We are a collaborative practice of artisans who both design and build. Our designs are guided by a reverence for materials and depth of experience in fabrication and construction. Our constructions are informed by an appreciation for beautiful and well-functioning objects and spaces.

Material Design Build LLC was formed in 2009, in the depths of the housing crisis, by George Akers and Armin Zomorodi. While we had been friends for many years, we spent several years prior to the formation of the company completing large historic restoration projects. When those projects wound down we opted to set out on our own and to build a company that could readily adapt to the needs of our clients and see projects from inception to completion.




George brings 20+ years of experience in all aspects of carpentry. He started his career working in a large cabinet shop before moving on site where he specialized in high end finish carpentry. His love of the work has taken him around the country building in Bolinas, California to Ann Arbor, Michigan before settling back in New Jersey. George works in all aspects of the business: helping clients visualize a solution through the design process, managing the project, and executing the work as a hands-on foreman. 


armin zomorodi


Armin got his first exposure to the building world deconstructing old timber frame barns with the New Jersey Barn Company during high school summers. After getting his BA at the Evergreen State College he studied Architecture at the Parsons School of Design. He works with our clients on the design and management of their project as well as administering the daily operations of the company.


Eric doherty

Lead Carpenter

Eric is a master of carpentry’s many realms: from framing to millwork. He’s hard to miss in his utility kilt leading the crew through professional execution of all phases of our projects. Eric’s spends his free time brewing hoppy IPAs, backpacking trips in the region’s mountains, and expertly carving all manner of objects @that_guy_in_the_kilt 


matt stires


Matt is the calm center of any job site as he methodically works through his many carpentry tasks. The king of the punch-list, clients often tell us how much they miss him when a project finishes. He’ll bring his telescope to far off job-sites for after-work star gazing, play guitar in a variety of bands and practice tai-chi in the early morning hours. 




Hailing from sunny Puebla, Mexico Jose has called New York’s Catskills home for many years. Jose is a talented carpenter, with a wealth of experience in timber-frame construction, and a skilled stone mason. He brings endless energy and a dry wit to every site. When he’s not busy cutting wood he enjoys playing baseball and spending time with his family.  


George reefer

Project Manager

We are a company of many Georges. George Reefer (aka “GR”) comes to us from Kansas City, MO. by way of Mid-Coast Maine where he spent many icy winters and breezy summers working in the world of high-performance, panelized construction. George has overseen projects in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Canada, He brings a talent in soothing the chaos of a project (the site, subcontractors, vendors, deliveries, consultants and clients) into a transparent and intelligible place and transparent process. George enjoys fishing, playing baseball, living in Williamsburg, and expanding his culinary repertoire in his off hours.


Jorge Samaniego serrano


Jorge kills it on the job site and in the DJ booth. He loves cutting wood quickly and accurately and the new and interesting construction challenges our work throws at him. In addition to his curating music for parties Jorge enjoys spending time with his wife and children.