The term “List of best architects” is just a permissionless sorted List.
The list membership policy is easy. I would create only one restriction: anyone is free to join the list actively and by itself, but can not include other people. I would prevent blind and bulk invitations.
Key function is in the “sorting”, selecting “the bests” (whatever “the best” is).
Here we can start with some very simple criteria, like number of posts or number of likes on the posts - it is not really important where we start. We should start with just some idea of sorting. For sure we should keep it transparent and should not pretend to have an ultimate quality measure.
Because this initial quality criteria will not be sufficient, requesters (I mean here the corporations) will propose better quality parameters. They will propose some criteria they will trust. May be they will ask for number of projects done or they will create an assessments or hackathons. We just don’t know, but they are customers, they are free to create any rating criteria they can imagine.
All in all: anyone is free to join the list, any customer (corporation) is free to create his rating over the list or reuse an existing one.
That’s a better foundation to build from in my opinion, at least from a permissionless standpoint. The real tough problem comes in defining the data source, and who processes the data. One could come up with all sorts of valid schemes and metrics to gauge a multi-dimensional viewpoint of an architect’s skillset and experience. Some of these would be subjective and others objective, like you mentioned. A good analysis would be very bespoke for a client, and probably very valuable! This plays along similar lines as the recruiting industry.
All of it requires a whole lot of data wrangling and analysis. It sounds like quite a project! And by the sounds of it, you have customers who would be willing to pay for this bespoke analysis. Why not start a company? Why does the REA need to do this?
Open data sets will naturally create markets for this kind of deep, subjective analysis.