Architect as Developer: Jonathan Segal FAIA

Is it possible for architects to develop their own projects even if they don't have any of their own capital?

As architects we have a unique insight into the development and planning process. Our minds and training are especially suited to see hidden solutions and create value through design.

Union Lofts by Jonathan Segal FAIA
Union Lofts by Jonathan Segal FAIA

What if architects could leverage their training and skills to get in the driver's seat on development projects?

Many architects I've talked to, myself included, have fantasized and tried to figure out how to do this. But the path to successful development is strewn with hidden pitfalls, unknowns, risks, and unfamiliar concepts. We aren't accountants, marketers, or investor pitching machines. We don't have any money. We are architects.

But what if an architect who had been through this process and been wildly successful was willing to teach others how to tackle this process? What if you could learn how to pick the right project, raise the capital, and deal with the banks?

This is just what Jonathan Segal, FAIA has been doing through his popular seminar series Architect as Developer. Previously, his seminars were live events costing around $800 per person. Now Mr. Segal has converted his seminar materials to an online course complete with videos, case studies, and workbook and sample forms. Participants will be able to take the course on their own time, in the leisure of their own home. He also offers a forum and subscription service for updated material.

You probably have a few questions. Here is the link to find out more: Architect as Developer



Enoch Bartlett Sears is the founder of the Architect Business Institute, Business of Architecture and co-founder of the Architect Marketing Institute. He helps architects become category leaders in their market. Enoch hosts the #1 rated interview podcast for architects, the Business of Architecture Show where prominent guests like M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. and Thom Mayne share tips and strategies for success in architecture.

8 Responses

  1. I am going to see a mini-seminar of his at the AIA convention in a few weeks. I am very intrigued. I think he is really on to something. I hope the seminar is not a lot of fluff about what he has done, but more about how he does it. It will be interesting to see if he is really willing to share some real insight into how architects can change their destiny. Or if this will just be a victory lap in front of his colleagues.

      1. Yes, I enjoyed it thoroughly and found it very inspirational. The challenge with his work is to take his methods and apply it to something other than apartment buildings. I think it can be done, but I will need to dig into what he is doing in deeper detail to figure out how. I’m glad I went and I did buy his course to get a closer look at what he is doing.

  2. Hi Enoch:
    It’s very impressed to see what Jonathan Segal has done. I don’t see myself working for the rest of my life as a traditional architect. This is definetely an excellent example that many professionals in our field should follow. I’m currently during the IDP process and as soon as I get license I look forward to do something like it.
    I bet it is a lot of fun.. Go Architects..


    1. Hey Christian, great to see you on here! Thanks for the comment and best wishes for the IDP! 🙂

    2. Oh and if you want to know more about what Jonathan Segal is up to, see his interview on this site at

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