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.
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.
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.
Designer + Project Manager
Grayson grew up in a back-to-the-land inspired household in Maine, which lent insights to the grittier qualities of food and building. Since joining envelopeA+D, Grayson has attempted to supplement this understanding through bits of gloss afforded by technology. Alternately, Grayson hones his competitive edge by training for and playing quad rugby. Grayson took several top prizes upon earning his Bachelor’s of Architecture from the California College of the Arts, including the Henry J. Adams merit award.
Nathan is a designer, writer and visual artist based in Oakland, California. Prior to joining envelopeA+D, Nathan’s work leveraged 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 management of envelopeA+D’s PG&E Hunters Point project. A child of the suburbs, he fell in love with cities while working as a bicycle messenger in Dublin, Ireland, and he’s 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.
With an undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology from Boston University, Leila became interested in the ways in which environmental conditions shape culture as well as physical space. This interest lead her toward pursuing a masters of architecture from the California College of the Arts where she was introduced to the work of envelopeA+D. She is always interested in understanding the social impact of the built environment and amongst other things, listens to a lot of podcasts.
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.
Bobby came from halfway around the world in the sunny tropics of Singapore to further his education. He received his Bachelors of Architecture with High Distinction at California College of the Arts. Bobby was the recipient of several awards including the BArch Book Award, Stout Book Award as well as Jury honorable mention. Having an interest in photography since a young age, Bobby could be found exploring the city through the lens of his camera in his free time.
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.
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.
Executive Assistant + Office Manager
Vanessa is one of the rare San Francisco natives. Spending a lot of time commuting from the East Bay to The City (and still doing so), she's very familiar with an early wake up call and constantly being on the move. After studying Psychology and Human Development at UC Davis, Vanessa worked at various positions ranging from pre-school teacher for Contra Costa County to managing a floral company in San Francisco to banking at Chase, making her knowledgable in a variety of areas and incredibly versatile. She comes to envelopeA+D with an ardent desire to be around creative individuals and to engage in the creative Journal. When she’s not working on some sort of project or managing a crisis, she can be found dancing like nobody is watching.
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.
Designer + Project Manager
Lizzie received her undergraduate degree in furniture design at the California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco. After a brief stint as a photo stylist back in Boston, she returned to (the newly re-branded) California College of Arts to explore her curiosities concerning the built environment, people, and space. Her Masters of Architecture included several competitive distinctions: Jury Prizes, Design Excellence Awards, and the highly regarded Thesis Prize. She has taught at CCA and continues to be active in the CCA community. Lizzie remains hungry to envision the future of design while bookmarking images of late ‘60s-early ‘70s muscle cars, which one day she will have...in white, of course.
Duncan earned his Bachelors of Architecture with distinction from the California College of The Arts in 2010. He also won several undergraduate awards including the History / Theory Award and the Award for Digital Representation. Duncan became a full-time member of the envelopeA+D team upon his graduation in late 2010 after several months serving as an intern. Duncan resides in beautiful Sonoma county with his wife and their collection of horses and dogs. Additionally, Duncan trains for and competes in Ironman triathlons.