members of the project team, both inhouse and externally, are motivated to deliver their part of the project at the appropriate point and in such a way to facilitate all other aspects of the project.
2) Secondly the post-holder will be responsible for overseeing a small team of creative practitioners in the V&A’s internal design studio managing the departments’ workload, guiding its strategic and operationalrequirements and shaping the form ofthe department. The design direction will be provided by the Director of Design, Exhibitions and FuturePlan.
It is expected that the post holder will be the arbiter/guide of taste and style and the person who sets the overall ‘tone of voice’ for interior presentation at the V&A.
The post holder may be expected to undertake relevant Design/Project consultancy work (either within the UK or overseas) on behalf of the V&A in order that it meets the strategic aims and objectives of the Museum.

Principal Responsibilities

1. To lead and manage, The FuturePlan Programme and Design Team, the team of Project Managers and Coordinators providing strategic direction and with particular attention to their training and development.
2. To lead and line manage the Head of FuturePlan Programme and Head of Design Studio
3. To contribute to the overall planning of V&A FuturePlan, with the V&A FuturePlan steering group and to act as Project Director for specified FuturePlan projects.
4. To chair project meetings, providing progress updates to the FuturePlan Steering Committee, V&A Senior Management Board and the Trustees as necessary.
5. To commission designers for galleries, public spaces and ‘special’ projects as appropriate, following Museum procedures for competitive purchasing, ensuring compliance with EU regulations where relevant. To take a lead role in the development of tender documentation and contracts as necessary including interviewing and selecting contractors and other consultants; monitoring their work to ensure the highest possible standards are met.
6. To monitor the project’s timetable and take responsibility for the project budget and programme to ensure that members of the project team, both in-house and external, are motivated to deliver their part of the project at the appropriate point and in such a way to facilitate all other aspects of the project
7. To structure, present, manage and monitor capital and operational budgets within the post holders remit.
8. To work closely with the Heads of Projects Programme , V&A Design Studio, Exhibitions and Estate to ensure compliance with and enhancement of the Museum’s design and estate policy.
9. To liaise with donors or funding partners for the project as required.
10.To ensure that consultation and stakeholder communication takes place as appropriate and that approval is given at specified stages of content development and design.
11. To act as a team player working in a collaborative, participatory and collegiate way.
12. To promote and underpin the design strategy, in conjunction with the Director of Design, Exhibitions and FuturePlan for achieving a consistent design approach and aesthetic for gallery and non-gallery spaces in the Museum, to devise and work through a phased plan implementing world-class design across the Museum estate and through differing media.
13. The post holder will also have line-management responsibility, for Project Managers and Coordinators acting as facilitators and liaison officers for designated FuturePlan projects which become the responsibility of the post-holder.
14. To support the V&A Design studio and Projects in the development of their strategic operational duties, to offer guidance and direction regarding recruitment, programming work, preparing and reviewing budgets and considering staff training needs.
15. Be committed to health and safety and ensure familiarity with all of the Museum's health and safety policies and procedures.
16. Promote equality and diversity in all aspects of your work by developing and maintaining positive working relationships, ensuring that colleagues are treated fairly and with respect/dignity and actively contributing to developments that support the Museum’s strategy for widening access, inclusion and diversity.
17. Be security conscious, ensure familiarity and co-operation with all Museum security procedures and ensure you wear a security pass at all times when on Museum premises.
18. Carry out ad hoc duties as requested by the appropriate reporting officer.


Essential requirements
1. Ability and experience in leading and directing significant capital projects. You will have experience and an excellent track record in delivering wide reaching and complex cross organisational projects, preferably in the cultural sector on time and to budget.
2. Experience of working on major complex construction projects and successfully leading the project management of multiple capital works to tight deadlines and budgets. Able to quickly lead and navigate a team through a complex set of project decisions and issues to the required resolution.
3. Strong academic background - degree level education or equivalent experience.
4. Postgraduate qualification in a related area and/or project management qualification (e.g. Prince 2 or APM).
5. Proven experience as a manager of diverse project teams in a leadership position.
6. Highly effective and confident leader, with an ability to lead a team whilst being inclusive. Successful track record in getting the most out of project teams, both internally and externally.
7. Proven problem solver and strategic thinker with an ability to view complex problems holistically and make strategic decisions based on the bigger picture, while gaining good understanding of the detail
8. Ability to clearly identify and resolve future project issues before they manifest themselves. Excellent understanding of the detailed processes involved in a capital project.
9. Experience and successful track record in leading multi-disciplinary teams of contractors, consultants, experts and museum professionals.
10.Demonstrable track record in leading the development of project briefs and gaining agreement with senior stakeholders.
11. Outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written, able to tailor presentations to a variety of audiences and levels.
12. Strong personal presence, impact and influencing skills – and by contrast the successful candidate will also need to possess adaptable and flexible approaches to managing complex projects.
13. Ability to successfully influence and negotiate with a wide range of stakeholders to senior management level, taking on board conflicting priorities and complex detail.
14. Excellent resource management skills, with ability to set and manage budgets and ensure that expenditure targets are met and costs are managed within budgets.
15. A high level of understanding of the complexities and risks of delivering multi-site construction projects
16.A thorough understanding of design, the design process, the roles within the Design Team as well as the museum sector.
17. Experience of briefing, commissioning and managing a variety of design professional designers (eg Architects, Engineers, Project Managers, Cost Consultants, Graphic and Exhibition Designers) to a high professional standard.
18. Exceptional negotiating and communication skills, able to focus on Museum priorities and manage competing demands for limited resources.
19. Experience of evaluating and taking complex and high value decisions.
20 Possess a high degree of self-awareness, to be self-critical and to strive for continual professional development.
21 Demonstrable ability to apply sound business, financial and risk management principles, with a track record of delivering capital projects on time and within budget.
22 Experience of managing, motivating and developing members of staff.
23 Appreciation of the role design plays in achieving the Museum’s objectives.

Desirable requirements
1. Experience of working in Museum or similar arts /culture environment.
2. Experience working with listed buildings and of planning applications.
3. Demonstrable ability to prepare feasibility studies and funding applications.


Net working hours (i.e. excluding meal breaks) are 36 per week. Salaries are reviewed on an annual basis.
Annual leave:
28 days plus 8 days public holidays
Pension benefits:
You will be auto enrolled into the Museum’s Group Personal Pension Scheme and have the opportunity on completion of Probation to an enhanced pension provision, including an employer contribution of 10%.
Other benefits:
Non-contributory life assurance policy (to value of 4 x annual salary)
An interest free season ticket or bicycle loan is available after three months.
Free entrance to all the major museums and exhibitions in London as well as many others.
Subsidised staff restaurant
Discounts on purchases in V&A shops
Childcare Voucher Scheme

Closing date for this vacancy is 23:59, 04 January 2018

Skills Required

  • Project Management
  • Arts