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DES Architects + Engineers Overview

Redwood City, CA
51 to 200 employees
Company - Private
Architectural & Engineering Services
$25 to $50 million (USD) per year
For over 40 years, DES Architects + Engineers has created working, learning, and healing environments. As a multi-disciplinary design firm, DES provides creative, sustainable solutions to meet the needs of development, science and tech, healthcare, and education ... Read more

DES Architects + Engineers – Why Work With Us?

Creating Your Place

DES Architects + Engineers offer tremendous growth opportunities for talented professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Join our firm and work on amazing projects that captivate your interest, maximize your potential and transform the design experience for our clients and the communities in which we live.

At DES, you have the opportunity to pursue your ambitions: a specific project type, team role, expertise, or educational endeavor. There’s a career development program, licensing assistance, educational stipends, mentorship and much more to support you.

With four major markets and seven in-house services, there is a wide range of opportunities whether you're into analyzing sustainability, sketching design concepts, detailing new approaches, or building client relationships.

Career Development Facts:

  • 120+ internal learning programs annually — 1 program every other day on average
  • 100% of passed licensing and test fees covered by DES plus $1000 bonus
  • $500 educational stipend for each employee annually
  • Principal-level mentors support every employee
  • 50% to 100% of association dues covered by DES

DES designs incredibly impactful working, learning, and healing environments throughout the Bay Area. Each year, the firm works on more than 300 projects for a diverse range of clients: fast-growing startups, global giants, nonprofits, and developers.  

Notable achievements:

  • AIA San Mateo County Outstanding Firm Service Award
  • Top 5 Architecture Firm in Silicon Valley (Silicon Valley Business Journal)
  • Top 5 Interior Design Firm in California (ENR)
  • Over 3 million square feet of LEED Platinum projects
  • Over 9 million square feet of BIM projects

We’re an interdisciplinary team—architects, engineers, designers, planners, and innovators—that challenge ourselves and one another to create forward-thinking environments. Together, we’re the largest architecture firm in Silicon Valley with over 150 employees. Yet, as a regional company, the firm has a tight-knit culture filled with fun-spirited, endlessly curious, and respectful team members.

And, we do countless fun things outside the office: club events, regular happy hours, sports leagues, and community events.

In-House Clubs

  • DES Sketchers: Club that hosts regular outside-the-office sketching events to encourage hand-drawing.
  • Hotshots: Club that promotes creativity and artistic expression through photography exhibits.

Social Sports

  • Softball Team: DES competes in the co-ed AIA Silicon Valley Softball League each year, and made the playoffs in 2018!
  • Pick-Up Basketball: DES has a weekly company basketball game for a little competition, exercise, and fun.

Get Togethers

  • All Hands Meetings: Monthly company updates and birthday celebrations with deserts, staff kudos, and more.
  • Fat Thursday: Company-wide gatherings on the 3rd Thursdays of special months. Food and drinks served with an opportunity for casual conversations and relaxation.
  • Holiday Events: Each major holiday has a special event from Easter egg hunts to Halloween costume contests to summer BBQs.
  • Happy Hours: Monthly Friday Happy Hours at local pubs and wine bars.

Project Awards:


  • Design Tech High School | AIA SMC/Sustainable San Mateo County, Green Building Award
  • Design Tech High School | Engineering News Record, Best K-12 Education Project NorCal
  • Design Tech High School | Gold Nugget Award, Best Educational Project, Grand Award
  • Moffett Place Amenities | Gold Nugget Award, Best Special Use Project, Merit Award
  • Tech Workplace at 1330 Broadway | Gold Nugget Award, Best Interior Renovation Project, Merit Award


  • Central Plant Club | Gold Nugget Award, Best Rehab Project, Merit Award
  • Design Tech High School | Silicon Valley Business Journal (SVBJ) Best Education Project
  • Gilead B309 | AIA SMC/Sustainable San Mateo County, Green Building Award
  • Moffett Gateway Club | Gold Nugget Best Recreational Facility Merit Award
  • PacBio | Gold Nugget Best Rehab Project Merit Award
  • Summit Rancho Bernardo | San Diego Architectural Foundation Orchid Award

Wow Award

Each year, DES’ WOW Award (What Outstanding Work) recognizes employees that have gone above and beyond their normal job duties. Any employee can nominate their co-workers for consideration for the WOW award. DES’ Senior Associates present the WOW Award at one of the monthly all-hands meetings.


  • ArchDaily
  • Building Design + Construction
  • Engineering News Record
  • Fast Company
  • Interior Design Magazine
  • Learning By Design Magazine
  • New York Times
  • San Francisco Business Times
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Silicon Valley Business Journal
  • The Registry

DES Architects + Engineers Reviews

  • "Excellent work environment while challenging even the best employees."

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Engineer in Redwood City, CA
    Current Employee - Project Engineer in Redwood City, CA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at DES Architects + Engineers full-time (More than a year)


    Great corporate leadership. Good work life balance. High profile clients & projects. Challenging work with accomplished and friendly people.


    Pay is at statistical average for your title. local (SF bay, peninsula) adjustment desired. Moving up the ladder is a bit slow.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing it the DES way. Vision is good.

See All 10 Reviews

DES Architects + Engineers Photos

DES Architects + Engineers photo of: Having fun at the Company-Wide Meeting
DES Architects + Engineers photo of: Touring Moffett Towers II!
DES Architects + Engineers photo of: Reviewing samples!
DES Architects + Engineers photo of: Packed house for the AIA Silicon Valley event at Design Tech High School!
DES Architects + Engineers photo of: DES Sketchers out on the town!
DES Architects + Engineers photo of: Groundbreaking for the Skyline College Environmental Science Building!
See All PhotosSee All

DES Architects + Engineers Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Helpful (2)  

    Human Resources Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redwood City, CA
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at DES Architects + Engineers (Redwood City, CA).


    Wonderful group of people! Very friendly and welcoming. Great response time whenever I emailed to check in or with questions. First was a phone interview with the HM, then an onsite with the HM and one other person, then an additional onsite to meet with a few of the partners, and finally an onsite to meet both the CEO and President of DES. Overall an engaging, positive experience. Wish I could have accepted the offer but extenuating circumstances led to my decline. Would highly recommend this company to anyone applying for a job. If the way they treat candidates is any indication of how they treat employees, this is a great place to work.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell us about your background and why you're looking to make a move.   Answer Question
See All 4 Interviews

DES Architects + Engineers Awards & Accolades

Let us know if we're missing any workplace or industry recognition – Add Awards

Pledges & Certifications

Veteran Hiring Commitment

Committed to helping America's military veterans find work

Pay Equality Pledge

Committed to paying equitably for equal work & experience

Career Advancement Program

Helping employees "upskill" into higher-paying positions

Diversity Commitment

Has programs that support a diverse and inclusive workforce

Pledge to Thrive

Taking steps to prioritize employee well-being

First Job Programs

Maintain entry-level hiring and career development programs to give people career starts

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