Say hello to the newest crew members to join our Arizona studio; Angeleno Architect and true Bears fan Daniel Gottlieb (DG,) Project Specialist Emmanuel Lesser (EL) all the way from "The Nutmeg State" (Connecticut,) and last but not least, we welcome back our once Intern, now Master Graduate Aseel Baarimah (AB.) Joining our Austin, Texas studio, we also welcome Senior Design Architect Zhe Wang (ZW) (pronounced "Z"). To all four of you, welcome to Nelsen Partners! We are really excited to shake your hand and greet you this July!

Take 90 seconds to find out which of our new crew members is a master at tennis and which might be cannonball splashing at Six Flags this summer. Who do you think is a watercolor artist, and lastly, who is willing to be participate in the next episode of the famous game show "Name that Tune"?

Always looking forward to the summers at the coast, we've asked our team about their dream lighthouse vision. Whether they have ever designed or built one of these monumental beauties in the Bay Area or somewhere in the "Peninsula of Peninsulas," we wanted to make sure they kept some ambitions near the water!

Read below to find out which of new crew members will be grilling the hotdogs or lighting the fireworks, who will be watching them from the Princess Resort, or even munching a green bean popsicle.

PS. See you soon! Literally.


Where are you from?

  • DG: Los Angeles, California.  More specifically, South Beverly Hills.
  • AB: Originally form Yemen. Born and raised in Saudi Arabia!
  • EL: Connecticut originally.
  • ZW: China.

Where did you go to school?

  • DG: University of California - Berkeley and the Rhode Island School of Design.  Go Bears!  Go Nads!
  • AB: Undergraduate: King Saud University - Saudi Arabia / Graduate: University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ
  • EL: Brophy College Prep for High School. ASU and Seattle University for College.
  • ZW: I went to schools both in China and Austin.

What's your favorite architectural style and why?

  • DG: Midcentury Modern - specifically the Case Study Homes.  First real instance of pushing boundaries of inside/outside living with expansive glass and clean, minimal interiors.  Perfection.  Plus, they loved to use the color orange like I do.
  • AB: I'll choose modern minimalist style. Because less is more!!!!
  • EL: Modernism; form follows function, baby.
  • ZW: Regional modern. Modern architecture rooted in the place.

All-time favorite song?

  • DG: One of my daughter’s favorite questions that I always find impossible to answer as I have too many to name and too many genres I listen to.  I will say that, when it was getting close to turning in projects in school, “Born at the Right Time” by Paul Simon would be on repeat.
  • AB: Well, any song for an Arabian singer called Talal Maddah is an All-time song for me!!.
  • EL: "Hallelujah" (Jeff Buckley)
  • ZW: Imagine.

Favorite pen?

  • DG: Sakura Pigma Micron 005.  I made meticulous fine line drawings in school.
  • AB: Lamy Fountain Pen
  • EL: Whichever the last product rep supplied me with.
  • ZW: Sharpie

Where will you cannonball splash this summer?

  • DG: My pool in the backyard.  Have to wait a week or so for the pool temperature to get closer to a bath tub and then it will be daily cannonballs, diving and watching movies on floats.
  • AB: I didn’t decide yet … Six Flags in California ? Maybe!
  • EL: The new Ritz Carlton pool…hopefully.
  • ZW: Not for me.

Hidden talent?

  • DG: For someone with no singing talent, I am remarkably good at Name That Tune and remembering song lyrics.
  • AB: I can sing! But I'm not sure if I have nice voice haha
  • EL: Tennis
  • ZW: Hand sketching and watercoloring. It becomes more and more "hidden" now since we rely so much on computers.

If you could design a lighthouse anywhere in the world, where would you build it!?

  • DG: Sutro Baths, San Francisco, California
  • AB: Can we build a modern one?
  • EL: Brittany, France.
  • ZW: San Francisco?

Favorite ice-pop flavor?

  • DG: We make popsicles from our plum and peach trees and they are the best things on Earth..
  • AB: I remember when I was a kid, I used to be a big fan of a Coke ice-pop. It's popular back home.
  • EL: Pass.
  • ZW: Green bean/mung bean flavor.

If you could be any animal...

  • DG: My wife and I always dream of life in the ocean and specifically being whales.  Hold your breath and you can dive down to the greatest depths of the ocean and come up for air and crash and play at the surface.
  • AB: How about a horse. Horses are nice right?
  • EL: Seagull
  • ZW: A bird.

This 4th of July will you light fireworks or grill hotdogs?

  • DG: We will go to the parking lot by the Princess Resort to watch their firework display.
  • AB: Can I do both?
  • EL: Yes.
  • ZW: Fireworks

What do you think makes architecture essential to our communities?

  • DG: I will say that I feel that a majority of citizens do not know all that is involved in getting a project built and Architects are key to be able to craft compelling stories and environments while negotiating with community groups and city interests.
  • AB: Because architecture is a life language that cannot be separated from people's lives. Architecture plays a significant role in how human interact in spaces.
  • EL: Architecture provides a sense of place which can be deeply memorable for its experiential qualities.
  • ZW: Place making.

What are you thinking about right this second?

  • DG: Why my 2 year old needs to be in control of every situation.
  • AB: If I'm going to light fireworks or grill hotdogs on the 4th of July. Well, I'll do both! Haha
  • EL: Should I invest in crypto?
  • ZW: My children. Hoping a better world for them.

What are you doing 10 years from now?

  • DG: Hopefully still filling the world with beautiful buildings and watching my kids grow into amazing human beings.
  • AB: Thinking about this question when you asked me 10 years ago !!
  • EL: Either traveling the world or figuring out Revit 2031.
  • ZW: Same things hopefully. Practicing, learning and hanging out with loved ones.