Architectural Interior Designer I


Kaplan Thompson Architects


Portland, ME

Kaplan Thompson Architects is a Portland, Maine architecture firm prioritizing sustainability, creative design, and technical excellence for every project. We are seeking an Interior Designer I with 3 to 5 years of professional experience. This is a unique opportunity to get in the door with a mission-based, award-winning firm named to the Architect 50: Top 50 Firms in Sustainability in the U.S. The Interior Designer role is a non-remote position and requires physical presence in our office in Portland, Maine.

We believe deeply in working to reverse climate change, including a commitment to meeting the AIA 2030 Commitment, and we strive to practice what we preach. We are the first Architecture firm in Maine to have received a JUST label for being a socially just and equitable organization.
We value your time and a healthy work-life balance; we generally observe a 40-hour work week, and time spent on project work beyond that weekly obligation is reimbursed quarterly as comp time, an hourly payout, or an “experience” of your choosing (more on this upon hire!).
Our workload and commitment to our clients and the environment are rigorous, but so is our desire to foster a sense of community amongst our team and our peers. We enjoy company happy hours, birthday lunches, and occasional bowling parties, as well as a dedicated Slack channel for sharing photos of your pets. As if that’s not enough, let’s just say that after hours, we aren’t afraid to push up our sleeves and turn the conference room table into a ping pong court.

If you are ready to be dazzled by our stunning assortment of nutritious office snacks (and meet the position requirements below!), we are ready to meet you!


Compensation, Timing and (Excellent) Benefits

Starting salary: $54,000 – $61,000. Compensation will be based on internal salary bands in alignment with AIA rates for the region with the potential for a signing bonus.

This offer includes 3 weeks of paid vacation / personal / sick time annually. Our benefits package also includes 100% medical coverage on Health Insurance and 100% coverage on Disability Insurance.  Additionally, KTA offers a 401K benefit plan that allows you to save for retirement. With this plan, KTA will match your contributions up to 4% of your salary. There is no waiting period to receive this benefit; you are eligible to join the 401K plan upon hire.

We also offer 10 paid holidays and 3 paid floating holidays. A commuting stipend of $60/mo. will be provided, and may be either spent towards a bus pass, a bicycle, a car parking space, or kept by you if an alternate form of transportation is used. Bonuses are distributed in accordance with hours worked and success of the office. Annually, every employee has the opportunity to spend up to $500 and two days pursuing professional development, which might include attending a conference, taking a class, or participating in another approved activity. Designers interested in achieving licensure also enjoy access to company-paid training materials and reimbursement of ARE expenses upon successful completion of tests. We also offer one paid Community Day with the entire office and up to 24 matched hours over the year for any a Community Service project you would like to pursue.


To Whom the Position Reports:
Project Managers, Associate Interior Designer, Principals



Design Skill
• Generate interior finish palettes and design presentations for interior renovation and new construction projects with occasional guidance
• Stay current with design innovations and products coming to the market

Technical Ability
• Provide Building Information Modeling, research, renderings, presentation documents as required
• Assist in preparing project specifications pertaining to interior design, compile and analyze relevant data, prepare reports
• Focus on sustainable materials

• Act as a design assist to Senior Interior Design Staff with some client and builder contact
• Write reports, notes, and provide correspondence as projects require
• Produce clear, consistent, and attractive presentations, graphics, and models to support design-related communication

• Manage multiple projects and tasks with flexibility and contribute to improving internal processes
• Elaborate and/or build upon the ideas, concepts, modes of thinking, or content proposed by other team members
• Work in a collaborative team structure with other architects and designers on single-family and multi-family residential projects, restaurants, and sustainability-focused institutions

Industry Awareness
• Participate in relevant industry events
• Strive to incorporate sustainable solutions throughout your work
• Produce work that is consistent with the quality and design aesthetic of the firm, and the region

• Proactively seek out and participate in internal and external training opportunities based on individual goal-setting
• Participate in office culture
• Strive for professional and personal development


Initially this role would work directly with the Associate Interior Designer, however we are looking for a candidate that could grow to work independently on projects as well. Day to day tasks include: space planning, material specifications and research, production of design presentation materials, and production of construction documentation.



Required: Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design or Interior Architecture from a CIDA accredited program and 3-5 years of relevant work experience; location within commuting distance of our office in Portland; ability to attend construction site visits within a 3-hour range of Portland, regular in-person client meetings, and in-person office events. Access to the office requires climbing one flight of stairs. Construction Administration requires navigating job sites lacking accessibility features.


Required: Excellent aesthetic and/or technical design skills, strong written and verbal communication skills, drafting with BIM modeling experience
Preferred: Experience with ArchiCAD, software proficiency with Mac, Microsoft Office, Gsuite, Adobe Creative Suite, Keynote or Powerpoint, and education/interest/experience in the field of sustainable design.



You bring:
• Affability and a positive attitude
• Joy and creativity to your projects and your workplace
• An emerging design vision, drive, and a deep belief in a more sustainable future
• The ability to push boundaries and think unconventionally
• The ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously with overlapping deadlines

You embrace:
• Working independently and meeting timely goals
• Collaborating with other team members and external partners 
• Active participation in the health and vibrancy of the business
• Maintaining rigor in quality of work and written communications

You are comfortable with:
• A flexible environment with options for both in-person and remote work
• An open, collaborative team approach and a collegial studio atmosphere
• Communicating when you see room for improvement and coming to the table with solutions

You can expect from us:
• The opportunity to work on high-performance, net zero energy, Living Building Challenge, and Passive House projects, with all the rigors and joys they entail
• Professional development support and resources
• A portfolio of mission-driven projects


To view some of our work and our philosophy, please view

Ready to join our firm? Please send a resume, brief cover letter, and examples of work to Our first test for consideration is rigorous: please also mention your most useless superpower in your initial response. No calls, thank you.