Ben Meade is design director of real estate firm Alloy Development in New York. He explains his path into property development for the Dezeen Jobs careers guide.
Meade is responsible for managing the design development of all projects, from overseeing renderings to guiding "the conceptual look and feel" of all proposals.
Working closely with a team of architects and designers, Meade sees each project through from conception to construction.
"Alloy Development is a one-stop-shop for the majority of challenges in the built environment: design, development, construction and brokerage," he told Dezeen Jobs. "I participate in every aspect of a project from start to finish."
Meade began his career at San Francisco-based architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, joining as part of the company's internship programme while he completed his architecture studies at California Polytechnic University.
Before joining Alloy Development over seven years ago and working his way up, he had worked on infrastructural and redevelopment projects, competitions, a local high school theatre project and briefly as a model-maker.
Based in New York, Alloy Development builds properties across the city, focusing on community-led design.
Recent projects include 168 Plymouth, which involved overhauling two factories in Brooklyn's historic Dumbo district into a block of 46 townhouses, lofts and penthouse apartments.
"We care about the communities we work in, we want to make sure everything we do has value," he explained. "Everything we do has a return to the neighbourhood, and that's been a rich part of my personal experience here."
Meade discusses how the path to becoming an architect is "shifting pretty quickly." He believes forming your own design language and aesthetics are what will help young designers push their careers forward, as opposed to following a traditional approach.
"There is no longer a concrete route to get to where you want to go."