Nelson is an associate professor in the College of Architecture and Design. He teaches in the Architecture and Architectural Engineering programs at the University. His teaching and research focus on the nature of design from a systems, material and ethical perspective with emphasis on elegant integration.
Nelson is a registered architect and founding principal of Loom, a collaborative practice of art, design and architecture recognized for work that utilizes a minimum of resources to maximum effect. The work of Loom has been published widely and has received several regional and national design awards including three Progressive Architecture Awards and an R+D award. The work of Loom is in the collection of several museums including The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
Nelson holds a master's degree in Architecture from Yale University and a bachelor's degree in Architecture from the University of Minnesota. He has been a visiting design critic at the University of Toronto, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Cranbrook Academy of Arts, University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, UCLA, California College of the Arts, Rhode Island School of Design and the Illinois Institute of Technology.