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Bristol, UK
Senior design lead
at Shape Studio

Shape Studio is recruiting a senior design lead to join its team in Bristol, UK.

We are looking for an experienced, motivated and friendly designer to lead our design team across all our projects.

About us

Shape Studio is a design-led fabrication team based in workshops in the heart of Bristol. Working at all scales in the commercial, hospitality and retail sectors we approach every project with making in mind. We are committed to fostering a positive and collaborative work environment that nurtures talent and encourages growth. We are currently seeking a passionate and motivated lead designer to join our team and help us shape the future of our design.

Role overview

As a lead designer at Shape Studio, you will play a pivotal role in guiding and inspiring our talented team of designers. Your expertise and enthusiasm will set the standard for excellence, driving both personal and team success from initial concept designs through to project handovers. You will be a key player in maintaining the high quality of our design output while fostering a culture of open communication and continuous improvement. You will have overview and input in all our major projects and work across the design and workshop teams to deliver winning projects and excellent design.

Leadership and mentorship:

  • set a high standard of personal motivation and performance, inspiring junior designers to excel
  • provide dynamic assistance and mentorship to junior designers, helping them solve design challenges while managing your own project portfolio
  • foster a positive design critique culture and build close, supportive relationships within the team
  • management of projects at the architectural scale from briefing through to construction and handover


  • ensure clear and effective communication between directors and the design team
  • clearly convey client expectations and feedback to the design team, including project timelines and deadlines
  • organize and lead design-focused meetings and project reviews to maintain a cohesive and high-quality design output
  • promote and facilitate collaboration between the design and workshop teams, embedding this as a core part of our studio culture

Systems and processes:

  • collaborate with directors and senior team to ensure design hours align with quoted budgets
  • ensure design staff adhere to internal processes, including timesheets, meeting minutes, budget and project management templates, graphic assets and drawing standards
  • scheduling, allocation, monitoring design resourses across all projects

Director support:

  • assist directors in evaluating project success and exploring new approaches to maximize the potential of the design team
  • provide directors with feedback and insights into staff interactions and working practices

Qualifications and skillset:

  • proven experience in a senior design role, with a strong portfolio showcasing your work
  • excellent leadership and mentorship skills
  • strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines
  • proficiency in relevant design software and tools: VectorWorks, Rhino, SketchUp, Adobe Suite, Affinity with Spreadsheets
  • a keen eye for detail and a commitment to quality
  • architectural experience preferred
  • early start dates preferred

Why join us?

  • opportunity to work in a creative and supportive environment
  • chance to lead and inspire a talented team of designers
  • Mac Book Pro for professional and personal use
  • flexible working practices
  • professional growth and development opportunities

If you are a motivated and experienced designer with a passion for leadership and a commitment to excellence, we would love to hear from you.

We may find it difficult to respond to every application and enquiry for an interview. Thank you for your interest in working at Shape.

To apply

Please submit your CV, and a brief cover letter via the apply for job button below.

Salary: Undisclosed

This position is only available to applicants based in the United Kingdom