Douglas Burnham
Founding Partner

Douglas Burnham is an architect and entrepreneur, designing buildings, environments and strategic solutions for individuals and communities. A practicing architect for over 25 years and a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Architecture, he founded envelope A+D in 2002 to create a collaborative setting for the production of meaningful works of architecture, design and public space.

In 2012, Douglas gained international recognition for PROXY, a pioneering temporary cultural hub presenting film, music, food and fitness in the heart of San Francisco. He speaks and consults widely on interim use as a strategic tool for cities and organizations, and is applying this design thinking to new projects from Tucson, Arizona, to the California coast.

A past chair of the SFMOMA Architecture + Design Forum, Douglas currently serves on the Headlands Center for the Arts Audience Engagement Committee. In 2015, he founded HERE FOR NOW, a nonprofit dedicated to creating centers of cultural vibrancy through temporary art and design interventions.


Nathan John

As Partner, Nathan John expands envelope A+D’s leadership in the development of flexible systems for architecture, iterative approaches to placemaking, innovative strategies for community engagement, and interactive public artworks. Leveraging the methods of the hacker/maker movement as well as a background in policy research, community organizing, and custom fabrication, Nathan’s approach to the creation of exemplary architecture and public space is inextricably linked to an investment in exemplary community process.

Nathan’s research on urban interventions and public space has been recognized with several awards and fellowships, including the John K. Branner Traveling Fellowship, the UC Berkeley Arts Research Center Fellowship, and the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, and his writing has been included in publications including Ground Up, Room One Thousand, The Site Magazine (forthcoming) and the anthology P[art]icipatory Urbanisms. He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, where he received the Eisner Prize in Architecture, the department’s highest honor.


Sarah Hirschman
Associate Partner

An architect and researcher, Sarah Hirschman applies her broad expertise to advance a range of work at envelope A+D, including North’s technology-rich showroom system, compact housing in San Francisco, and the upcoming season at 2214, the firm’s curatorial initiative.

Sarah is equally at home resolving complex technical designs and lecturing on the role of patterning and illusion in architecture, the subject of her research as the 2017-18 LeFevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow at the Ohio State University. She earned her Masters of Architecture from MIT, receiving the Marjorie Pierce and Compton Memorial Fellowships, as well as the Alpha Rho Chi medal. She later served as Director of Publications and Exhibitions at MIT Architecture and founded the Keller Gallery there.

Teaching and writing remain central to Sarah’s practice. She leads design studios at the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught at the Ohio State University, MIT, and the Boston Architectural College. Her articles and work have appeared in Plat, Inflection, the Avery Review, Architect, Future Anterior, Clog, Thresholds, Mark, and the 2011 book Testing to Failure, which she edited. Her work has been exhibited at the BSA Space, the Maine ICA, the Center for Architecture in New York, UC Berkeley's Wurster Gallery, and the Art Institute of Chicago.


Lex Phelan
Associate Partner

Architect Lex Phelan focuses on architecture and planning projects involving sensitive cultural contexts and natural habitats, such as Radhaus, a new restaurant within the historic Fort Mason Center, a vision plan for the Headlands Center for the Arts, and a mixed-use urban infill project in the Sonoran Desert. She also leads initiatives in project management and delivery, developing best practices for the office.

While earning her Bachelor of Architecture at Virginia Tech, Lex created her own year-abroad program in Shanghai, furthering her architectural studies in a vastly different context, while also working as a product designer. She began her career in Germany, becoming a licensed architect and member of the North-Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Architects, well versed in design and construction methods for public buildings, schools, and residences.

Lex’s experience shaped her interest in the social possibilities of design and promoting new models for collective life in a global society — a line of inquiry she continues to pursue at envelope A+D. Her work recognizes the potential of the built environment to enhance physiological and emotional well-being among occupants and advocates a design approach that prioritizes community needs and equitable access to a healthy, sustainable environment.


Natthakanya Intharasena

Natthakanya (Namtan or Tan) was born and raised in Thailand. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from King Mongkut's Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang, working as a licensed architect in Thailand after her graduation. Through her travels and living abroad, Namtan has built an interest in the relationship between people’s activities, local culture and the built environment. She earned her Master of Advanced Architectural Design: Urban Works degree at California College of the Arts, with the goal of expanding her understanding in urban design. Outside of work, she likes to explore the Bay Area, sketch San Francisco’s housing, and figure out how to cook Thai food like her grandma and her mom.


Ben Leavitt

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.


Cassie McDonald

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.


Tali Reicher
Finance Manager

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.


Clarke Selman

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
Project Manager

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.


Veronica Volok
Studio Manager

Veronica grew up in the foggy, coastal city of Pacifica, known for its Taco Bell on the beach and annual dog surfing competition. She was pursuing a degree in psychology and got her AS in Social and Behavioral Sciences at CCSF. After learning about the world of advertising and marketing, she decided to change her major and transferred to SJSU to study advertising while minoring in Creative Arts. She worked as a Marketing Coordinator at Chrome Industries and Social Media Coordinator at ShenDesignWorks. As an avid cyclist and bike racer, she decided to take a break from her social media gigs and worked as a bike messenger in SF. When she's not racing or riding bikes, you'll find her at the office with her deaf mini Aussie, Bernie.