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Designing Architecture Firms for Long-Term Prosperity

April 29 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am PDT

$15.00 – $25.00

How to Design a Firm That Overcomes Economic Crises and Achieves Long-Term Prosperity

This is a virtual event. Zoom information will be emailed directly to registrants 24 hours before each event.

CES Learning Units: 1 LU (Applying)

In this course, decision-makers at architecture firms of all sizes will acquire strategies for recovering from economic crises and for recession-proofing their businesses against future economic uncertainties. Patrick MacLeamy, FAIA, will draw on his 50-year experience at HOK to impart techniques for leading through trying times and implementing change. Participants will understand the value of full-time marketing practices and how to implement them. Additional issues that will be addressed: What’s the most valuable part of your firm? How do you identify in-demand services you aren’t currently offering but should? How do you buy time when confronted with crises? How do you create a succession plan that assures the firm’s future? Attendees will learn time-proven business tips for overcoming economic downswings—from pandemics and trade wars to cyclical recessions—while increasing long-term profitability.


Patrick MacLeamy, FAIA
Patrick MacLeamy, FAIA, spent 50 years at HOK, which grew into one of the largest architecture and engineering firms in the world during his time there. He rose from Junior Designer to CEO and witnessed the firm’s growth from a single Midwestern office to 27 locations across the globe offering architecture, interiors, engineering, and planning. MacLeamy joined HOK St. Louis in 1967, helped establish the firm’s San Francisco office in 1970, joined HOK’s executive committee in 1995, was named COO in 2000, and served as CEO from 2003 until his retirement in 2016.
He draws on his multi-layered experience in the book Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories, and Strategies Behind HOK (Wiley, 2020). Says A Daily Dose of Architecture: “The book’s layout is clear and logical, as are MacLeamy’s words, which makes it ideal for a class on professional practice or for architects who are busy designing buildings but still want to improve their management skills.”
MacLeamy led many signature projects at HOK, including Moscone Center in San Francisco and King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia. Over the years, he worked as a designer, a project manager, and a marketer. Trained as an architect, MacLeamy is a self-taught executive, who attributes his success to his ability to communicate clearly and his interest in financial metrics and digital standards. He is perhaps best known for the “MacLeamy Curve,” which advocates assigning ample resources early in the design process, optimizing the design and correcting mistakes early when it is easy and cheap—instead of during construction when it is difficult and expensive.
In 1994, MacLeamy was a founding member of buildingSMART International, which works to achieve open standards for the exchange of digital information in the building and infrastructure industries. He was elected a Fellow for his service to the organization in 2018, and serves as International Chairman to this day.

Program attendees can purchase Patrick MacLeamy’s book, Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories, and Strategies Behind HOK, at a 35% discount by entering code ARC33 during checkout at: https://www.wiley.com/en-us/search?pq=macleamy%7Crelevance

Learning Objectives:

+ Participants will gain a strategy for diversifying their firms for long-term prosperity, including ideas for expanding services, launching new divisions, and merging with or acquiring another firm.
+ Attendees will gain insights into the necessity of creating a succession plan and tools for correcting this known weakness within the architecture profession.
+ The seminar will train participants to “think clients, not projects” to elevate a firm from a service provider to a trusted advisor. The 20/80 formula for client success will also be covered.
+ The session will detail the advantages of structuring the firm around specialized leaders to improve efficiency and encourage internal collaboration to help firms better compete externally.


April 29
8:30 am - 9:30 am PDT
$15.00 – $25.00
Event Category:


A virtual ZOOM meeting


AIA Los Angeles


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Designing Architecture Firms for Long-Term Prosperity - AIA Member Ticket
$ 15.00
52 available
Designing Architecture Firms for Long-Term Prosperity - Non Member Ticket
$ 25.00
52 available