Senior Architectural Designer

Location: Portland, OR

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Senior Manager/Supervisor

A Senior Architectural Designer is used to refer to anyone responsible for conceiving of, creating, and implementing ideas that affect human cultural, social, technological, scientific, or financial systems at any scale while serving in a project and firm leadership capacity. At this level, the Senior Architectural Designer will make decisions and recommendations that are recognized as authoritative and have an important and/ or significant impact on extensive architectural activities. The Senior Design Architect’s skills and expertise will provide significant guidance by defining and setting the project direction.   

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 Silicon Valley.

We work collaboratively with communities, universities, corporations, and institutions to formulate a sustainable development framework for the social, cultural, economic, and ecological infrastructure that underpins the making of whole and beautiful places.    

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. We provide quality service to our clients, while ensuring the growth and well-being of our team. 

Job Title: Senior Architectural Designer 
Reports To: Studio Leader/PIC 
FLSA Status: 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. Responsible for originating, leading and generating overall design direction for project teams.
  4. Must be able to rapidly explore a multitude of design options that solve design problems in various ways that are in compliance with applicable jurisdictional requirements.
  5. Actively engage with project team, consultants, clients, public entities, and the community at large when required to advance project design concepts and details.
  6. Supervise, plan, collaborate and review work with team members. This includes mentoring of staff on project teams.
  7. Convey design solutions and communicate effectively to project team, client and general public.
  8. Provide innovative solutions that are sound, founded in deep architectural practice theory and consistently align with SERA’s organizational mission, vision and core values.
  9. Initiate and maintain extensive contacts with key architects and officials of other organizations and companies, requiring skill in persuasion and negotiation of critical issues.
  10. Deliver iterative design ideas that meet project goals including project schedules, budgets, applicable codes, in addition to advancing organization mission, vision and core values.
  11. Understand and adhere to the project's contract requirements. Provide attention to detail at areas of higher risk or deemed critical for the success of the project.
  12. Use the building code to develop architectural solutions. Provide code interpretations that are advantageous for the project and client.
  13. Demonstrate creativity, foresight, and mature architectural judgment in anticipating and solving unprecedented architectural problems, determining program objectives and requirements, organizing programs and projects, and developing standards and guides for diverse architectural activities. 
  14. Generate and supervises design presentations.
  15. Advance 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.
  16. Promote firm and project goals of excellence in design, execution and sustainability.
  17. Be a recognized expert and essential 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. Perform design review of design documents on several concurrent projects.
  3. Deliver conceptual design ideas with both graphic and written communication skill sets that are technical, clear, and concise.
  4. Show an open and willing desire for teaching and mentoring junior designers.
  5. Take on leadership roles in the office for a variety of assignments, either temporary or permanent. 
  6. Fosters and advances a community design culture through commitment to design both inside and outside of the office.
  7. Provide constructive feedback to facilitate continuous improvement.
  8. Actively participate in and lead market sector business development pursuits.
  9. 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 with a NCARB certificate is required. Generally have 12+ years of experience.
  • Candidate should have documented proof of design solutions including conceptual ideas, design development details and construction documents created as designer/project architect/architectural designer.
  • Proficiency in Autodesk Revit, Adobe Creative Suite, MS Office Suite required.
  • LEEP AP within 1 year of hire. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Possesses advanced knowledge of the OSSC/ADAAG and the ability to achieve the intent of the code through, creative design solutions, variances and/or appeals.
  • Strong working knowledge of sustainable building design.
  • 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.
  • High level of creativity, innovative thinking, and problem solving.
  • Advanced ability to objectively analyze and document critical items for project sites that should serve as the foundational basis for place based design solutions.
  • Advanced ability to deliver innovative design and concept thinking skills in various graphic formats including both digital and hand drawings.
  • Advanced ability to work in an independent setting as well as a collaborative team member that is highly productive and effective.
  • Advanced ability to advance personal and team member growth in line with SERA goals and mission.
  • Advanced ability to design innovative process delivery methods that match the needs of the client and or project.
  • Advanced 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.
  • Familiarity with trends in the A/E/C industry.  

SERA Architects Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


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