The Top 100 Giants 2023

Melissa Bradford

It’s easy to get hung up on symbolic numbers. Like, say, $5 billion. Nice and round. What could it represent, besides a comfortable retirement? In our case, a growth threshold for the Interior Design 100 Giants. In 2022, fees for the biggest firms came in just shy of that, at $4.97 billion—pretty good when you consider the turmoil of the past few years. That figure also marks 12 percent growth over 2021, beating the group’s forecast by 16 percent.

Top 100 Giants 2023

1 1 Gensler San Francisco 625.70 0 3,599 1
2 2 Jacobs Dallas 324.40 8,110 4.6 1,267 2
3 3 Perkins&Will Chicago 221.00 6,820 700 3
4 4 AECOM Dallas 217.60 9,793 472 4
5 5 HOK St. Louis 157.40 5,154 58.1 1,195 5
6 6 IA Interior Architects San Francisco 154.20 3,351 51.6 543 6
7 7 CannonDesign New York City 125.00 0 520 9
8 8 Page Southerland Page Washington 124.90 2,297 8.3 120 29
9 9 Stantec Edmonton, Canada 122.30 0 667 7
10 10 SmithGroup Detroit 121.00 0 216 13

And if you want more fuel for the victory lap, as well as some context for the entire industry, a decade ago total fees for the top Giants tallied $2.44 billion, meaning they doubled in the intervening years. As for how the 2022 fees shook out: At the almost-$5 billion level, there are no insignificant slices of the pie when talking dollar amounts. For example, mixed-use projects make up a mere 1.2 percent of total fees, but that amounts to about $61 million. Though corporate office work remains the biggest driver, at 31 percent of fees (or $1.53 billion), it fell below 35 percent for only the second time in the last decade (2017 being the other blip). That’s a $344 million drop from 2019, when it comprised nearly 40 percent of all fees. So, is this a trend? Well, the 100 Giants forecast $1.5 billion for 2023, or 32 percent of total fees. Time will tell if this is a new reality.

What’s risen to replace corporate? Since 2019, government work is up by $89 million, or 31 percent. Education and transportation projects rose some 20 percent, for a combined $72 million. And of course, the pandemic spiked healthcare by 23 percent, or $139 million—bumping down hospitality from second to third for total fees (more on this subject in their respective sections).

However, healthcare may have peaked as we shift from pandemic to endemic. Sector fees rose only 3 percent since 2021, while hospitality rebounded 21 percent, or $89 million, in that same period. The 100 Giants predict healthcare fees will drop 23 percent next year, which may signal a return to previous levels.

Furniture, fixtures, and construction products also showed health at $74 billion in 2022. Pre-pandemic totals occasionally topped $85 billion, so while the industry is not back to that high, we’ve now hovered in this $73-75 billion range for three years. The problem: a projected 12 percent drop to $65 billion next year. Of all the forecasts, that’s the most dire.


International Giants 2023

Note: Firms on this list do the majority of their work overseas and/or are headquartered outside the U.S.

“-“ did not report data


Total number of projects and square footage also tell a curious story, although the data is admittedly a bit skewed because few respondents reported this metric. From 2016 to 2019, the 100 Giants routinely logged 1 billion square feet from 60,000 to 66,000 projects annually. This year, 66,109 projects were built, but only encompassed 519 million square feet (compared to 65,000/589 million in 2021). Possible indications: Square footage is down as firms diversify into consulting and branding projects—and perhaps hybrid/remote work is allowing businesses to reallocate space.

Now for perhaps the most positive business indicator: Firms are hiring. Total design staff jumped from nearly 18,000 in 2021 to more than 23,000 in 2022—by far the most aggressive upward movement of any data we track. The overall number of employees also leaped from 98,000 to more than 155,000, although that’s still well below pre-pandemic head counts.

Billing rates have risen, too. Designers now bill at $156 per hour versus $133, a 17 percent increase since 2019. Average designer salary also jumped from $70,000 to $80,000 in that same time period, but remained flat in 2022. Other staff members have done particularly well, their salary rising 36 percent in three years.

As to when we’ll hit that big $5 billion mark, it’s unclear. The 100 Giants forecast $4.82 billion in fees for 2023, a slight drop. And a vast majority of respondents—90 percent—are confident in that prediction. That, if anything, might sum up what we’re seeing: Good results? Check. Reason to smile? Check. A lot of uncertainty to come? Check—and mate.

Editor’s Note: Take a look at recent coverage of our Top 100 Giants most admired firms of 2023 below. Gensler tops the list followed by Perkins&Will, Rockwell Group, and Yabu Pushelberg.


Firms with the Most Fee Growth

1 Page Southerland Page 41,952,000 124,878,244
2 Gensler 545,691,552 625,659,839
3 Corgan 75,000,000 118,541,449
4 AECOM 184,210,000 217,644,000
5 Perkins&Will 188,000,000 221,000,000
6 IA Interior Architects 128,800,000 154,176,000
7 SmithGroup 97,822,511 120,985,595
8 CBT 12,181,800 31,293,211
9 Jacobs 308,267,536 324,432,880
10 HKS 86,819,937 102,923,362

Top Ten Giants by Sector

Hospitality – Top 10

1 HBA International 109,483,000
2 Rockwell Group 32,177,300
3 Gensler 24,931,181
4 Wimberly Interiors 20,750,000
5 Perkins Eastman 20,283,400
6 Populous 19,890,135
7 AvroKO 18,893,558
8 JCJ Architecture 17,577,000
9 Yabu Pushelberg 16,850,000
10 DLR Group 1,510,000

Corporate Office – Top 10

1 Gensler 420,092,491
2 IA Interior Architects 77,935,967
3 M Moser Associates 72,148,000
4 AECOM 65,293,200
5 Perkins&Will 61,900,000
6 NBBJ 44,916,000
7 Jacobs 43,672,941
8 STUDIOS Architecture 41,833,187
9 HOK 37,560,000
10 Corgan 36,215,827

Retail – Top 10

1 Gensler 37,783,698
2 RSP Architects 22,307,000
3 CRTKL 22,295,408
4 TPG Architecture 10,649,000
5 Little Diversified Architectural Consulting 10,610,086
6 IA Interior Architects 7,230,854
7 Chipman Design Architecture 7,200,000
8 Ware Malcomb 7,113,646
9 Sargenti 6,806,250
10 ASD|SKY 6,768,000

Government – Top 10

1 Jacobs 120,615,791
2 AECOM 41,352,360
3 Gensler 29,140,091
4 Page Southerland Page 24,975,600
5 HOK 22,500,000
6 NBBJ 10,122,000
7 KCCT 10,039,000
8 Clark Nexsen 10,000,000
9 HGA 9,928,231
10 Stantec 9,191,559

Healthcare – Top 10

1 CannonDesign 70,000,000
2 HDR 67,111,200
3 Perkins&Will 66,300,000
4 SmithGroup 56,697,832
5 HKS 51,171,914
6 AECOM 45,705,240
7 Perkins Eastman 41,580,970
8 Page Southerland Page 40,961,000
9 Stantec 32,112,724
10 HOK 30,230,000

Education – Top 10

1 CannonDesign 30,000,000
2 Perkins&Will 28,600,000
3 Page Southerland Page 26,224,400
4 DLR Group 20,649,762
5 SmithGroup 18,564,885
6 Corgan 16,537,968
7 Stantec 16,281,553
8 AECOM 15,235,080
9 Perkins Eastman 13,184,210
10 HMC Architects 11,747,002

Residential – Top 10

1 CDC Designs 28,500,000
2 Marc-Michaels Interior Design 27,200,000
3 TRIO 21,277,201
4 B2 Architecture + Design 14,000,000
5 NICOLEHOLLIS 13,940,641
6 CBT 12,952,661
7 Workshop/APD 10,660,000
8 Pembrooke and Ives 9,946,357
9 Stantec 9,259,454
10 Ryan Young Interiors 9,222,729

Cultural – Top 10

1 Populous 24,310,165
2 AECOM 17,411,520
3 Perkins&Will 16,000,000
4 HOK 14,770,000
5 Gensler 14,457,286
6 Page Southerland Page 7,867,300
7 Stantec 7,867,248
8 EwingCole 7,000,000
9 HGA 6,922,673
10 Rockwell Group 6,246,300

Transportation – Top 10

1 Jacobs 43,269,235
2 Corgan 35,011,320
3 HOK 19,820,000
4 AECOM 17,411,520
5 Gensler 14,388,440
6 PGAL 12,410,000
7 Stantec 7,614,640
8 ZGF 5,334,439
9 IA Interior Architects 3,715,642
10 HDR 3,355,560

Read More About Perkins&Will


Projects by Type

1 Corporate Workplace 23,880 24,240
2 Hospitality 6,351 6,617
3 Retail 5,812 7,322
4 Government/Civic 3,196 2,849
5 Healthcare/Wellness/Assisted Living 9,312 6,701
6 Education 4,456 3,725
7 Residential 3,223 3,315
8 Transportation 804 530
9 Cultural/Museums/Performance and Entertainment Centers 970 897
10 Sports Centers (new) 793 508
11 Life Sciences (new) 2,546 2,571
12 Manufacturing/Warehouse/Data Centers (new) 2,455 2,246
13 Mixed-use (new) 1,178 1,065
14 Other 1,133 985

Read More About Rockwell Group

Total FFC Value

2022 Actual Value: $73,970,503,017

2023 Forecast: $64,967,795,010

Square Feet Installed

2022 Actual: 519,274,725

2023 Forecast: 556,336,471


Project Categories

Read More About Yabu Pushelberg


Fees by Project Type

1 Hospitality 510,061,009 491,159,462
2 Corporate Office 1,525,432,686 1,500,684,741
3 Retail 179,861,095 189,613,098
4 Government 373,907,271 318,420,913
5 Healthcare 752,608,144 567,211,488
6 Education 331,906,038 286,976,413
7 Residential 258,097,657 234,699,785
8 Transportation 167,623,778 159,726,309
9 Cultural 91,077,245 74,719,746
10 Sports Centers 72,284,829 39,705,025
11 Life Sciences 362,338,435 350,958,533
12 Manufacturing 121,039,980 105,661,902
13 Mixed-use 60,712,413 40,592,451
14 Other 173,483,282 324,879,386

Furnishing & Fixtures vs. Construction


International Project Locations


Methodology

The Interior Design Giants annual business survey comprises the largest firms ranked by interior design fees for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2022. The listings are generated from only those surveyed. To be recognized as a top 100, Rising, Healthcare, or Hospitality Giant, you must meet the following criteria: Have at least one office location in North America, and generate at least 25% of your interior design fee income in North America. Firms that do not meet the criteria are ranked on our International Giants list. Interior design fees include those attributed to:

1. All aspects of a firm’s in­terior design practice, from strategic planning and programming to design and project management.

2. Fees paid to a firm for work performed by employees and independent contractors who are “full-time staff equivalent.”

Interior design fees do not include revenues paid to a firm and remitted to subcontractors who are not con­sid­ered full-time staff equivalent. For example, certain firms attract work that is subcontracted to a local firm. The originating firm may collect all the fees and re­tain a management or generation fee, paying the remainder to the performing firm. The amounts paid to the latter are not included in fees of the collecting firm when determining its ranking. Ties are broken by rank from last year. Where applicable, all per­cent­ages are based on responding Giants, not their total number. 

All research conducted by ThinkLab, the research division of SANDOW Design Group.

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