Design Director Zoos and Aquariums Dublin, OH

Design Director Zoos and Aquariums

Full Time • Dublin, OH

The Design Director - Zoos and Aquariums provides client and team leadership and is responsible for creative development, art direction, execution and coordination of all phases of the design process. Work spans from concept design through installation and is done in collaboration with other in-house project managers, writers, engineers, and designers, architects and specialty fabricators. Candidates must have a background in architecture with a minimum of 10 years' experience in a similar capacity - designing environments for living exhibits. Location for this position is flexible. Roto has offices in both Dublin, OH and Boston, MA.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Contribute to all stages of projects (concept through design development), leading designs for primarily zoos, aquariums, and living exhibits, with additional work in exhibits, play-spaces, and themed environments.
  • Create technical / creative approaches and solutions to meet critical design criteria, while adhering to local building codes and other applicable codes, standards and guidelines.
  • Create detailed floorplans for exhibit spaces and coordinate with multiple sub-contractors and specialty architectural and engineering firms.
  • Lead / direct selection of all materials, colors, and project-related finishes.
  • Independently complete project & design assignments in collaboration with project team members.
  • Interface with Roto clients alongside other project team members.
  • Demonstrate the ability and desire to work with a multitude of various art directions.
  • Research ideas and materials for exhibits, recommend solutions for design problems, and utilize design techniques to produce desired visual effect and messaging.



Qualifications, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Background in architecture required; prefer experience with zoos or aquariums..
  • Prefer a minimum of 10 years’ experience in similar capacity.
  • Knowledge of live animal exhibit design including but not limited to understanding live animal husbandry requirements, containment, enrichment, staff access, visitor viewing experience, acrylic viewing window design, and replicated habitat design and fabrication.
  • Knoweldge of life support systems and related requirements necessary for sustaining designing sustainable living exhibits of aquatic species.
  • Experience in marketing and presenting the work of the firm to potential new clients.
  • Experience laying out exhibition floorplans.
  • Experience designing architectural scale exhibits with multi-story facilities inclusive of working with architects in the development of the architectural context within which the exhibits will be placed.
  • Firm understanding of exhibit design and constructability.
  • Experience in both the schematic and detail design phases.
  • AutoCAD and SketchUp proficiency is required. Adobe creative suite is a plus.
  • Knowledge and experience in cost estimating of living collection exhibits.



Benefits: Fun, creative, collaborative, unique, and casual working environment. Medical, dental, vision, PTO, paid holidays, and more!

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All employees enjoy:

  • Casual and creative working environment
  • Working in a unique and exciting industry
  • Monthly lunch and team meeting
  • Complimentary beverages
  • Annual summer picnic
  • Annual holiday party


Full time employees receive:

Paid time off
Paid holidays
Dark week
Offices closed and paid time off between Christmas and New Year’s Day
Paid parental leave
Medical, dental, and vision insurance
Employer paid life insurance, short term disability, long term disability