IA Interior Architects Reviews | Glassdoor

IA Interior Architects Reviews

Updated April 10, 2018
70 reviews

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3.6
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IA Interior Architects Co President/ CEOs David Bourke & Tom Powers
David Bourke & Tom Powers
11 Ratings

70 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Offices are beautiful and work/life balance was good for me (in 3 reviews)

  • If you have a desire to learn and grow, and you let it be know to management, the opportunities are there (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Unfortunately there is also no work/life balance as a majority of PMs cave to client demands and unreasonable schedules (in 7 reviews)

  • Long hours with little accolades (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Group!!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IA Interior Architects full-time

    Pros

    IA offers a lot of opportunity for those interested in elevating their career and the design industry. As the firm continues to grow, there have been many initiatives created to foster individual growth and greater involvement with how the firm evolves.

    Cons

    No real downsides. This is a deadline driven industry so it's important for professionals entering the profession to be ok with that coming in.


  2. "Toxic and Demoralizing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IA Interior Architects full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - They land big clients, and execute small projects.
    - They are trying to keep up with the 21st century and promote de-centralized leadership structures.

    Cons

    - Some of the most negative, toxic leaders ever worked with.
    - Gaslighting is an acceptable cultural feature here and leadership is rewarded for this behavior.
    - The ESOP program is a sham. Leadership owns more than 50% of the company, while the rest is divided among the peons.

    Advice to Management

    - Sell the company.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Don't let IA twist facts to benefit themselves"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IA Interior Architects full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Technology department is amazing..... and unfortunately that is all that is. The IT department are a friendly bunch willing to jump to help resolve a problem. They come out with new technology that helps streamline and improve each designer, job captain and project manager workflow.

    Cons

    Unfortunately a majority of negative reviews are 100% true. You can even see how consistent they are between different reviews. Leadership so focused on themselves and and upper management. I was part of upper management and was appalled by how they twisted things to make them look good and justify the industry. They have a turn over rate of greater than 50% and yet they try and justify by the industry. I have been in the industry for a while and let me say this is a huge lie. Turn over rate occurs when upper management neglects the entire design team. This has been occurring throughout the five years I've worked there. The only reason I stayed, is a gathered a good team I cared about and enjoyed to work with, while helping my team members achieve their career goals. It was a shame to see other teams members leave because of absolute neglect. IA tends to only promote for upper management so keep that in mind if you are young entering the industry or young in career. The chances of true growth would be better suited elsewhere. Advancement of the young staff was rare and reserved for those who tend to "brown nose".

    Unfortunately there is also no work/life balance as a majority of PMs cave to client demands and unreasonable schedules. This makes the staff unreasonably stressed and for the low salaries that IA gives each employee, it makes it worse for staff causing them to leave for significant pay increases.

    When it comes to design, IA is a service firm. They focus on landing projects but undercutting the competition but in the end, it creates a sub-par design and more of just a service firm. They save money by cookie cutting design across multiple project giving no true individuality to a project.

    I can not recommend this firm for anything but the IT department.

    Advice to Management

    Read all the comments on Glassdoor to understand there is an underling problem at IA Interior Architects. To succeed as a firm, you must succeed together. Sometime this means changing your philosophy and welcoming young fresh ideas. I advise the older generation at the firm to start handing the reins to capable mid to younger staff. You'd be surprise what a slight change in philosophy and business methods could make to a firm of 500 employees.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Lack of Employee Support"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at IA Interior Architects full-time

    Pros

    Learn a lot about design and process.

    Cons

    Snow storms you will be at the office safety and work life balance is not going to be found here.

    Advice to Management

    Happy hours are great but caring about your employees safety should be more important.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Global practice with intimate culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IA Interior Architects full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours and work arrangements as needed; big name clients that value and appreciate design; horsepower of a global practice with a more intimate office culture; investment in technology tools and firmwide resources; sharp co-CEO leaders continuing the founder's mission but challenging the firm in new ways; Supportive of inter-office transfers if employees need to move for personal reasons

    Cons

    Workload can be rigorous and demanding, but also challenging and rewarding

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in leadership training for upper/middle-management in all practice areas so managers have the tools needed to mentor the next generation of talent and be successful


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Job Captain"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at IA Interior Architects full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Environment is collaborative, friendly, supportive and promotes new idea and initiatives

    Cons

    focused more on interiors and not enough areas of expansion for architects


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Decent company, great people but weak leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IA Interior Architects (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people to work with. Nice perks such as healthy snacks, wellness program, learning opportunity and a fun environment.

    Cons

    Leadership are not great. Benefits are mediocre - no commuter assistance, no 401k matching, good insurance but expensive. Could improve to be more competitive.

    Advice to Management

    Provide and showcase clear and transparent vision.

  8. Helpful (9)

    "better options abound"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IA Interior Architects full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You will learn a lot while working here especially if you lean on the technical side of project delivery. As others have mentioned, the IT group is excellent and adoption of new technology is awesome. This is perhaps the only hands down plus of this office/firm.

    Cons

    I write this review out of disappointment, disappointment in a great unrealized potential and lack of vision within this office ... IA is a design firm but competes by undercutting the competition with very low fees, not by providing superior design. If you're looking for an innovative design firm that leads the industry this is not the place for you. If you want to crank out permit drawings in an endless line of cookie cutter tech office renovations this is the place you want to be.

    Titles are handed out like candy in a desperate attempt to keep senior staff from running, while younger much more deserving staff is ignored.

    If you're looking to join a workplace firm there are many far better options out there.

    Advice to Management

    When you lead an office that has a turnover rate of 50 + % within a couple year span you can't hang your hat on "it's a competitive market" any longer, or "workplace projects aren't for everyone". You must accept the fact that your leadership is the problem. Listen to your staff, not only junior but middle management, they have ideas and thoughts that are being completely disregarded and ignored.


  9. Helpful (11)

    "Only if you're desperate for a job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IA Interior Architects full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Say, you came out of a horrific divorce or fleein a war-torn country, this place could be your reentry to a better situation.

    Cons

    Flaccid leadership enjoys unlimited spending sprees the firm cannot afford, while those below them bust their butts for thankless pay, long hours with no OT, cheap booze and parties and empty promises of advancement unless you are someone's golden child. This place experiences turnover like nobody's business. If it's quiet for a moment, it's really the calm before the storm. There was a mass exodus last month firmwide with staff leaving even though there weren't jobs waiting. They just wanted to be human again, which this place knows nothing about. If someone next to you keels over due to being overworked and stressed, don't be surprised if these people would walk on by or even over him. Lastly, if you're in this business because you love design, well, you may have worked hard on the most innovative project this place could possibly get, and the design directors and marketing forget to submit it for awards.

    Advice to Management

    Retire and cash out, since you are really bad at leadership.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Project Accountant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Accountant
    Current Employee - Project Accountant
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IA Interior Architects full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule.
    Great team with a positive leader.
    Good life balance.
    Ample opportunities to learn and grow.

    Cons

    The open office environment can sometimes make it hard to concentrate on your work, but usually people are respectful when it comes to noise levels.


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