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Good Firm's to Work at in NYC?

The_Crow

Hitting the three-year mark and burned out from the culture of my pseudo "starchitect" office, so it's time for me to make a move. 

Does anyone have suggestions of good offices to work at in NYC? Looking for good office culture, decent work-life balance, and relatively "good" work. 

Not asking for firms that are currently hiring, we all know that this city is a den of snakes and I'm curious to hear where people consider to be a good place to work. 

Cheers!

 
Aug 2, 22 9:23 pm
Jacq Arch

I would suggest focusing on the type of work you enjoy doing. Once you narrow that down try to avoid offices with a toxic culture and people. Sorry to highjack your post but I think that's what the movie "The Assistant" was about. 

Aug 3, 22 9:32 am  · 
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The_Crow

This didn't get any traction, so just wanted to say I appreciate your response.

Aug 6, 22 11:13 am  · 
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The_Crow

In general, I enjoy all aspects of the profession. I find concept as enjoyable as documentation/CA and vice versa. All I want to do is good work with good people, and make a fai r and equitable wage. Unfortunately in this city, or at least in my experience, it seems challenging to find those three things at the same office.

Aug 6, 22 11:15 am  · 
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RedRoverArchitect

I agree with Jacq. Look for firms that you respect and enjoy their work and hope the rest will follow.

It would also help to know what typology of work you want to be doing. Residential (multi vs single family), Commercial, Academic, Institutional, etc. Those will yield varied results.

Aug 6, 22 11:29 am  · 
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The_Crow

Thanks for the response Redrover. I think your question about typology is important and something I need to figure out. I've done cultural/institutional work most of my career, which has its upsides and downsides as they all do. I feel guilty as we are told this is the end-all/be-all of the profession. Still, I find myself exhausted by the personalities/egos involved in the highly expressive design nature of this work in addition to the long timelines associated with the projects. I have an abject interest in multi-family, but have never done it and am told that interest will disappear once I am exposed to it's repetition/banality.

Aug 6, 22 12:53 pm  · 
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monosierra

Residential design is determined in large part by zoning requirements and real estate economics - there's only really so much even established architects can do with massing and facade design. The more interesting facets of work in more expensive projects are handled by a notable design firm (OMA, KPF, Adjaye ... not sure Adjmi does their own CDs), with the nitty gritty (Code, layouts, the CD stuff) done by one of the local executive giants (SLCE and friends, which are the largest practices by volume of work in the city). Once in a blue moon, a whacky design comes into the market - but even then the work is likely split between the big name design architect and the humdrum executive architect.

I've heard good things about REX, WXY, RAMSA, Marvel, and Cooper Robertson though I'm sure there are many others out there who do good work while running a solid business i.e. not depending on paying below market wages to keep the firm afloat.

Aug 6, 22 4:02 pm  · 
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The_Crow

Thanks, Monosierra, good response. I agree with your summation of the city being split into design firms and AOR to some extent.

When it comes to the firms you've listed I've heard bad things about REX, WXY, & Ramsa. Marvel and Cooper Robertson may be worth exploring. I'd love for REX to be a good place to work, but it feels too close to Rem for that to be true. 

Aug 6, 22 7:04 pm  · 
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Wood Guy

I don't know anything about NYC firms but I would suggest having someone good at grammar review any cover letters or correspondence you send; your grammatic errors would be a red flag if I were hiring, albeit a relatively minor one. (The plural of firm is firms, not firm's; the possessive of it is its, not it's.)

Yes I'm being picky, and I've also noticed that many successful architects are terrible at spelling and grammar, so maybe it's not as important to others. To me it shows attention to detail. 

Aug 7, 22 8:33 am  · 
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Wood Guy

So sorry to have hurt your feelings.

Aug 7, 22 2:25 pm  · 
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The_Crow

Lol don't worry your shitposting didn't have any effect on my day.

Aug 7, 22 5:17 pm  · 
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Wood Guy

If you think that my polite suggestion was shitposting, this must be your first day on the internet.

Aug 8, 22 9:02 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

I just saw a CV pass through the office where the applicant hand-corrected part of their email addresses (forgot the "g" in gmail). This wanker thought it was totally acceptable to print their CV out... scribble a tiny "g" in blue ink... then scan the page and email it to us. That's an automatic rejection. I'd treat spellings mistakes the same way.

Aug 8, 22 9:17 am  · 
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Wood Guy

Wow. Just imagine what they think would be acceptable to put on prints and in specs.

Aug 8, 22 10:09 am  · 
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JawkneeMusic

Imagine being able to go it alone & choosing conformation

Aug 7, 22 10:07 am  · 
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SneakyPete

Being a werewolf would be fun, wouldn't it?

Aug 8, 22 9:50 am  · 
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I've heard good things about the culture at Marvel. If you are into education/university work, I can't speak highly enough of the office culture at Mitchell Girugola. They were by far the best employer I've had from an office culture perspective. 

Aug 8, 22 12:16 pm  · 
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When looking at firms, one thing to look at is how many of their employees have been there for more than 5-10 years. If nearly all of their staff has only been there for 1- 3 years, it's an indicator that they underpay (often hiring international staff who come and go), don't give good raises, don't treat employees well, etc etc.

Aug 8, 22 12:19 pm  · 
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monosierra

Well lookie here: https://archinect.com/news/art...

Aug 8, 22 12:59 pm  · 
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