Design Associate – Rural Design Centre

Permanent, 37.5 hours per week (part time options available)
Salary £40,000 per annum plus pension
Based in the North East of England, with hybrid and flexible working options available
Applications by 21st February 2022

The Rural Design Centre is a small team with a passion for deploying design as a catalyst for innovation in rural Britain. Working in partnership with a range of public, private, community-based and research organisations gives us a unique insight into rural issues, which we use through a design thinking approach to facilitate practical solutions. Recent successes mean we are growing in our size and impact and want to welcome an additional Design Associate to the team. Our Design Associates are empowered to develop and deploy design-led methods to explore and define design challenges that lead to tangible outcomes.

Design to us is a collection of frameworks, methods, tools and expertise to enable positive change wherever we are working. We adapt our approach depending on the context of the project. Design Associates are the enablers and facilitators that identify and frame the innovation opportunities, big and small, that have the potential to improve people’s lives. We use the simple design thinking framework of discover, define, develop and deliver, then adopt the appropriate design tools and expertise to deliver tangible outcomes for clients. As a Design Associate you would need to be able to see the big picture as well as get into the details in specific phases. This is a challenging role but a rewarding one for the right person.

Rural Design Associates are positive, engaging and interested in enabling innovation using design thinking methodology. They have experiences of managing and developing products and services and also enabling positive transformational design. The role will be working across a variety of projects, mainly focused on rural communities in the North East of England. These include projects part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and North of Tyne Combined Authority, such as the Rural Design Centre Innovation Project delivered by Innovation SuperNetwork, Advance Northumberland and Northumbria University.

To make this work, you’d need to demonstrate the following skills:

  • Design and innovation project development, delivery and management;
  • Great communication skills, verbal and visual;
  • Ability to:
    • Research and gather insights from sometimes complex problems and opportunities
    • Identify the right challenge areas to focus on
    • Create a project brief
    • Scope out and plan a project
    • Engage with people from all walks of life
    • Design and facilitate interactive workshops online and face to face enabling discovery, definition and development
    • Work 1-to-1 with entrepreneurs, business people and volunteers
    • Manage a portfolio of projects in a variety of subject areas.

If you have these skills and are looking for an exciting, high profile and impactful role, the first step would be to send your CV to Nick Devitt at by 5pm on Monday 21st February.