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ADC All-Stars: Meet Ryan McAndrew, Design Director

Ryan working smiling in a portrait photo, the Design Director at ADC.

As an architect, you deserve to work with a team of like-minded, interesting people, but that is difficult to find at big, stuffy architecture firms. When you join Architecture Design Collaborative (ADC), you join a team of all-stars who are dedicated to their craft and passionate about creating innovative, inspiring spaces that make a meaningful difference for people and their communities.

Since 2014, ADC has been a nationally ranked architecture firm that serves Southern California with innovative designs, which is only possible because of the team we have. Read the first installment in our ADC All-Stars series to meet Ryan McAndrew!

ADC All-Stars: Meet Our Design Director Ryan McAndrew!

Ryan McAndrew is our Design Director, and he’s been a part of the ADC team since 2022. Ryan studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Walking through the architectural history in downtown Chicago and museum galleries on the way to class was a huge source of inspiration, and living and studying in such a large city provided him with a diversity of people and ideas that shaped who he is today.

Ryan has a passion for traveling the world and learning from other cultures, and he loves surfing, reading Adam Grant books, and spending time with his Pomsky named River.

Ryan’s superpower is stepping outside the details and seeing things holistically. Having spent most of his career before working at ADC as a client himself, he has a unique ability to see things through the eyes of the client.

Ryan loves working in architecture and design because he gets the opportunity to work on projects that benefit and grow communities and create physical spaces for people to experience and engage with and in which they can spend time with their loved ones

He says that architecture is a great career because it never gets boring because the market and field are constantly changing, and that means he’s always finding new and innovative ways to deliver that experience to customers.

“Architecture is awesome because it’s like playing in a band. Everybody has a skillset, everybody plays different instruments, and everybody has different levels in their learning. So when a group can come together and create something, it’s really special.”

– Ryan McAndrew, Design Director, ADC

What Ryan Loves About the ADC Culture

Ryan enjoys the work-life balance at ADC because it doesn’t feel like it’s a grind, and you have the opportunity to work on different projects and experience different aspects of working in a firm, whether it’s the creative side, the technical side, or working with clients.

“I think it’s a good and fun place to work, and what makes ADC one of the best architecture firms in Southern California is that there’s a lot of collaboration and teamwork as we strive to understand the client’s needs. Here, expect constant dialogue and discussion as you work through new ideas to deliver a great product to the client.”

– Ryan McAndrew, Design Director, ADC

Because every team member gets the chance to work on all phases of a project, you won’t get pigeonholed or typecast, and it’s part of what he enjoys the most about working at ADC. Everyone is well-rounded, and the work environment won’t put limitations on you.

Ryan believes in using humor when working with the team and meeting deadlines. He believes humor makes people less concerned about saying the wrong thing and more willing to share their thoughts and ideas and participate.

“If the dynamic is fun and collaborative, and there’s humor and joy while we’re working, the work is better. That culture drives innovation and really shows in the output and product we deliver. ADC is great for more extroverted architects who want to have ongoing discussions and be in a more collaborative work environment. Our passion and collective creativity are our firm’s superpower.”

– Ryan McAndrew, Design Director, ADC

Ryan also enjoys the celebrations, from the happy hours to dressing up and decorating for Halloween in our annual competition. And he loves how that spirit carries over into the work we do!

One aspect of working here that he enjoys the most is that everybody has their own style, there’s no right or wrong way to get a job done, and there is a true sense of camaraderie that could rival even the most famous art scenes, from Paris in the Roaring 20s to the Beatnik Movement in the 50s.

Everyone is constantly collaborating and communicating on goals and tasks, and when a team member is struggling to meet a deadline, Ryan says that he knows that everyone is willing to step in and help achieve the result we want.

“Because we’re a smaller firm, we all know each other really well. We’re not some massive, stuffy company. We know about each other’s interests, what music our co-workers like, and what our co-workers do on the weekend. This goes a long way when you’re working together in a team. That’s what makes our company culture so great. I learn something new daily from the staff, including the junior staff, so I love that I’m constantly growing here.”

– Ryan McAndrew, Design Director, ADC

Do You Want to Work In an Inspiring Environment Where You Can Do Innovative Work? Join the ADC Office Today!

You deserve to work in an environment that empowers you to do the work you always dreamed of when you first became an architect. And that starts with the people you work with! When you join ADC, you join a team of creative, interesting, and like-minded individuals who will help you grow,  hone your craft, and feel the sense of fulfillment every artist strives for.

Are you looking for a workplace you love coming to every day? Visit our Architecture Jobs page to apply today to join a team of architectural All-Stars!