office: office culture


IKD is a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) firm certified by the City of Boston. Since the founding of IKD, Tomomi Itakura and Yugon Kim have led the firm with a gender and culture-diverse leadership structure.  

Over the last 10 years, we have carefully grown the office, providing mentorship and opportunities to a diverse group of staff members. We actively encourage staff to attend and participate in client meetings, to visit the site during construction, and to work in all phases of a project, as we believe that promoting this holistic learning approach is a responsible way to contribute to the industry.  

We believe in a work-life balance and fair pay, and consciously and carefully manage projects to maintain both quality in our services and quality of life for our employees. We are proud that most of our employees have stayed with us for extended periods of time, and we have never had to let an employee go.  

We are nimble and always evolving, and utilize recent technologies and incorporate new modes of design thinking as new staff members bring in their own experience and backgrounds into the office. Currently, our staff is intentionally more than 75% women, and come from a diverse mix of cultures as we strive to build an office community that reflects the diversity of stakeholders and users of the projects that we serve.  

In 2020, Yugon completed a Small Business Certificate program at Babson College, further honing our ambitions to find the right balance between the business and craft of design, in order to a build an office culture that provides staff with mentorship and a work/life balance that is often absent from design firms.