Principal and Founder
Douglas Burnham is founder and principal of envelope Architecture + Design (envelopeA+D), an award-winning collaborative design firm that advances new models of public and private space anchored in compelling visions of the emerging urban condition. A practicing architect for over twenty years, Mr. Burnham is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Architecture, where he received the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Prize, awarded to one student in the graduating class for outstanding final thesis work. Burnham’s range of experience includes residential, educational, commercial, civic and hospitality building and renovation projects, as well as exhibition design, product design, furniture and custom lighting fixtures. He has been an adjunct professor at California College of the Arts since 2004. From 2007-2010 he led the SFMOMA’s Architecture + Design Forum as Chair, and now serves on the Forum’s Executive Committee. Burnham’s work has been published in magazines and journals including dwell, Architectural Record, Metropolitan Home, and Interior Design, among others. He frequently gives lectures in the U.S. and Europe on the work of envelopeA+D.
Caren grew up in Boston, Toronto and the San Francisco Bay area. She studied Art History at UC Berkeley, and later went on to receive her Masters of Architecture at UCLA. Since graduating, Caren has worked in design offices in New York, Copenhagen and San Francisco, working on a number of award winning commercial interior projects for tech companies. In parallel with her design endeavors, Caren takes inspiration from a wide variety of cultures that she has experienced throughout her travels, which she then uses to provide refreshing inspiration and opportunities for design collaboration.
Patrick comes to the field of architecture with an extensive background in computer science and a keen interest in technology’s influence on our understanding of place in the built environment. Patrick holds a Bachelor’s of Architecture from the California College of the Arts where he graduated with High Distinction, receiving awards in design, digital representation and building technology.
Nathan is a designer, writer and visual artist based in Oakland, California. Nathan’s work leverages the ethos and techniques of the hacker/maker movement and the material palette of the architectural avant-garde in testing the potential of small, temporary interventions to reorient our perceptions of urban environments. Nathan continues to build on this body of work as well as draw on his experience in community outreach through his leadership of envelopeA+D’s PG&E Hunters Point project. Nathan holds a Master of Architecture degree from University of California, Berkeley, where he received the Eisner Prize in Architecture, the department’s highest honor. He has also been the recipient of several fellowships supporting his research on public space, including the John K. Branner Traveling Fellowship, the UC Berkeley Arts Research Center Fellowship, and the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. A child of the suburbs, he fell in love with cities while working as a bicycle messenger in Dublin, Ireland, and has been fascinated with them ever since.
Lauren joined envelopeA+D as an intern in 2010 and then as a full-time designer in 2011. Lauren received a masters in architecture from California College of the Arts and holds a bachelors in photography from Art Center College of Design. She has had professional stints as both a commercial and residential designer, studio photographer, photo editor, and art gallery manager. Grappling with the application of material and form to space, time and context is both fun and fulfilling to her, but in her spare time she likes to go on long walks with her two spotted cattle dogs, and work on her ever-expanding heirloom tomato garden. Lauren was born and raised in Los Angeles and has recently returned there to be closer to the palm trees.
As the child of a metal sculptor, Ben took an early interest in the techniques of artistic form and material expression. Later during his undergraduate studies at Oberlin College, he took a generalist approach, completing an interdisciplinary degree in Environmental Studies along with minors in Politics and Studio Art. Upon graduation, Ben returned to his native Philadelphia and built skills in construction, initially through a year of service with Habitat for Humanity and subsequently through independent contract work in construction and carpentry. Soon after making a move to San Francisco, Ben decided architectural design would be a perfect confluence of these skills and interests. Equally concerned with the social and technical aspects of architecture, Ben achieved a Master of Architecture from California College of the Arts. When he’s not working in the studio, Ben enjoys exploring the urban and bucolic parts of the Bay Area by bicycle, improvising fresh cooked meals, and delving into his diverse record collection.
Educated in Versailles, France where he grew up, and Kyoto Institute of Technology Japan - Victor has been on the move since early age. There was Japan for three years - where he had a try at a pHD, numerous competitions, three different firms, a single family house built in Nara, a traditional wooden house renovation project in the heart of Kyoto's old town, the launch of a not-so-licensed night-bar in his very house. There was sleep deprivation and caffeine addiction in Kengo Kuma - Paris and Tokyo - for times that cannot be quantified. There was Swiss manners (not really) in Herzog and de Meuron, Switzerland, where he went from architect working on international competitions - to woodworker / prototyp-er for two years. There is San Francisco, where he lives to bury himself in the in-house workshop. A collage of experiences and and friendships, from Woodwork - Design - to Architecture. With a strong feeling that one needs to experience hands-on and perfect his craft - to create. Victor puts emphasis on a manic approach to absorbing knowledge - feeding his aesthetic, the architecture he does during the day, the objects he crafts at night.
Allegra is originally from the Great Dismal Swamp on the coast of Southern Virginia; in search of lands less dreary, she moved to California and attended the California College of Art where she received her M.A. in Curatorial Practice. Her curatorial focus was to create spaces and environments conducive to assembling participants form disparate backgrounds. Previously, Allegra owned and operated a popular neighborhood cafe where she managed to convince members of the local hard core scene that 90's R&B was completely tolerable and sometimes enjoyable. At envelope A+D Allegra builds on her ideas of community building and assemblage through the PG+E Hunters Point Project. She currently lives happily in North Oakland with her family but is ready to make drastic changes should the opportunity to be a Fly Girl ever presents itself.
Cassiopea gained her Bachelors of Architecture at California College of the Arts, focusing her education on urban and community design while working in conjunction with various nonprofit agencies both at home and abroad. While there she was the recipient of several awards, including the Jury Honorable Mention and AIA Emerging Leader Scholarship. Since, she has continued to be inspired by the interaction of the built environment in social justice and reform. When not traveling the globe or backpacking some remote location, she can be found constantly creating, be it jewelry, furniture or a healthy dinner.
Adam is a designer who believes deeply in delight. The mythos of California drew Adam out of the Midwest in search of finding other dreamers. Adam’s design philosophy follows Sol leWitt’s declaration that irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically. If Adam were to amend this exhortation, he would add that it must result in enjoyment. Architecture is for people, and therefore it must address the great unspoken effect of design: pleasure. In addition to his work at envelopeA+D, Adam does stage design for a local punk music festival, edits an architecture journal, and collaborates on installation design with some of his fellow cohort. Adams holds an M.Arch from U.C. Berkeley, and a B.A. from Cornell University.
Fabricator + Expeditor
Growing up at a small vineyard and winery in Oregon, Julian is well versed in the labour of love. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, Julian moved back west to start his own furniture practice in Portland. Heavily Influenced by the act of making, Julian aims to find design solutions where the worlds of craft, material and function align.
Lexie was born and raised in southwestern Pennsylvania. Through her explorations while studying at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, her time living in Shanghai, China and her experience working as a licensed architect in Germany, Lexie came to recognize the profound but often dismissed effects of our surrounding built environment on us and developed a strong interest in a sensory approach to the design of spaces and their materiality. When not designing, Lexie can be found riding her bike or skating around the Bay, playing roller derby or petting a dog in the corner.
Tali grew up on an artists’ commune in rural Sonoma County where the free-spirit Kool Aid flowed. She escaped, spirit intact, to attend UC Berkeley with a major in Economics (surprising her parents for sure). Putting that degree to good use, Tali decided to pursue a Masters in Education and become a passionate teacher and teacher educator at Mills College in Oakland. After a stint as a stay-at-home parent (to three gorgeous children), she ran the business end of a metal fabrication shop where she learned a few things about design and a lot of things about the construction business. Tali joined envelopeA+D in the Spring of 2015 where she spends her days building and analyzing beautiful spreadsheets and telling people to stop spending money.
For the last decade, Clarke has been designing, fabricating and producing art installations around the globe. Educated at St. John's College, UC Berkeley and Harvard, Clarke took to handicraft shortly after completing school. Contemporaneously with his work in the art world, Clarke was introduced to envelopeA+D through his work crafting bespoke woodworking for their clients as part of his high-end luxury cabinet and furniture making practice in Oakland. Drawing upon his experience within the trades, Clarke joined the firm as expeditor in 2010 to liaise between contractors, clients, designers, architects, city inspectors and planners. After taking some time off to do a tour through corporate America, Clarke returned to envelopeA+D to streamline and facilitate special projects. If he isn't busy expediting, he can probably be found hiking across some rugged wilderness or canoeing around the bay.
Laura van den Bosch
Laura was raised in a quiet town on the shores of Lake Michigan. As a designer, she believes that sensitivity to the landscape and an enhanced relationship to the surrounding environment are fundamental to intelligent design. She strives to discover a sense of place through natural light rhythms, wind movement, and carefully composed views, and she savors the moments when structures are able to harmonize through materials and textures. Additionally, Laura appreciates the freedom and process of making with her hands, and she considers sketching and painting to be her primary tools for communication. Laura can be found hiking in the woods, snapping photographs on the coast, enjoying a vinyl record at home while perfecting a baking recipe, or riding her bike through the neighborhood. Laura is a Registered Architect in California. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and History of Art from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.