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Profile : Nels Long

Role : Assoc. Principal @ RoTo Architects; Co-Founder RotoLab

Length of time with firm : 6+ years

RoTo Architects is pleased to announce that longtime associate and RotoLab Co-Founder Nels Long will be joining firm leadership as Associate Principal and Director of our new Bay Area studio serving Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

In his new role, Nels will focus on innovation within our practice, pursuing new types of projects and incorporating emerging technology by launching three new initiatives:

Beyond Retail a design and innovation consulting for the future of retail development, focused on transformative experience and personal development. Nels is excited to expand the scope of retail architecture through program design, retail mix consulting, media, and technological integration.

In this time of public health concern and market volatility, the way we design our public and commons spaces is of primary concern for long term viability of commercial real estate projects in the US and abroad.

By reimagining the way we program spaces, creating new mixes of activities that go beyond social distancing and establish a standard for commercial planning, we will create public experiences that support local and regional economies.

Design for Wellbeing continues the premise of Beyond Retail with design and innovation consulting for holistic opportunities at home, work and community. A healthy, high quality life goes beyond air quality and fresh foods. Especially in todays public health crisis the built environment especially the public commercial environment has a huge role to play in ensuring wellbeing for its occupants.

Through our new Bay Area studio, Nels is working to advance wellbeing at home through affordable, fire resistant homes, and communities. We are rebuilding homes that have been lost because of wildfires, and proposing new spaces that lessen the threat of loss to wellbeing through eco-conscious materials and design practices.

Affinity Space provides an online platform for sourcing cross sector solutions to global challenges facing society in design, health, engineering, and the sciences. As a STEAM development platform Affinity Space doubles as a Phenomenon-Based-Learning platform introducing new skills and expertise to members in pursuit of solutions to epic challenges.

Nels Long is a designer, strategist, and educator with a passion for learning. Using each project as a lens he seeks to better understand reality through a practice which blends worldbuilding and innovation.

During his time at RoTo Architects, Nels has worked on projects at numerous scales from single family homes and commercial spaces, to large civic projects and masterplans. In many cases he has served as project manager from very early on in the project, providing entitlements, team selection, project scheduling, task coordination, and delivery. In each project he seeks to expand the definition of practice through integration of design technology and operational strategies.

His approach to practice was the basis for founding RoTo Architects Innovation Lab, RotoLab. Through RotoLab Nels has founded companies that each focus on a different aspect of architecture, technology, and wellness, specifically focusing on learning and wellbeing through virtual experiences, virtual tooling, and social and competitive spaces for virtual experiences and games.

Nels is an alum of the graduate program at SCI-Arc where his focus was emerging systems technology and media (EST|m) with an emphasis on virtual reality based workflows. He has taught at SCI-Arc and  Arizona State University, and lectured at the University of Southern California, Academy of Art University, Art Center College of Design, Technical University of Berlin, Technical University of Warsaw, the AIA Convention, VRLA, and AILA among others.

As we enter this new decade Nels looks forward to the opportunity for collaboration with new partners, providing services to new regions.

Connect with Nels on LinkedIn.


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