Nelson Wah is a designer and artist based in Los Angeles. He strives to create visionary ideas for brands through clarity of meaning, while crafting emotional character with elegant designs. The ever-evolving body of his work represents his continuous pursuit of design excellence.
Nelson did not grow up with an early interest in art or design. In his early youth he instead won numerous math competitions. Nelson was awarded a full scholarship from Michael Bloomberg to attend Johns Hopkins University, where he received his B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering. Among the most impactful experiences was at his very first laboratory job at the NIH, the US government’s medical research institution based in Washington DC.
During the lengthy daily train commutes from Baltimore to Washington DC, Nelson took an interest in reading design magazines. Inspired by the work of Charles and Ray Eames and Isamu Noguchi, Nelson began to realize the importance of the creative process- a process that was completely unfamiliar to him. He recognized the value that design could bring to the healthcare industry in particular.
Upon graduation at Johns Hopkins, Nelson started over. He moved back to his hometown in Pasadena, California to study product design at the Art Center College of Design. Through countless late nights of working to overcome his gap in artistic experience, he began to develop a unique understanding of design.
Since his career began, Nelson has traveled the globe, sharing his perspective with brands all across the US, Asia, and Europe. He has worked among top tier designers at the BMW Designworks studio in Los Angeles. During his time with Selle Royal Advanced Design, where he designed for the Brooks England and Fi’zi:k cycling brands, he was immersed in the European design culture, primarily in Italy and UK. In addition to working on his design projects, Nelson currently exhibits his artwork at his gallery in Los Angeles Chinatown.
Design Must Begin and End With Emotion
Products are expressions. Products are the manifestations of the brands they represent. A powerful brand will resonate with the hearts and values of the tribes that gravitate toward them. Individuals are curators of the objects they choose to include in their lives. A designer can create a product of lifestyle that both defines and fulfills an aspiration of being.
Creativity and Innovation
The best way to forsee the future is to create it. Through purposeful design strategy, proper ecosystems, and humanist empathy, great products can inspire a greater future. The process of design includes the necessity of a crucial element: inspiration. Creativity allows us to bridge inspiration to innovation. Nelson holds multiple patents with successfully launched products.
Nelson has worked across various industries in the past, including healthcare, aviation, furniture, watches, footwear, consumer electronics, performance athletics, fashion, and entertainment. What all of these industries have in common: they all present an interesting design challenge. Proposing an elegant design solution to a complex or difficult problem is what is most rewarding.