I worked at Darden Architects . as an intern (Less than a year)
The principles are excellent people—great mentors and very willing to share their knowledge and experience. The company invests in employee education, paying for LEED certifications and hosting informational meetings on new technology. There's a definite impetus towards digitization, and a constant hunger for growth. New people, and younger people, are respected and listened-to. There's a healthy office culture outside work, with softball teams, etc., if you're into that.
There are some weird old-school aspects—everyone is required to lunch simultaneously, dress is very traditional white collar (suits and ties). If you're accustomed to a more youthful, casual office, the firm might be a culture shock. Collaboration is generally encouraged, but personal duties are still specific and assigned ... little-to-no floating. The architecture itself is thoughtful, exceedingly functional, and well-done, but not ground-breakingly contemporary. Think 'Architectural Digest' not 'Praxis.'
Advice to Management
Continue your great work with interns. Maybe consider taking more design risks, or taking part in design contests (so that you're not taking risks with established clients).
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