Rockwell Group Reviews

Updated Jul 11, 2020

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2.1
22%
Recommend to a Friend
35%
Approve of CEO
Rockwell Group Founder ad President DAVID ROCKWELL (no image)
DAVID ROCKWELL
20 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Rockwell Group's leadership firmly believes that you must work long hours to "earn your stripes(in 11 reviews)

  • "Sadly, they continue to be promoted regardless of the studios’ clear disappointment with their performance in their integral roles(in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Great Office Culture"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Rockwell Group full-time

    Pros

    greatest office culture and great location

    Cons

    nothing really to complain about

  2. "Great job but they need to address burnout"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architectural Designer/Project Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Rockwell Group full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There are many bright minds and talented people. Hiring in my studio was taken very seriously. If you have a good attitude, like working hard, have an opinion and are willing to share it then you will do very well at Rockwell. There is a lot of room for growth if you are a talented green designer - you will be dropped in the deep end and learn to swim. I respected my studio leader as he trusted his staff and would encourage PM's to make executive decisions where appropriate. He was big picture, generally he trusted his staff to execute the vision. Not last of all, really great projects and a genuine attempt to question the status quo at all steps in the design process.

    Cons

    Burnout. No (or hardly any) time in lieu for overtime worked, even when working 50-60hr weeks for months on end. It's only a good job for a few years, until you have extracted as much as you can from the job before it becomes unbearable. There is an imbalance between experienced and green staff, leading to lots of mistakes as a result of poor drawing sets. Good drawings and technical knowledge was simply not valued (yet still expected from the higher ups).

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  3. COVID-19

    "I wish the cons were only about the restrooms..."

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interior Designer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Rockwell Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people are incredibly brilliant, even if they come and go. You will cross paths with intelligent minds and form friendships that are more than just networks. Rockwell group has a strong root in a meritocrat system, which is very attractive to designers wanting to turn into leaders. High profile clients, dogs in the office, a resourceful materials library, and summer Fridays, are all perks one shouldn't take for granted.

    Cons

    I echo the reviews earlier. The firm does not seem to show any value towards employees which can be noticed in small gestures such as not providing a warm welcome to new starters (which due to large turnover rates are many, and often filter in unnoticed), to how layoffs were handled in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, I can only speak for Studio G regarding the level of politics that served as the undercurrent for staffing. There is a repulsive amount of favoritism amongst senior staff that was pervasive enough for other designers to feel discriminated against, and for leadership to be aware of, yet not address.

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  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to start, not worth it after that"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Interior Designer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Rockwell Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Very talented coworkers, willing to hire young designers, and a lot of professional resources.

    Cons

    The hours are long with constant deadlines- a work life balance is seen as a lack of professional commitment, and is punished with fewer to no opportunities for growth and creative agency.

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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Disappointment"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Rockwell Group full-time

    Pros

    - Two nice senior staff.

    Cons

    - Backing stabbing staff with the belief that software makes the architect yet can't even put together a set of drawings. - Poor management/communication. - Superficial openness. - Interview should actually hire for what they people apply for.

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  6. Helpful (2)

    "Believe these reviews: Rockwell Group is not what they seem."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architectural Designer/Project Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Rockwell Group full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    They have a great website that makes Rockwell Group sound like an innovative and unique firm that cares about their employees. It's not true, but the website really sells the lie (don't let it fool you). Amazing materials library and resource librarian. High profile clients and recognition by design websites, magazines, etc Office is in a great location Basically, nothing that actually matters.

    Cons

    Please take the time to read through the reviews on Glassdoor. Even after reading the countless negative reviews, I still accepted a job as an architectural designer, and it was a terrible experience. Do not be mislead by their shiny exterior - Rockwell Group is rotting from the inside out. I couldn't believe the difference between how the firm is perceived on the outside and what the actual experience is like. The firm is organized into studios that do not interact with each other at all - do not buy into Rockwell Group's claim that they are "multidisciplinary." There is a huge difference between what David Rockwell has done over his lifetime and what individual studios are actually doing. There are plenty of flashy articles about Rockwell; do not believe any of them. Rockwell Group's leadership firmly believes that you must work long hours to "earn your stripes." Working overtime is essentially a requirement - many teams work over 80 hours a week and through weekends with no additional compensation (yes, you get a car home and a $10 meal on Seamless. Does that make it worth it? No.). Your time is not respected - expect to be treated like a machine. Leadership constantly says "the best idea wins, no matter who it is from" - do not believe this - there is very little design thinking happening at Rockwell Group. The firm's work looks good because overworked employees are producing endless iterations to make up for lack of a solid design approach. I was constantly asking myself, "what am I actually learning here?" And the answer was, not much. Many senior employees are incredibly toxic, demeaning, and demoralizing, and yet are fully supported by leadership. Countless people have to be moved to other studios or have left the company because of problematic senior staff. There is no office culture, no matter which studio you are in, and no kind of mentorship - although, trust me when I say you do not want these people are your mentor. I have never worked somewhere with such a high turnover rate. The healthcare plan is probably the best benefit offered and it is still mediocre. PTO is low and includes both sick and vacation days, so you can either be sick or you can take a vacation. No support when it comes to professional development, taking the AREs, or going to lectures. The office is a great location but inside is outdated and grubby and poorly maintained. In conclusion, just stay away. Nothing is worth being treated the way Rockwell Group treats their employees.

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  7. Helpful (3)

    "POOR MANAGEMENT AND NO INNOVATION"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architectural Designer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Rockwell Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    nice people to work with

    Cons

    -nice people to work with that are actually backstabbers. overtly, everyone is diplomatic, but behind the scenes, there is a lot of favoritism and not completely based on talent. -there is no design innovation, as much as it flaunts itself to be. concept design is knocking off designs from pinterest. -the partners themselves are tasteless. -they claim to be a small studio culture, but actually glorify and reward the workhorses of the company, even if ones working less hours are producing better work. -dated practices, like using CAD instead of Revit. -health benefits are pretty bad

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  8. Helpful (1)

    "Poor leadership and mentorship. Resist to new technology. Lack of creativity. High turnover rate."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Rockwell Group full-time

    Pros

    Diverse project types and famous clients.

    Cons

    1. Poor leadership. This firm is run by people who really lack management wisdom and charisma - arbitrary design decisions, very emotional and personal preferences over logic, lack of knowledge and don’t care either how much workload there really is and how much staff need to be put on each project - thus understaffed situation and working overtime happen in most of the projects. Usually 1-2 weeks before the deadline, you won’t finish without staying til midnight. 2. No mentorship. This is not a place for junior designers to start with. Young designers without experience won’t get mentorship from a technical aspect or design level. They hire young designers just because they are cheap. Senior designers won’t guide you through whatsoever but expect you to handle something with a very limited time. Some designers with titles are also very inexperienced and extremely disorganized themselves. 3. Resist to new technology. It’s 2020 and I’m very surprised how resistant people here are towards Revit/BIM. Maybe they are not worried about getting new projects so there is no need to change and improve efficiency. Outdated work methods lead to low productivity and accuracy. Ridiculous amount of time is spent on extremely inaccurate 3d modeling in sketchup (yes, not even Rhino), manually debugging discrepancies between plan and elevation drawings, and fixing material tags, dimension scales etc. on sheets. 4. Limited software licenses and unprofessional IT team. Basically you get emails on a daily basis from your colleagues asking for licenses. I can’t believe this happens in a firm with over 250 employees. The IT team is very unprofessional and you need to personally ask for every software’s updates. The software editions are not always aligned even within one team. You can’t always open your colleague’s CAD or Indesign files since you haven’t reached out to IT and ask for updates. 5. Lack of creativity. This firm is highly replying on Pinterest for “design inspirations”. Their designs are basically collages put together from everywhere. And the boundary between a mood board and a direct copy (maybe a little revisit) is not always very clear. 6. High turnover rate. People who are not great with politics have to leave since some bipolar management level is the queen’s favorite clown and simply impossible to work with. During my 2 years there, half of the people in the studio are gone. 7. Benefits are not great. There are no PTO for the first 6 months there.

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  9. Helpful (1)

    "High Turn Over; generally a lot of inexperienced and young staff; Bad management"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architect in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Rockwell Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    No dress code. Sometimes there are dogs in the studio. Compensation could be good.

    Cons

    Generally, there was bad management and communication between everyone on many teams which results in unnecessary late nights. Organization and efficiency were lacking. Firm structure does not promote growth or mentoring. Not a great place to stay if you want to forward your career without playing politics due to rampant favoritism. Runs like a small firm but is actually 200+ employee large. Runs out of licenses for necessary programs and there is not infrastructure for everyone to receive all the programs you need, always need to individually ask IT for programs updates or to get programs installed on your personal desktop. It is a firm that is very resistant to change, advancement of technology and work flows. The studio I worked in was very resistant to Revit and/or BIM. Studios are pretty isolated from one another--there is little to no collaboration between studios so this is based only on the studio I worked in for a year and a half. Benefits are also not great.

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  10. Helpful (3)

    "High turnover rate"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Rockwell Group full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    They have some really interesting projects. There are a lot of talented people and you can have a chance to work with really big clients. The company is well known so it's easier to get another job after working here.

    Cons

    Bad time management. You have to expect to stay long hours for no reason. The management has very little respect to the employees . People are being hired for one project and laid off as soon as the project is completed. You can't feel that your job is secure or that the studio leader will take care of his/her team. The office space is dark and unorganized.

Found 51 reviews