Meet the “daring and joyful” RIOS collective: Your next employer? | New


Following last week’s visit to Atlanta-based Houser Walker, we are moving our Meet your next employer series in Los Angeles this week to meet international design collective RIOS.

Founded by Mark Rios in 1985, the collective has evolved from his routes in architecture and landscape architecture to occupy offices in Los Angeles, Austin, Boulder and Portland, as well as international offices in London and Singapore. Among the studio’s ongoing works is a $600 million Hollywood media studio project we reported on last month.

On Archinect Jobs, the collective is currently recruiting for several positions in its Los Angeles office. For candidates interested in applying for a role, or anyone interested in learning more about life in an architecture studio, we spoke with the RIOS team for a behind-the-scenes look at the business.

Harlow at Sunset Las Palmas Studios by RIOS. Image credit: Hunter Kerhart

How did RIOS get started?

RIOS was founded in Los Angeles in 1985 by Mark Rios. Trained in both architecture and landscape architecture, Mark’s background has influenced our firm’s vision that these two disciplines are inseparable. He founded the company with a vision to imagine, design and build complete environments and we have been constantly innovating through multidisciplinary design ever since. Today, RIOS is an international design collective with offices in Los Angeles, London, Singapore, Austin, Boulder and Portland.

How big is your team ?

RIOS has 280 team members across the US and UK. and Asia-Pacific.

RIOS office in Los Angeles. Photo credit: Jasper Sanidad

Describe the areas in which your offices are located.

In every place where RIOS has an office, we seek to connect with the authenticity of the local culture. This helps us stay connected to our values, especially alignment, as we seek to deeply understand the cities where we work to help make them more connected, livable and resilient.

Our Los Angeles offices are in the bustling Leimert Park neighborhood, located along the Expo line of the subway and the new K line, which extends access to LAX airport from DTLA, is one block away. houses from the Crenshaw stop. It is a culturally rich neighborhood known for being the heart of Los Angeles’ African American community. It is known for its vibrant streetscape events as well as a strong coalition of small business owners and community organizers. The kinetic energy of Leimert Park is contagious and we are proud to be part of the community.

RIOS office in Los Angeles. Photo credit: Jasper Sanidad

RIOS Portland is in the heart of Southeast Portland in the Ford Building. Surrounded by local Portland restaurants, cafes and breweries, the neighborhood continues to grow and change while having direct contact with many of the cultural elements Portland is famous for.

RIOS Austin’s office is located in East Austin, a diverse, energetic and growing part of the city known for its artistic and creative community. It’s also known for the city’s best local restaurants, including the iconic Franklin Barbeque, independent shops and quirky cocktail bars.

RIOS London is located in Spitalfields, a bustling neighborhood in the east and home to creatives, artists and the tech community.

RIOS Singapore is located on Keong Saik Road in a former shophouse. This vibrant street in Singapore’s Chinatown has undergone a dramatic transformation and is now a charming and authentic destination for creative work, food, nightlife and shopping.

West Hollywood Hotel by RIOS. Image credit: Hunter Kerhart

If you were hosting a firm-wide movie night, what movie would you show?

BC (Before COVID) we hosted many movie nights in our office. The selections were usually a throwback to the 80s or other cult classics like Back to the future, the MartianWhere Impossible mission. We also hosted Tomas Koolhaas and his documentary, REM, about his father, the architect Rem Koolhaas. We love nostalgia, but we can’t escape the fact that we are architects.

Is your office an open or subdivided space?

Our offices are open plan with flexible collaboration tables spread throughout the building. We are fully hybrid and operate under a hospitality program where employees book desks on the days they are in the office. We have several conference rooms as well as a fabrication shop, materials library, bike share area and video production studio.

Hillside Haven by RIOS. Image credit: Trevor Tondró

What does your office look like? Do you listen to music or the radio at work, do you hear city life outside, or is it a quiet workplace?

Our Los Angeles office feels urban and active. From the urban melodic sounds of the Expo light rail line passing by, to the chatter of creatives collaborating on projects or catching up on life, to the mill running to launch a model or prototype. You may also hear a dog or two. It’s an inviting and inspiring place to come to work.

What is the most popular lunch spot in or around the office?

Our picnic tables are the perfect place for lunch. They are located in the center of the office near our colorful pantry with an immersive mural by Aaron Kai. We organize many events (internal/external) and the picnic tables are always at the center. Fun fact: four times a year, we turn this space into a voting center for the neighborhood.

We have a few favorite restaurants outside of the LA office including Earle’s on Crenshaw, Highly Likely, Mizlala, Taks Cafe, Harold & Belle’s and Mian, to name a few. Every office has its favourites.

Echelon at the Television Center by RIOS.

What is the most popular design tool in the office?

Mira! We integrated Miro into our workflow at the start of the pandemic and it has been an integral platform in all our work, including how we collaborate externally with clients. It allows our teams to imagine and iterate seamlessly, regardless of the physical location of our team members.

Do the many disciplines that make up RIOS often collaborate with each other, or are they independent?

Our multidisciplinary approach is our superpower, and it amplifies every project we work on, so there is a constant dialogue between disciplines. Since our disciplines operate through creative efforts to shape the built environment, we are as comfortable talking about designing cities as designing buildings. Whether you’re an architect, landscape architect, interior designer, product designer, or technical designer, you’ll collaborate every day with a team that works together to be curious, take risks, and discover new ideas that inspire bold ideas and innovative design. .

Lawrence J. Ellison Institute by RIOS. Image credit: Art Gray

Tell us about a completed project that you are proud of.

As a multidisciplinary design collective, we have many projects to celebrate. Content production and entertainment spaces such as Spotify’s LA Content Campus, life sciences spaces including the world-class cancer research and treatment institute, the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine, and landscape architecture, including Palm Springs Downtown Park, which recently won the prestigious ASLA Achievement Award. We’re proud of all the work we do for our customers, but we’re really leaning into a challenge where we can reinvent and think big.

What position(s) are you currently recruiting for?

We have several vacancies in our Los Angeles, Austin, Portland and London offices, including:

  • Designer/Architect (London)
  • Project Designer – Residential Interior (Los Angeles)
  • Project Designer – Residential (Los Angeles)
  • Project Designer – Landscape (Los Angeles)
  • Senior Project Designer – Landscape (Los Angeles)

Habitat 6 by RIOS

What project(s) are new team members likely to work on?

We have a wide range of exciting projects in residential, hospitality, landscape and public, mixed-use and entertainment spaces starting or underway.

In three words, how would you describe the design philosophy of RIOS?

Bold, joyful and inclusive

Palm Springs downtown park by RIOS. Photo credit: Millicent Harvey

Meet your next employer is one of many ongoing weekly series showcasing the opportunities available on our industry-leading job board. Our Job Highlights series examines the intriguing and timely job opportunities currently available on Archinect Jobs, while our weekly digests organize job opportunities by location, career level and job description.


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