10 July 2018
10 July 2018
Ikon.5, New York: Energy, Fearless, Driven.
The Culture of Practice
Formed in 2003 and located in Princeton, NJ, Ikon.5 architects is a broad-based practice in architecture, planning, landscape and interior design cited by Architect magazine in 2014 as the “6th best design firm in the country.” Practising nationally, its projects serve higher education, non-profit organisations, cultural institutions and global businesses and have been recognised with more than 70 international and national design awards.
Situated on an island between a natural artery and a manmade artery, when you arrive at their old mill building you feel like you’re at a destination to do work and think and have fun. Once inside, it’s as if you have stumbled upon a living laboratory with relics of thought suspended from the rafters. “We spend a lot of time working on drawings, models, things that look like artwork, and that adds to the culture of the place,” says Co-Founder Joe Tattoni, as does the lack of stifling corporate structure. “We have no titles here,” he says.
That same egalitarian spirit runs through the configuration of Ikon.5’s organisational structure: there are no separate offices, no designated workstations and people move around. Teams are relatively small and lean, which helps with conversation and collaboration between people and allows everybody to contribute in a significant way.
With a culture that embraces a “we don’t worry about efficiency” credo, Ikon.5 cherishes an informal environment. Its legendary holiday party between Christmas and New Year’s takes place at a different architectural venue each year, while Friday evening happy hour, out on the deck overlooking the river, is a social way to end the week together.
“If the people are engaged and energised by the architecture the sociability part will be about the architecture. And the architecture ends up being greater because of it. We go with our gut and it’s been effective for us,” explains Tattoni. In addition to it being fun, Ikon.5 is an intellectually stimulating and dynamic place to work.
Author: Sung Yoon, Marketing Assistant, Bespoke Careers