The Design Division is seeking qualified, creative and self-motivated individuals to join the City of Charleston’s urban design studio at the Charleston Civic Design Center.

  • Design Division accepts academic interns receiving college credit during the Fall and Spring semesters.
  • There are also one or two part-time paid internships positions available during the summer.
  • Select individuals interested in making a civic contribution by participating in design projects at the Charleston Civic Design Center, but are not receiving college credit, may participate as a Design Volunteer.


Our interns are exposed to urban design and planning practices in a municipal urban design studio. Interns are mentored in our design methods and exposed to the political realities and stakeholders of their projects. Tasks may range in complexity from large-scale urban design projects to the day-to-day duties of operating a small design studio. Charleston is a growing and challenging urban environment, so interns will have a rapidly changing urban laboratory as the context of their work.

All interns will be exposed to skills, people and experiences that will contribute highly to their professional development. Those who demonstrate initiative and commitment will be given meaningful projects that will enhance their professional portfolios. Excellent interns will receive a letter of recommendation from the Director of Civic Design.

The Design Division has two types of internships:

1) Academic (Unpaid)

Academic (Unpaid) interns must be enrolled in an accredited university and receive academic credit for the semester in which they work. Dates of internship and regular work hours are generally flexible and will be based on the needs of each individual. The needs of the Civic Design Center operations and the Design Division team, logistics of meaningful collaboration, and individual intern’s project responsibilities will be considered in negotiating an internship schedule. Interns may also be needed for specific public engagement events that conflict with this negotiated regular schedule. Academic interns typically work 120-180 hours in a semester.

2) Non-academic (Paid)

Non-academic (paid) interns will receive a wage of $9 per hour for a maximum of 200 hours. Such interns will be held to a higher standard of design performance than academic interns and will be required to keep a timesheet. These are limited each year and available only as advertised.


Individuals who are interested in making a civic contribution may volunteer in exchange for a rewarding experience through exposure to projects and doing design work. They may be part of a project-specific Design Work Group alongside community stakeholders and design professionals, or work on their own in the studio. Design Work Groups meet regularly for design-based workshops and benchmark meetings in the Charleston Civic Design Center. Design Volunteers will be given tools, resources and access to the studio in order to contribute to projects at their own will, along with the same mentorship given to our interns. Design Volunteers do not receive financial compensations or academic credit.


  • Good digital communications skills, including reasonable response time to e-mails, proper calendar event management, and professionally-composed messages
  • Basic workplace professionalism, including work-appropriate attire, respectful and engaged interpersonal communication, and the ability to take your work seriously
  • Willingness to listen, learn, contribute, collaborate and generate ideas
  • Taking initiative to explore design concepts, research precedents and solve problems
  • Desire to draw by hand and be creative


The Charleston Civic Design Center, located at 85 Calhoun Street, is an urban design studio and public engagement event space operated by the City of Charleston. The center functions as a gallery, event venue, meeting space and information center for the general public about urban design and planning matters. The building is uniquely positioned to serve as a community design idea hub, using its physical shopfront and virtual interfaces to engage stakeholders in the design process.

The Charleston Civic Design Center is home to the Design Division, a part of the City’s Department of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability. Our current mission is to elevate the dialogue of civic design in the city and facilitate the creation of well-designed places.

The Design Division conducts a variety of urban design, site design, architectural and city planning operations ranging in scope and geographic context. Project deliverables involve internal exploration and analysis drawings for planning and design decision-making, technical writing and graphic design as part of a regulating and/or communication element, presentations to civic groups and City Council, signature Design Division report booklets, and various contributions to small site and master plans. The graphic quality of these deliverables ranges from notational/conceptual to highly-refined plans, sections, diagrams and perspective renderings.

The Design Division works collaboratively in a studio environment that embraces creativity and innovation, while keeping in mind the real and perceived constraints of projects. In addition to regular workshops and other meetings, we employ the National Charrette Institute model to conduct authentic design charrettes.


Applicants should submit a brief statement of interest in the body of an e-mail and an attached resume to Allen Davis, Director of Civic Design, at

Those applying for Architecture & Urban Design internships, as well as all Non-academic/Paid internships, should provide work samples.