philosphy and process

At zero ten design we believe that the goal of architecture and interior design is to create places and spaces that inspire, enthrall and delight. We have collectively been achieving this goal for over 50 years by designing award-winning projects of all types, specializing in hospitality, residential, retail, office and restaurants. While our egos are never at the forefront, our imagination always is, allowing us to dream up a wide range of options for our clients, and working hand-in-hand with them to fulfill their aspirations and tailor to their needs.

We love design in all its forms, and bring an unbridled enthusiasm to our work, crafting projects that are thoughtful, contextual and timeless, but it is our collective obsession with meaning—with bringing to life a concept—that sets us apart. Our approach rests on the notion that the best designs weave a storyline into a tangible, built form, manifested either through the client’s vision, the history of the place or other relevant thematic elements. However, this is not themed design and this is not trend-driven design. Instead, we build connected and meaningful experiences — psychologically, ergonomically and aesthetically– that speak directly to our clients. We research every cultural nuance and social context until we reach a thorough understanding of the concept of a project. Once there, we seek to weave the fine-grained details intrinsically into the ideas that define this overall concept. This cohesiveness ultimately results in a more personalized, nuanced and engaging experience for the inhabitants.

Our “zero to ten” design  process is completely centered around defining and developing the experience to meet the expectations of our clients, and allows the client to be an integral part of the design team, as a collaborator in the exploration of the project’s vision. This process is a thoughtful and methodical one, and begins with the review of inspirational images that set the overall tone and mood of the design. From there, we springboard into a creative exploration in both two and three dimensions, which lets the design unfold as we develop and react to the different iterations. Once a design direction is determined, we work closely with a talented pool of engineers, craftsmen and contractors to see the project through its completion, and help the client navigate through a process that can often seem overwhelming and complicated.

meet our team



    Bio Pic-KZ-small


    MArch, University of Oregon, 1996

    BA in Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine, 1992



    Licensed:  CA

    Member: American Institute of Architects (AIA)





    Kevin Zeller is currently COO and a founding partner of zero ten design.

    Mr. Zeller possesses a broad base of experience on a variety of project types ranging from restaurant, retail and residential spaces to complex market halls and large multi-block mixed-use sites.  Kevin is especially interested in overseeing the design and management through all phases of a project, from conceptual design through construction administration.

    Born and raised in Napa, Mr. Zeller is proud to have been involved in the design and management of two complex, large scale buildings in his hometown; The Oxbow Public Market and the Zeller Building.

    Kevin was previously an Associate at BCV Architects, where for 14 years he was responsible for establishing the design concepts and overseeing the creative and financial aspects of a variety of projects within the specialty commercial, residential and restaurant studios.  Prior to that, Kevin’s experience includes a designer position at the award-winning firm Fong and Chan Architects in San Francisco.



    Bio Pic-JR-small


    BArch, University of Southern California, 1991




    Associate Member: American Institute of Architects (AIA)

    San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR)

    Member: Institute of Classical Architecture & Art



    John Rojas is currently CFO and a founding partner of zero ten design.

    Mr. Rojas has had the opportunity to work on a variety of project types throughout his career, focusing mainly on planning and design of specialized retail centers and mixed-use projects, both in downtown urban areas and more regional settings. These projects often involve challenging sites or historic buildings, which require a design that integrates the existing context with a vision that is both progressive and timeless.

    Previously, John was a Senior Associate and the Director of the Specialty Commercial Studio at BCV Architects, where for 15 years he was responsible for establishing the design concepts and overseeing the creative and financial aspects of all the projects within the studio. Mixed-use projects that John worked on while at BCV include The Corners in Walnut Creek; Magnolia Place and The Cannery in San Francisco; and Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place (the World Financial Center) in New York City. Notable specialty retail projects Mr. Rojas has worked on include Broadway Pointe in Walnut Creek and Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

    John’s experience also includes designer positions at the award-winning firms Backen, Arrigoni and Ross in San Francisco and Robert A. Fielden Architecture in Las Vegas, Nevada.



    Bio Pic-JS-small


    BArch, University of Southern California, 1991




    Associate Member: American Institute of Architects (AIA)






    Jamie Shorten is currently CEO and a founding partner of zero ten design.

    Mr. Shorten was previously with BCV Architects where he was a Senior Associate and the Director of the Hospitality Studio from 1997 to 2012. Jamie had been a part of BCV since the firm’s founding in April 1997. Prior to BCV, Jamie had worked at award-winning firms such as Backen, Arrigoni & Ross Architects and Anshen + Allen Architects, both in San Francisco, CA.

    Jamie has a particular interest in the design, management, and coordination of complex tenant improvements projects and enjoys the focus and detail required by both interior design and architecture.

    As the Director of the Hospitality Design Studio at BCV Architects, Jamie had been instrumental in leading the firm’s presence in the restaurant, retail, and food retail projects. In addition to many restaurants for Il Fornaio, a sampling of Jamie’s other projects include Canaletto Restaurant, Newport Beach; Taylor’s Refresher and Hog Island Oyster Bar at the Ferry Building, San Francisco; Fat’s Asia Bistro, Folsom; Angelini Restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand, and Napa Farms Market at SFO International Airport.


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