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IA Interior Architects Reviews

Updated January 6, 2018
71 reviews

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3.5
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IA Interior Architects Co President/ CEOs David Bourke & Tom Powers
David Bourke & Tom Powers
11 Ratings

71 Employee Reviews

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

  • I was provided with many opportunities to learn different skills and to be exposed to different aspects of the profession (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Snow storms you will be at the office safety and work life balance is not going to be found here (in 6 reviews)

  • Long hours with little accolades (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "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


  2. "Good Place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intermediate Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Intermediate Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    Fun Office, Flexible scheduling and maternity benefits

    Cons

    Heirarchy, no credit for your projects

  3. "Great firm for Families"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intermediate Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Intermediate Designer in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    IA San Francisco was very accommodating during maternity leave and allowed reduced hours for returning to work. They try to make work fun by offering parties and get-togethers, random activities, yoga wednesday's, wellness room etc. Flexible schedules with every other Friday off if you work 9 hour days instead of 8.

    Cons

    Like any architectural firm, there can be a lot of project burn out, turnover rate (make friends but then they leave) and clicky people and management's favorites. I think that might happen almost anywhere, but overall I had a great experience working there.

    Advice to Management

    Continue making good attempts at work/life balance and office culture. Some employees are just unappreciative and do not realize just how good it is, or how bad it could be elsewhere...


  4. Helpful (1)

    "The revolving door spins fast"

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

    I have been working at IA Interior Architects full-time

    Pros

    The usual as others have said. Nice environment and far better than a cube farm. Nice perks. occasionally chair massages. Yoga. Lots of the stuff millenials in the Bay Area seem to need. Mostly great coworkers who are interested in doing good work and learning things maybe outside their wheelhouse.

    Good office location.

    Cons

    The turnover in unlike anything I have ever seen.. Quite seriously, I have friends in hospitality and retail who basically gasped when told what the turnover rate is.

    Those perks and all of the hosting and hosting of clients while senior management wines and dines them and has endless "leadership meetings" has to get paid for somehow, and it mainly comes in the form of industry low salaries, certainly not from a lot of profitable deals since underbidding leads to hugs losses on big projects while small less glamorous but high margin projects get little attention.

    Junior people are asked to pick up the pace while the top level senior management takes 2-3 week vacations constantly. But with no outside oversight, top management has no one to answer to and any real spending on important back office functions so they operate far "leaner" and with clearly underqualified people in these roles.

    Advice to Management

    Stop bending over backward and caving to client's every whim and stop acting like you are partners. The clients view you as a vendor. Period.

    Learn to communicate far better and don't leave people with unanswered questions for weeks on end.

    Invest in teaching everyone some basic business fundamentals.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "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.


  6. "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. "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 (4)

    "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 (7)

    "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 (6)

    "Disappointment is an understatement"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great IT department and technology

    Cons

    They inflate their ego that they are great in design yet they are purely a service architecture firm. No backbone and does what the client wants while claiming it was all their idea. Then all the principals take credit while throwing the team under the bus and even advocate with reviews here claiming it's a great place to work and any problem is typical in any firm - all lies. This is a sweat shop. You will learn skills here but not well rounded cause if they do that, you'd qualify for a promotions which they do not like to promote in house; therefore, they focus you on certain aspects making you less well rounded and less qualified for a promotion. They love brown nosers so if that's you, go ahead.

    Advice to Management

    Seriously, get rid of the older generation as their methods are not affective in this type of industry anymore. Bring the young talent to design presentation since the clients are usually 30-40 years old - sending a 50-60 year old looks terrible and too corporate.


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