Corporate and Publicly Employed Architects

Roundtable Discussions and Ways to Share Your Experiences

Earlier this year, the OAA hosted a roundtable for corporate and publicly employed architects. Attended by 16 members, the event provided a forum to discuss opportunities and constraints within these roles, as well as stimulate the promotion of architects in corporate and public roles as exciting career opportunities that are critical to the successful development of the built environment.

Participants highlighted the value of including architects on staff and in leadership roles in the corporate and public realm with extensive real estate portfolios. There is a growing desire for architectural expertise as it pertains to architectural excellence, including the application of emerging issues, such as stability, resiliency and new building technologies, and, of course, design. This was offset by the perception of architects being solely design focused, and a lack of recognition of the broader skill sets that an architect brings to the table, including technical and project management expertise. Additionally, there is a growing reliance on the use of non-architecturally trained project managers.

Participants also talked about the importance of continuing education to develop and validate broader skill sets as a way to show the benefit of architects in these roles rather than non-experts. Also highlighted was the need to promote the value of public and corporate architects, and increase their visibility in these roles. 

Coming out of this roundtable, the participants committed to work toward increasing their own visibility within their workplaces, expanding their networks, seeking leadership opportunities, and learn how to “talk the talk” of their employers so as to make their skill sets more relatable. The OAA committed to spread the word about this roundtable and to find ways to elevate the importance of architects operating in corporate and public roles. 

If you have experience working as in a corporate or public role, you are encouraged to share your story with the profession via the blOAAg or join the conversation on