Architectural Project Designer

Location: Portland, OR

Department: Workplace

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced

Generally have 8+ years of experience.

As a Designer in a collaborative team setting with a Project Manager and/or Project Architect, you will actively engage and lead the delivery of creative solutions for SERA clients that meet or exceed their expected outcomes. Innovative thinking and imaginative problem solving skills should be combined with good technical skills to projects that are seamlessly woven into contextual environments for place-based design solutions. With an interdisciplinary project team and the Principal-in-Charge you will be accountable for project performance success as determined by the team at the beginning of the project.

About SERA

SERA is a progressive, 100% employee-owned architecture, interior design and urban design & planning firm based in Portland, Oregon. Since 1968, SERA has been instrumental in the development of the city’s national reputation for livability. In 2015, we opened a second office in the San Francisco Bay Area where we service Silicon Valley and other California clients.

Our culture reflects our commitment to great design, client service, and sustainability. SERA provides our employees with an enjoyable work environment and opportunities for professional and personal development.

Job Title: Project Designer
Level: ARC VI
Supervisor: Studio Leader / Senior Architectural Designer
FLSA: Exempt

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Advance creative design direction for the project team. This could include but is not limited to; project pursuit, client meetings, stakeholder engagement and project delivery.
  2. Be an active listener and inspire project teams.
  3. May work in a supporting role to senior architectural designer on large projects by maintaining continuity of overall design intent.
  4. Supervise, plan, collaborate and review work with team members. This includes mentoring of staff on project teams.
  5. Provide innovative solutions that are sound, founded in deep architectural practice theory and consistently align with SERA’s organizational mission, vision and core values.
  6. Understand how to rapidly explore a multitude of design options that solve design problems in various ways that are in compliance with applicable jurisdictional requirements. 
  7. Actively engage with project team, consultants, clients, public entities, and the community at large when required to advance project design concepts and details.
  8. Deliver iterative design ideas that meet client project goals in addition to advancing cultural, and social needs of the greater community.
  9. Use the building code to develop architectural solutions. Provide code interpretations that are advantageous for the project and client.
  10. Understand and adhere to the project's contract requirements.
  11. Work to be recognized as an expert/leader and authority in the company in a broad area of expertise or in a narrow but narrowly specialized field.
  12. Be a resource to other SERA staff. 


  1. Responsible for staying actively involved throughout the construction document process to support design development and delivery of projects. 
  2. Must be cable of delivering conceptual design ideas with both graphic and written communication skillsets that is technical clear and concise.
  3. Shows an open and willing desire for teaching and mentoring junior designers.
  4. Fosters and advances a community design culture through commitment to design both inside and outside of the office.
  5. Provides constructive feedback to facilitate continuous improvement.
  6. Works with and supports marketing and business development efforts in the office.
  7. Other duties as assigned

Education and Experience

  • Requires either a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree or a 6 year Masters of Architecture degree from an NCARB accredited university or international equivalent.
  • Licensed Architect is preferred. Generally have 8+ years of experience.
  • Candidate should have completed or be working on completion of the AXP requirements established by NCARB for architecture licensure in their base state.
  • Candidate should have documented proof of design solutions including conceptual ideas, design development details and construction documents created as intern/project assist/project architect.
  • Proficiency in Autodesk Revit, Adobe Creative Suite, MS Office Suite required.
  • LEEP AP Preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Possesses knowledge of the OSSC/ADAAG and the ability to achieve the intent of the code through, creative design solutions, variances and/or appeals.
  • Possesses knowledge of other codes and/or guidelines such as NFPA, OSHA, FHA, ANSI, and the USGBC LEED Rating system.
  • Knowledge of Sketchup, Rhino, Grasshopper, and hand graphic skills preferred.
  • Advanced ability to communicate through verbal, written and graphic communication formats.
  • Strong design skills required.
  • Ability to objectively analyze and document critical items for project sites that should serve as the foundational basis for place-based design solutions.
  • Ability to deliver innovative design and concept thinking skills in various graphic formats including both digital and hand drawings.
  • Ability to work independently or in a collaborative team that is highly productive and effective.
  • Ability to advance personal and team member growth in line with SERA goals and mission.
  • Ability to design innovative process delivery methods that match the needs of the client and or project.
  • Ability to engage and coordinate cross discipline expertise within other SERA staff including but not limited to Urban Planning, Interior design, Landscape Architecture, and SURG (sustainability resources group).
  • Familiarity with trends in the A/E/C industry. 

SERA Architects Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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