HECTOR is an urban design, planning & civic arts practice led by Jae Shin & Damon Rich. We make architecture, public spaces, plans, exhibitions & publications that use design to help things happen.

Building with roots in organized communities means connecting design choices to larger networks of accountability. Hector's recent projects include a memorial for eco-feminist Sister Carol Johnston, redesign of a four-acre neighborhood park in one of Philadelphia’s most multiplex neighborhoods, and a permanently installed 250-square-foot land-use model of Newark, New Jersey, commemorating passage of the city’s first zoning law in 50 years. HECTOR’s work has been exhibited at the Queens Museum, Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Newark Public Library, and the Museum of Modern Art.


Jae Shin is a designer and partner at HECTOR. She recently served as an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), where she facilitated efforts to define and implement design principles for preserving and rehabilitating New York City’s public housing. She holds degrees in painting from Rhode Island School of Design and architecture from Princeton University. Her projects have received support from the MacDowell Colony and the National Endowment for the Arts, and she has led design studios at New Jersey Institute of Technology and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Damon Rich PP AICP is a designer, urban planner, and partner at HECTOR. He previously served as planning director and chief urban designer for the City of Newark and is the founder of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), an internationally recognized nonprofit organization that uses art and design to increase meaningful civic engagement. His work has been recognized by the MacArthur Fellowship, American Planning Association National Planning Award, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, the Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the MacDowell Colony, and the United States Pavilion at the 11th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice.


American Planning Association New Jersey Chapter Award for Best Implemented Plan, 2016
Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts Research Award, 2016
Honorable Mention, The Architect's Newspaper Best of Design Award for Public Landscape, 2016
American Planning Association National Planning Award for Public Outreach, 2015
Charles Cummings Award of the Newark Preservation & Landmarks Committee, 2015
New Jersey Smart Growth Award for Newark’s River Redevelopment & Public Access Plan, 2014
Isadore Starr Center for the Study and Practice of Social Studies Star Award, 2014
American Planning Association New Jersey Chapter Outstanding Community Engagement and Education Award, 2009


Ironbound Community Corporation, Lower Broadway Coalition for I-280 & Route 21, Mayor's Institute on City Design, The Museum of Modern Art, Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, New Jersey Future, Philadelphia Mural Arts, SEAMAAC, Inc, NJCRI Project Wow!, Sustainable Cities Design Academy, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Yendor Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Selected press

“An Investigative Approach to Park Design,” Next City, 4/6/17

"Planning Mifflin Square," South Philadelphia Record, 3/9/17

"Designing Mifflin Square Park to unite a diverse ethnic neighborhood," Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/26/17

"Reimagining Mifflin Square Park in 21 languages," Plan Philly, 10/5/16

“Walking to the Water: Environmental Justice and Newark’s Riverfront Park,” Urban Omnibus, 1/29/14

“Newark Revival Wears Orange Along the River,” New York Times, 7/20/13