Job Posting: Director of Donghia Healthier Materials Library (Resource Center), Parsons School of Design, NYC

Parsons School of Design seeks a Director of Donghia healthier Materials Library . The position is supported through the Healthy Affordable Materials Project (HAMP) grant awarded to the Healthy Materials Lab (HML) at Parsons and is a critical part of the initiative housed within the Parsons Design Lab. This position is a temporary position through May 1, 2018 and coincides with the remainder of a three-year research grant. The institution seeks to secure additional funding for future years beyond 2018.

The Director will be charged with creating new resources using the existing Donghia Materials Library as the foundation. The principal responsibility of the Director will be to effectively disseminate the healthiest materials research currently available through a carefully curated materials resource center of healthier affordable building product alternatives. The audience will be local and national students, faculty and professionals. Through the dissemination work of this position, and through the Donghia healthier Materials Library , the Healthy Materials Lab can affect the systems change necessary to bring about radical transformation in the construction and affordable housing industry—a primary audience for the grant.

In support of these goals, and based on the ongoing research conducted in the Healthy Materials Lab, the Director will be responsible for the daily operations of the Donghia healthier Materials Library , including a thorough evaluation of current materials and curation of new materials that can be specified for installation in new and renovated spaces. This center will become a critical resource for the university as we educate future designers and specifiers, and for the industry at large which looks to Parsons as an innovator in the field of design. As the Director grows the Library and increases awareness about the benefits of specifying healthier alternatives, he or she will become integral in the market shift towards a more robust selection of healthier alternatives.

Reporting to the Director of the Healthy Materials Lab, the Director will also work closely with the Director of Design of the Healthy Materials Lab and the lab’s team of Research Fellows. In addition, the Director will provide leadership in the development of healthier materials practices in curriculum and in practice in coordination with Parsons HML, Making Center and academic programs using physical materials across The New School. .


  • Provide leadership, research and support for material culture at Parsons and be a leader in the discussion of healthy material resources at Parsons and The New School as a whole.
  • Work closely with the Directors of the Healthy Materials Lab to align the Donghia Materials Library with the objectives of the Healthy Affordable Materials Project grant.
  • Coordinate with Program Directors, faculty and students from Parsons and The New School to develop curriculum to support healthier materials practices across New School programs
  • Coordinate with the Director of the Making Center to develop programming related to the physical making and materials use
  • Keep current with material innovations worldwide and provide resources about new materials through the materials resource center
  • Coordinate workshops and public events, including material displays and exhibitions
  • Develop a new database of materials, acquire new healthier materials, remove or reuse outdated materials
  • Track material loans to faculty for instructional purposes.
  • Work with manufacturers and other partners (including grant partners HPDC and HBN) to advocate for transparency and innovation in the development of new products in the Affordable Housing sector.
  • Consult with faculty in the development of curricular tools and displays to support a healthy materials culture of School of Constructed Environments to align research and practice with the specific goals of the grant—to transform building materials use in affordable housing
  • Supervise and manage student worker staff and scheduling
  • Perform additional tasks as necessary

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Masters degree required or Bachelor’s degree in interior design, architecture or related fields with equivalent industry/practice experience.
  • 3-5 years experience working with materials within a professional setting.
  • Good interpersonal skills. Proven track record of working well with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, professional training, and aesthetic sensibilities.
  • Experience and ability leading a team of people
  • Experience and knowledge of the practice of interior design, product design or architecture or equivalent.
  • Understanding of disciplinary differences and overlaps of interests as they pertain to material resources.
  • Possess knowledge of a wide range of physical and digital materials, product evaluation tools and product organization systems as they pertain to the disciplines of Product and Architectural, Interior Design, Industrial Design and Textiles fields of practice and the ability to anticipate future needs and trends in material culture and to align with the specific goals of the grant.
  • Strong organizational skills in the areas of curation, storage, archiving, with an ability to provide access to materials and a command of best practices and emerging trends of materials.
  • Have a passion for materials and be able to demonstrate research in the areas of material health and material ecosystems.
  • Ability to stay current with and advocate for sustainable practices particularly as they pertain to human health.
  • Have an existing professional network of manufacturers, designers, architects, and/or advocates of sustainability.
  • Ability to develop and nurture individual student’s design abilities with particular attention to the importance of materials choices and a strong commitment to progressive design education.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google docs and Adobe Creative Suite
  • Ability to work with a team to develop a robust digital platform to document and disseminate healthy material product information.
  • Excellent oral and written skills, communication skills,
  • Must be able to work both independently and collectively
  • Additional plus: skills to develop digital platform for dissemination of healthy material product information

More information and application:

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