Award-winning architecture, design, and strategy firm NELSON Worldwide has merged operations with Daroff Design Inc + DDI Architects, PC (DDI), an award-winning, internationally recognized interior design and architecture firm headquartered in Center City, Philadelphia. With almost 50 years of history as a certified Woman Business Enterprise (WBE), DDI joins the NELSON team with shared values. The firms come together to solidify their commitment to creative design solutions that thoughtfully respond to client objectives and transform the human experience. 

“We are extremely excited that Karen Daroff and her team will be joining NELSON,” notes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at NELSON Worldwide, John “Ozzie” Nelson Jr. “Since launching Daroff Design almost five decades ago, she has led the firm to national and international prominence and has received many accolades along the way. I am looking forward to her having the opportunity to continue her legacy alongside our team.” 

NELSON has been one of the industry’s most aggressive integrators in the AEC industry. It has previously acquired well-known Philadelphia-based companies such as H2L2, Space Design, Cope Linder, and Brinjac Engineering and is continuing to scale. As part of a long-term strategic growth plan for NELSON, the merger will combine the firm’s strengths to address its clients’ challenges with ingenuity to provide unexpected design solutions and unparalleled client service. DDI’s creative team, grounded in innovative thinking, combined with NELSON’s industry knowledge and geographic reach, will allow the firm to expand and strengthen its ability to deliver exciting and emotionally connected experiences within the built environment. 

Founded in Philadelphia in 1977, NELSON offers a breadth of services that transform and touch all dimensions of the human experience, including architecture, interior design, graphic design, and brand strategy. The firm creates and delivers brand experiences, compelling environments, and smart solutions across the spaces we interact with daily—where we work, shop, dine, stay, serve, live, play, and thrive. DDI joins NELSON with an expansive project portfolio across the workplace, hospitality, multi-family, and public sector. The firm specializes in facility programming, master planning, and the design of innovative, efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable spaces. Some of DDI’s most notable clients include Comcast, NBC Universal, The Durst Organization, Vanguard, Disney, JetBlue, Loews Hotels, St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, PIDC, Sheetz, MGM Resorts, Parx Casino, and Harrah’s, among many others.

“I am excited and proud to have our DDI team join forces with NELSON, a company I’ve long admired. NELSON and DDI share many of the same values and are aligned both in spirit and our strong commitment to hands-on client service and design excellence,” comments Karen Daroff, IIDA, President + Design Principal at DDI. “When approaching this merger, it was important to identify a company with a large and dynamic national presence to better serve our clients. I am also personally thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with team members nationally and service our clients with a national footprint. This is an amazing opportunity to integrate our teams, bring together our shared visions and to have a strengthened presence in our merged Philadelphia Headquarters.”

NELSON will welcome 25 employees from the DDI team alongside Karen Daroff. She will provide hands-on leadership for NELSON’s hospitality practice and become a senior leader within the firm’s Philadelphia interior design team. Both firms are committed to managing a seamless transition for employees and clients.