we design places that
inspire people

what sets us apart

For 40 years, DES Architects + Engineers has designed working, learning, and healing environments for our clients.  With offices in San Francisco and Redwood City, DES provides creative and sustainable solutions that serve the needs of life sciences, tech, healthcare, education, and developers. As an interdisciplinary firm, DES offers an integrated project approach that leads to increased accuracy, quicker project delivery, and a better use of valuable resources. Services include architecture, interior design, civil and structural engineering, landscape architecture, visual communications, and sustainable design.

collaborative process

DES Architects + Engineers approaches design as a collaborative discovery process that couples the desires and needs of the client with the experiences of the architect to achieve a shared vision.


DES has designed more than 10 million square feet of sustainable design in the last five years. As a contributor to the world’s built environment, we are committed to partnering with our clients to make environmentally responsible opportunities available during the design process. DES provides a holistic sustainable methodology to all our projects through our integrated and multi-disciplinary approach. Our proactive approach to sustainability integrates design, planning, and energy principles early on, so that our priorities are focused and project goals are clear. Key design factors when addressing the relationship of employee wellness to the built environment are: exercise, nutrition, water, sunshine, air and rest. Workplaces should be welcoming, user friendly and ergo-appropriate. Environment affects behavior and behavior affects health. A process of organizing the work around the people is better than organizing the people around the work.

design and delivery

For any project, success depends on a unified team approach. Working together we create durable decisions, saving the project precious time and resources. Only through careful consideration can true consensus come about, as well as results that can withstand later second guessing. At DES, we have 40 years of practice successfully managing projects thanks to who we are, how we work, and the projects we’ve completed. Our culture thrives on collaboration, initiative, innovation, and flexibility. These are many of the same qualities that make the Silicon Valley so special, along with the great entrepreneurial spirit that prevails. Additionally, we strive to understand the client. Through active listening, we get to know your business, what matters to you most. We’re also seasoned in obtaining buy off at every level. With vast knowledge of fast track projects, experience with the all cities up-and-down the bay, and a proven-track record in the Silicon Valley, DES can deliver the results you expect.

leadership team

Tom Gilman

Principal | President

As lead designer, Tom Gilman directs the planning and design of all projects with an emphasis on achieving our client’s vision. Tom’s hands-on involvement in the design of state-of-the-art campuses and facilities allows him to recognize opportunities and study alternative approaches to the design of the many aspects of a project. Tom serves on the Redwood City Architectural Review Committee, and has served on the California Architectural Foundation Board, the Cal-Poly School of Architecture Advisory Council. Tom was also formerly a member of the board and past chapter president for AIA San Mateo County.Tom has a Masters of Architecture from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and a Bachelors of Architecture from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Stephen D. Mincey

Principal | CEO

Steve Mincey’s primary role is the leadership and management of DES. Working closely with other DES principals, he sets the strategic direction for the firm with the goal of providing an environment that allows talented professionals to contribute their best skills while maintaining an easy going culture that embraces learning and creativity. Steve’s unique blend of experience in both the engineering and architecture fields allows him to be particularly effective with clients that have projects where complex systems and requirements pose significant challenges.

Susan Eschweiler

Principal | Vice President

As a licensed architect and certified interior designer, Susan Eschweiler’s focus is on the creation of communities – from multiple building campuses to education facilities and interior work environments.

Susan is currently on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Cornell’s College of Art, Architecture and Planning and has served on the San Mateo County Chapter American Institute of Architects Board of Directors, the City of Palo Alto’s Architectural Review Board, and the Planning Review Committee for the Palo Alto Unified School District Building for Excellence Program. Susan earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Susan joined DES in 1981.

Jana Gunsul

SF Managing Principal | Interior Design Director

As an experienced team leader, Jana instills a passion for programming and designing spaces that support innovation. She has earned the trust of countless clients over her 27-year career in design by demonstrating unwavering commitment to quality and service.

Her commitment to clients and the community have led her to be actively involved in sustainable design programs. Jana is a member of the International Interior Design Association and CoreNet.

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Architecture at the University of Oregon in Eugene. She joined DES in 1993.

Brent Takahashi

Associate Principal | Project Executive

Brent’s strength is in the delivery of large-scale corporate campuses on exceptionally fast schedules. As a master organizer and team builder, Brent brings out each person’s strengths and challenges them to reach new heights. He bonds the entire team together by guiding them towards common goals and employing a collective approach to problem solving. Valuing high-quality design, he and his strong teams expertly balance form and function through creative solutions.

Brent is a Licensed Architect with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He has delivered many of the largest and most notable campus developments in Silicon Valley including Moffett Place and Moffett Towers.

Dawn Jedkins

Associate Principal | Senior Designer

As a Senior Designer, Dawn leads the planning, design, and entitlements of ground-up projects including commercial, science and tech, and education environments. During the last 18 years, she has brought a unique ability to lead diverse stakeholders toward common goals, which has been key to the success of many significant projects across the Bay Area. She expertly unifies each project’s programmatic requirements with the client’s vision and values to create places that reflect their context and enhance communities.

Dawn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture degree from the University of Lincoln in England. She’s recently completed Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Entrepreneurship Boot Camp program.

John Fullerton

Associate Principal | Project Executive

With decades of project management experience, John has delivered many of Silicon Valley’s most trend-setting corporate campuses and advanced R&D projects. Through this, he has developed a vast knowledge bank and a range of perspectives on how to solve the diverse challenges that meet owners, architects, and contractors. John expertly balances a hands-off/hands-on management approach, empowering team members with high-levels of responsibilities while directing teams toward shared goals and delving deep into critical details.

John earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo and a Master of Business Administration from the Advanced Management Institute in San Francisco.

Kevin Norman

Associate Principal | Project Executive

Since joining the firm thirty years ago, Kevin has led the successful delivery of many technically-challenging projects while making a lasting impact in the architectural community. With an assertive yet approachable nature, he consistently identifies and builds common ground from which clients, consultants, and contractors can partner together. He’s recognized as a team builder and information facilitator, not to mention he’s a certified nice guy.

Kevin is currently focused on growing the firm’s new San Francisco office, and recently joined the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador. He has had a long-term involvement in AIA California Council, AIA San Mateo County, and the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE). Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Rico del Moral

Associate Principal | Project Executive

Rico takes a hands-on role in the design of nearly all ground-up and exterior renovation projects. By treating all team members and stakeholders as clients, he brings an open and attentive approach to conceptual design. His ability to communicate through sketching is current and timeless, finding spontaneous moments of impact in client meetings and community charrettes.

Rico earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. Spending the early part of his career at an international design firm, he traveled across Asia and the Middle East, honing his keen ability to connect with people beyond language and cultural barriers.

Tom Parrish

Associate Principal | Structural Engineering Director

As Director of Structural Engineering for ten-plus years, Tom has grown the department into one of the largest and most innovative structural teams in the Bay Area. With hands-on mentoring, he’s cultivated a high-level of creativity and developed a strong synergy between the structural and architectural teams. He couples his extensive knowledge of building systems and their practical application with an ability to perceive the big picture, contribute to a larger discussion, and best deliver on the client’s goals.

Tom is a licensed Structural and Civil Engineer with a Bachelor of Science in Structural Engineering from California Polytechnic State University. He is an active member of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California.

Tracy Wong

Associate Principal | Project Executive

With twenty-plus years of experience at DES, Tracy expertly manages large-scale projects for leading science and tech clients. Although his proactive approach and deep understanding of building codes are well-respected, Tracy’s personable nature is his hallmark. He’s taken on company-wide leadership responsibilities including overseeing staffing and taking an active role in educating up-and-coming architects. Supporting DES’ collaborative culture, he actively organizes a range of out-of-the-office activities—such as participation in the AIA Santa Clara Softball League—that bring our team together.

Tracy is a Licensed Architect with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Waibun Lee

Associate Principal | Visual Communications Director

Waibun leads a talented team of graphic artists that communicate design through inspiring imagery and interactive experiences. Setting seemingly impossible goals, Waibun constantly breaks convention, pushes boundaries, and creates the unthinkable. His never-ending quest to deliver industry-leading graphics has improved the entire firm’s work product and processes. Waibun certainly delivers beyond expectations, but more importantly, he effortlessly adds humor and enjoyment to the process. Jovial, caring and serious, he’s long been a linchpin at DES and instrumental to the firm’s youthful and energetic culture.

Waibun earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.

leadership team


3045 Park | Gold Nugget, Award of Merit, Best Commercial Project

Suturis | CODAawards, Top 100 Projects
Skyline College Environmental Science Building | USGlass Design Awards, Specialty Construction
Skyline College Environmental Science Building | DBIA Regional Award
Skyline College Environmental Science Building | DBIA Design Excellence Award
855 Main | Structures Award in the Urban Infill Project Category

Skyline College Environmental Science Building | Gold Nugget Awards, Best Educational Project, Grand Award
181 Fremont | AIA SMC Citation Award for Architecture
181 Fremont | AIA SMC People's Choice Award
181 Fremont | Serve Category Finalist, IIDA Northern California

The Club at Moffett Towers II | Best Amenities Project, Silicon Valley Business Journal
The Club at Moffett Towers II | Gold Nugget Awards, Best Recreational Facility - Sports Complex, Grand Award
Design Tech High School | Building Design + Construction Magazine, Gold Building Team Award
Design Tech High School | Engineering News Record, Best K-12 Education Project National
Design Tech High School | Learning By Design, High School Grand Prize

Design Tech High School | AIA SMC Merit Award for Interior
Design Tech High School | Gold Nugget Awards, Best Educational Project, Grand Award
Design Tech High School | Sustainable San Mateo County, Green Building Award
Skyline College Environmental Science Building | 2018 CCFC Professional Design Awards – Award of Honor
Moffett Place Amenities | Gold Nugget Awards, Best Special Use Project, Merit Award
Moffett Towers II | Silicon Valley Business Journal, Best Office/R&D Deal
PacBio | AIA SMC Citation Award for Architecture
Tech Workplace at 1330 Broadway | Gold Nugget Awards, Best Interior Renovation Project, Merit Award

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