Sasaki Associates Reviews | Glassdoor

Sasaki Associates Reviews

Updated November 17, 2016
35 reviews

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3.6
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Sasaki Associates Managing Principal James Miner
James Miner
8 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Improving Design Chops"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Architect in Watertown, MA
    Current Employee - Architect in Watertown, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sasaki Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Sasaki is at an interesting point in its identity as a firm where it seems to be beginning to embrace the idea that it can have a global footprint. The planning and urban design work being done around the world is at the top of its class. Landscape architecture projects are also getting better. Architizer even named Sasaki one of the 15 landscape architecture firms to watch... It would be great if the architecture group embraced this design ethos. Architecture is still dragging the rest of the firm down, failing to really have any breakthrough projects with a very regional and campus focus instead of embracing an opportunity to do something truly cutting edge.

    Cons

    Still a very parochial feel in the architecture group, despite others in the office doing amazing work around the world. Maybe that's because we are stuck in Watertown. Leadership doesn't seem to embrace that they are perceived as one of the top international design firms and don't really celebrate that type of work.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on improving design quality of the architecture studio and try to lead the conversation in the industry by doing something bold instead of the status quo of safe project types.


  2. "Working at Sasaki"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watertown, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watertown, MA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Sasaki Associates (More than a year)

    Pros

    The best thing about this practice is great people who work here. It’s a very relaxed and friendliest environment possible. Easy hours and flexible work environment.

    Cons

    While the planning and urban design departments seem to be doing good work and getting international and domestic recognition, architecture is still struggling in terms of quality. A very top heavy firm (around 40 principals on 200 employees) is not finding a common language and unable to have a clear direction of what the firm should be.
    The same top heavy structure reflects on teams. It is a very though working place for mid-level and senior architect (who are not in the project management) with strong design abilities and knowledge of CAD programs. Instead of promoting and supporting this profile, letting them grow and giving more responsibilities, they end up doing all the production work, because “nobody else knows how to do it”. A paradox where people with less knowledge of the profession (technical, creative or production abilities) are put in managerial positions because they “can’t do things”, and the most capable end up being “punished” for that doing all the work (including the one that junior staff should be doing -and learning how to do it).
    It’s an unstructured environment where junior staff aspires to do project management or business development, while some principals are actively building Revit models. Very few people aspire of do design or a better architecture, as being a designer is perceived as the person who is coming in the end of the process to do the heavy production work and embellishments.
    Promotions don’t mean a salary raise nor a yearly bonus increase.


  3. "Great firm with a historic legacy and a progressive outlook"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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 Sasaki Associates full-time

    Pros

    Young firm, offers full range of benefits and professional development opportunities most other firms in this industry can provide. Excellent projects and engaged leadership committed to continually improving the office culture.

    Cons

    Lots of talented people here - can be a competitive environment but that is to be expected at a firm with an international reputation like Sasaki has.


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  5. "interior Designer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Interior Design Consultant in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Interior Design Consultant in Boston, MA
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Sasaki Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    great people, great study environment

    Cons

    not very exciting projects around


  6. "Project Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Engineer in Watertown, MA
    Former Employee - Project Engineer in Watertown, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sasaki Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It was really a collaborative environment.

    Worked on exciting projects all over the world.

    The experience gained cannot compare to anything else I have experienced.

    Cons

    Extremely clicky office environment. Office cliques tend to form most in corporate environments with weak management, and at Sasaki I felt this was the case.

    Promotions, project awards, and benefits were awarded to best liked employees/friends and not to most qualified individuals.

    There is a lot of pressure to go above and beyond the line of duty, and it is expected that one shall put in an enormous amount of time and effort into work. It seems that if you put your own family ahead of the company (especially if you're not "in" with the right people), then you will be passed over on future projects (which will put you on the fast-track to a layoff). It was extremely difficult to manage work-life balance for people with children.

    Advice to Management

    Understand that the core values that the founders of this once great company established do not exist anymore. There is quite a bit of nepotism. Showing off gets you more rewarded than a job well done. Even clients have sent letters explaining that your focus is not in the best interests of the clients, but in your personal accolades and awards.


  7. "Good environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Lots of friendly, helpful people

    Cons

    Can be a complex environment to navigate


  8. "asdfadf"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Sasaki Associates full-time

    Pros

    dynamic good friendly busy good

    Cons

    underpaid unorganized boring nice nice


  9. Helpful (3)

    "urban designer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Urban Designer
    Former Employee - Urban Designer
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Sasaki Associates full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    creative work environment, projects and people. diverse team structure.
    big name in the states, has good international reputation

    Cons

    office is too far from the city, bad management, no supervisor/mentor system, may stuck with repetitive work for a long time, and the principals don't appreciate criticism.

    Advice to Management

    should be as creative as the firm may appear so, more cares on employees growth than principals' personal achevemnet


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Landscape Architect"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Landscape Architect in Watertown, MA
    Current Employee - Landscape Architect in Watertown, MA
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Sasaki Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting, nice people. A place that offers flexible opportunities to learn, interesting presentations, and a vast array or interests.

    Cons

    Top heavy management, poor communication between upper management and staff. Poor staff retention. Unbalanced staffing between extremely heavy and extremely light workloads. Lacking in built work integrity.


  11. "Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    integrating work spaces, interesting pepple

    Cons

    projects mainly about institutional buildings



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