Leit Downing
Architect + Retail Designer
Leit Downing
Architect + Retail Designer
Based in
Utrecht, Netherlands
More than 10 years experience
43 years old
United States
See 1 more achievement
Brand Creative Retail Store Design Director
Nike Jan. 1, 2021 - Present
Hilversum, Netherlands

Currently leading the EMEA design team in the process development and execution strategy of the new 'Nike Unite' fleet of stores, a value concept for the neighbourhood with digital and community connectivity

Senior Store Designer, Flagship Projects
Nike Apr. 1, 2016 - Dec. 31, 2020
Hilversum, Netherlands

While my role started out similarly to my previous job at Nike US— leading the design on small and medium brand experience or concept stores in differing environments (and cultures)— it quickly expanded to a key role leading a team in the most ambitious project Nike has ever taken on. Devoted to lead


ing a group of designers as we navigated the complexity of a global flagship project from concept brief to execution and finally this summer, the grand opening of Paris’ House of Innovation on the Champs-Élysées. The evolution of my role came to mean not just providing guidance for the design team, but leading the entire design arm of the consultant team through design phases and construction, heavy coordination with the Nike construction team, providing design solutions on the fly during site visits, leading the coordination with a cross-functional tech-ops team to achieve the requirements for a true omni-channel store experience, among many, many other aspects. And it’s in this expanding role and skillset that I am particularly curious to continue building on what I’ve achieved, and push what I’m capable of, which feels like a whole lot more.

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See 13 more achievements
Hilversum, Netherlands

The Just Do It Awards celebrate what great looks like — individuals working in ways that embody Nike Maxims and their underlying behaviors, epitomising the greatness of human potential. Up to 50 employees around the world each year receive this award and are nominated by senior leadership with winner


s selected by the executive leadership team.

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Store Designer
Nike May. 5, 2013 - Apr. 30, 2016
Portland, United States

Since joining Nike, my first time on the client side, my understanding of the role of design as it drives the user experience and what it takes to go from brief to concept to execution has been a massive growth period for me. During my time, I partnered with or lead the design and construction of sev


eral innovative store environments through major remodels of existing Nike stores, new TI build-outs and a major new core and shell development. Involved daily in the production of drawings, renderings, presentation materials. Worked closely with both internal Nike teams and external consultants, including general contractors and architects of record.

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Senior Designer
SERA Architects Jan. 2012 - Mar. 2012
Portland, OR, United States

Contracted for SERA on the OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building as one of six designers/architects focused solely on the high-tech rainscreen design. My role focused on design team (CO Architects) + consultant coordination, wall assembly and detail development and construction document reviews.

Associate + Project Architect
RIM Architects Oct. 2006 - Jan. 2012
Anchorage, AK, United States

Over the course of the 30+ projects during my tenure at RIM, responsibilities evolved from design and construction documents, to taking a diverse role in the firm-- harnessing both design and leadership skillsets. The last two years focused on pre-design/programming, concept design and masterplanning


for community and civic projects. Increasingly involved in strategic thinking on proposals, project team structure and firm management. I consistently improved the design team’s ability to understand the needs of the clients and redefined goals. The variety of project types and roles has made me proficient in all phases of design documentation, detailing for arctic conditions, as-built drawings, code studies, consultant coordination, presentations, and materials/product coordination.

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Intern Architect
MRV Architects Jun. 2004 - Sep. 2006
Juneau, AK, United States

MRV provided a small firm culture that involved me in almost all facets of the field. A balance between 1-on-1 guidance and the freedom to make mistakes was paramount to quickly understanding real-world architecture, client relations and consultant coordination. Worked daily on concept designs, desig


n documentation responsibilities, and consultant coordination.

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Archiprix 2005: Biennial International Architectural Thesis Competition
Juneau, AK, United States

Nominated by SCAD to represent the school in a biennial international competition of thesis projects. Only one student per two years of graduating classes per university is invited to compete internationally and participate in the subsequent workshops. Projects are posted online.

SCAD 2004 Outstanding Thesis Document
Savannah, GA, United States

Awarded post-graduation for thesis publications, based on entire graduating college.

AIA Outstanding Thesis Design Award
Savannah, GA, United States

Single award given by the members of the Savannah AIA at the thesis presentation of the graduating architectural class.

Masters of Architecture
SCAD - Savannah College of Art & Design Jan. 2001 - May. 2004
Savannah, United States
Bachelors of Architecture
SCAD - Savannah College of Art & Design Jan. 2001 - May. 2004
Savannah, United States

Magna Cum Laude

(Transferred to SCAD)
University of Oregon Sep. 1997 - Mar. 2000
Eugene, Oregon, United States

Architecture program

Schenker Construction Jun. 1998 - Aug. 1998
Juneau, AK, United States

Seasonal work building houses

Big Deal F.V. Jun. 1997 - Aug. 1997
Juneau, AK, United States

Commercial salmon fishing for Chinook, Coho and Sockeye

Industry sectors






Licensed Architect

Software skills

Sketchup Pro

Autodesk Autocad

Adobe CC Suite

Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel...)

Autodesk Revit



Native language


Basic knowledge

Types of contracts
Full Time
Personal details

Green card holder / US working permit

UE working permit

Potentially open to relocate

Professional references

Krista Phillips, FAIA

Heather Dale, NIKE

Alan Cheyne, Hyphen Architects

Herves Descottes, L'Observatoire International

Nike’s chief design officer John Hoke on the future of retail design

Nike’s new Paris flagship points towards the future of physical retail, with a digitally-integrated approach.

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