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Ghafari Design Architect in Grand Rapids, Michigan


General Summary

The Design Architect is a skilled listener and collaboratively translates the needs and desires of a client into a memorable user experience. While responsible for leadership in discovery, feasibility and conceptualization, the Design Architect also guides the development and documentation of a project. The design architect offers new thinking, inspiration and motivation to internal teams and client groups alike.

Key Responsibilities

  • Inspires and leads others in project team setting while under the guidance of the Director of Design

  • Conceptualize design from both a functional and aesthetic perspective in concert with a client's requirements, budget and program

  • Able to support the facilitation of stakeholder discovery workshops

  • Understands and responds to the technical implications of design decisions

  • Develops goals for excellence in design, execution, and sustainability

  • Ability to engage in new thinking and critical thought

  • Participates in marketing presentations and client meetings

  • Coordinates contractors, consultants and vendor assignments

  • May organize, direct and mentor junior staff

  • Ability to check the work of others for accuracy and completeness and manage team to meet project budget and schedule

  • Utilize BIM technologies in development of three-dimensional models of building and their components

  • Leads design pin-ups and client presentations

  • Understands complex facility program compilation, analysis and implementation

  • Development of a design through hand sketches, physical models, electronic models, diagrams, massing studies, and other visual formats to express the design intent and communicate to project team, client, and building user groups

  • Interpret and apply building codes and requirements of regulatory agencies in development of the building design

  • Coordinate building systems (structural, mechanical, electrical, etc.) to ensure compatibility with the design intent

  • Implement sustainable design principles into the building design and surrounding environment

  • Develop building design in accordance with cost parameters

  • Ensure that design intent is maintained through documentation and construction

  • Ability to apply accessibility codes, applicable building codes, and life-safety codes to the design of a wide variety of project scopes and complexity


Education, Experience and Credentials

  • 7-10 years of design experience required

  • Architectural licensure must be in-progress or in-hand; ability to meet NCARB requirements for licensure in other states required

  • LEED AP or WELL AP is preferred but intent to obtain either is a plus

  • Architectural design leadership experience in commercial, workplace, multi-family residential, hospitality, institutional markets is preferred

  • Degree in support of an Architectural license required (accredited Master's degree or 5 year Bachelor's degree)

  • Proven experience with BIM software (Revit)

  • Strong experience with design software (Twin Motion, Creative Cloud, Rhino, etc.) required


Ghafari is a global engineering, architecture, process design, consulting, and construction services firm driven to understand and meet the distinct needs of every client. For nearly forty years, we have taken a personal approach to highly technical projects in complex markets. By blending insight with technological innovation, we help clients elevate their efficiency, sustainability, and impact.

Our full-service, in-house team works together to meet the unique demands of each project. Working side by side, market experts and discipline leaders exchange insights to uncover new opportunities for efficiency. This rigorous collaboration allows us to bridge smart design with precise functionality.

Ghafari was founded on the promise of technological innovation. Today, we are recognized as a pioneer in adopting and standardizing the latest advancements in our field. We aim to remain at the forefront of our industry and create ever-smarter spaces that help clients navigate new demands within their field.

Join our team and work on forward-thinking projects around the world.

Ghafari Associates, LLC is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities in the employment application process. If you need an accommodation due to a disability in order to use our online system to apply for a position at Ghafari Associates, LLC, you may apply for positions in the following ways:

Connect to our job portal (

By fax at 313.436.8624; Attn: Human Resources

By mail at 17101 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI 48126; Attn: Human Resources

In person at 17101 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI 48126.

By email at

If there are any questions or additional accommodations that are required, please contact 313.441.3000 for assistance.

It is Ghafari Associates, LLC’s policy not to discriminate in its employment and personnel practices because of a person’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, age, weight, height, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a qualified individual with a disability or a protected veteran, or any other classification protected by federal, state or local law or ordinance.

Job ID 2021-1598

Job Location US-MI-Grand Rapids

Category Architecture