A licensed California architect and member of AIA since 2000, Chris Dorman opened his own firm in 2001. One of Chris’ focuses has been child care architecture, including Reggio inspired child development centers for Corporate clients as well as many prominent non-profit providers. Residentially, Chris has created distinctive designs for numerous multi-million dollar custom homes and remodels for individual clients as well developers and Tribal Communities. Most recently he has engaged in various Mixed Use hospitality ventures which focus on how architecture can augment the user’s experience.
Chris received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley, and his Masters in Architecture from the University of Oregon. He began his career in 1996 when he joined the San Rafael firm Chris Lamen and Associates where the firm’s focus was on Affordable Multifamily Housing.
Leslie Geathers, Senior Project Manager, brings more than 20 years of multi-faceted experience in architecture, including work on projects ranging from commercial retail to single-family residential and multi-family affordable housing. In 1998 she began to specialize more in design of facilities for the young child when she joined Spaces For Children, a branch of McCamant & Durrett Architects, led by Louis Torelli, M.S.Ed., the nationally known premier child development environmental designer.
She became Project Manager and Designer in the creation of the 25,000 sq. ft. World Bank Children’s Centers, which are considered some of the most environmentaly focused childcare facilities in the United States. In a unique collaboration with Torelli, Ms. Geathers developed solutions for over 70,000 s.f. of Infant Toddler Childcare centers around the country. In 2005, she brought her impressive experience to Dorman Associates, Inc. where she has been instrumental in the design of both remodeled and new Children Centers.
Ms. Geathers has maintained her keen interest and commitment to socially and environmentally responsible methods and systems as they apply to our built environment. She has attended The San Francisco Institute of Architecture, University of California Berkeley Extension, and Merritt College to continue her education in such subjects as Permaculture, Urban Ecology, Ecological Architecture, Organic Architecture, and Sustainable Systems. Since 1997 she has served on the advisory board for the Merritt College Environmental Science & Ecological Design Program, and became an Adjunct Professor in 2002. She currently teaches Green Design and Urban Agroecology. In 2006 her role as an Ecological Design instructor expanded to the new Architecture & Community Design Program at the University of San Francisco, where she currently teaches Sustainable Design.
Sr. Project Manager
A licensed architect in California since 2003 and member of the AIA, Decker Flynn joined Dorman Associates in 2015. Prior to that, Decker worked as a Design Associate and Project Architect at Skidmore Owings & Merrill in San Francisco for almost 15 years, where he worked on complex projects ranging from airports to stock exchanges, from university student housing to conference centers, from mixed-use office towers to hotels. His ability to understand the context of a project, recognize design opportunities and constraints, provide innovative solutions, and coordinate the entire project team makes him a very effective project architect. Decker is versatile, possessing a broad range of design and management experience, leading design teams from concept design through construction administration, generating project work plans and schedules, and managing client, contractor, and consultant relations.
Since joining Dorman Associates, Decker has become an integral part of the team. His longstanding experience overseeing large-scale projects has allowed him to step in and contribute to the direction and quality control of the permit documents for several recent projects at DA. He is currently overseeing a 13,000 square foot corporate childcare center that will be incorporated into an existing 43 story building in San Francisco’s financial district. His oversight and attention to detail have already proven valuable in managing the expedited permitting process and construction schedule necessary to hit the client’s deadlines for that project.
Decker received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley in 1992, and his Masters in Architecture from the University of Oregon in 1996. Soon thereafter he joined SOM in New York before transferring to SOM San Francisco.
Mary Peterson, Project Manager and Interior Designer, a ‘00 graduate of Philadelphia University with a BS in Interior Architecture & Design, Mary relocated to the Bay Area in 2006. While in Philadelphia, she began her design career in the contract and healthcare design fields, focusing on space planning, design collaboration and FF&E selection and coordination.
Mary’s career continued to develop with commercial projects for financial institutions in the Philadelphia area, and furthermore in the retail design field once relocating to the Bay Area in 2006. As a Project Manager for a national retail store with projects nationwide, Mary’s focus was on clear client communication & collaboration, overseeing the design & documentation process.
In 2007, Mary joined Dorman Associates. Since then, Mary’s experience has expanded to include childcare, hospitality and residential design, with an increased focus on the architecture, universal design, consultant coordination, and client collaboration of the project as a whole. Mary has worked on a range of corporate and hospitality projects, including the overall interior visioning, signage & furniture design of a 28,000 s.f. marketplace in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico.
Mary is involved in all stages of the design process, bringing a strong knowledge of state and federal building codes, specifically applying to commercial spaces and universal barrier-free design in existing and new spaces. Her specialties also include selection of sustainable materials, fixtures, and equipment, as well as the overseeing and coordination of project documentation from Schematic Design to Construction Administration. Mary is committed to creating healthy environments that enhance the quality of life for the end user.
Ava Farab is a design professional at Dorman Associates. Before joining Dorman Associates, Ava worked as Design Associate with Harmony Center in Iran, where she worked on commercial, office, exhibition and multiple interior design projects, ranging from the Middle East, to China and Italy. Ava’s background includes furniture design, interior design as well as graphic design and marketing.
Ava received her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from IKIU University in Iran, and her Masters in Architecture from University of Michigan. While at the University of Michigan, Ava was Research Assistant to professor Sean Ahlquist, collaborating with him on his pioneering research through the use of a large-scale CNC knitting machine for the design and fabrication of pre-stressed lightweight structures and innovations in textile-reinforced composite materials. Through collaborating with computer science teams, the team was able to create interactive and touch-sensitive spatial installations that would benefit children with learning disabilities and autism.
Since joining Dorman Associates, Ava has worked on multiple childcare projects. She has worked as Project Associate on two different childcare centers for Stanford University, and smaller childcare centers for non-profit organizations.
Ava has a passion for socially responsible architecture. Her pro-bono design work in Iran has been featured in Memar and Honare Memari magazines. Her Thesis on architectural responses to migration crises has been published in the University of Michigan’s Dimensions publication.
Nicola Marchi, licensed Architect since 2018, graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. After graduating he continued his education in sustainable design and natural construction methods. Specializing in 3D rendering and visualization, since joining Dorman Associates, he has gained experience in the design and documentation of both residential and childcare projects.
Aki Laflin, junior designer, graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts degree in architecture. After graduating he pursued 2D animation as well as graphic design. A recent addition to the team, Aki has previous experience as a draftsman for a Bay Area photography / marketing company as well as a San Francisco catering company where he worked as an event manager.
Erin Costa, Office Manager, joined Dorman Associates in 2015. Erin has an extensive background in the interior design business, including in depth knowledge of ceramic tile and natural stone. She is in the midst of completing her Masters in Humanities, with an emphasis on 6th century Byzantine mosaics, at Dominican University of California.