As a founder of M.W. Steele Group, Mark Steele is nationally recognized as a visionary and a community leader.
Mark has contributed consistently to the community, most recently as Chair of the Barrio Logan Planning Committee. Mark utilizes his personal involvement with a wide range of issues as well as his ability to communicate technical and conceptual information as the basis for gaining community consensus. He is visible within the San Diego region as a proponent of responsible growth and design, and has helped to redefine the role of the architect within the development process. Mark and the firm have developed a reputation for providing innovative design skills while navigating complex political and public process and bringing people together.
While establishing M.W. Steele Group, Mark has earned the highest measure of respect for his ability to help clients strategically position both new construction and redevelopment projects to increase their value and their overall performance and viability. He brings in-depth understanding of zoning, design guidelines, and the complexities of public and private partnerships to our work. Mark offers a comprehensive and innovative approach to design, combining critical analysis of issues with architecture and urban planning.
Steve leads and oversees many of M.W. Steele Group's most complex projects. With more than 25 years in practice, 18 most recently with M.W. Steele Group, he has experience in a wide range of projects from large scale mixed-use urban to small intimate boutiques. Throughout this experience he has developed an understanding of the challenges involved in all phases of project development. As a Principal in the office, Steve provides significant design leadership during the evolution of a project from initial design through construction.
With a primary focus on the design aspects of the work, he has developed a thoughtful and creative approach to architecture throughout his career. He plays an active role in the generation and testing of design alternatives inspired by the goals of the client, sensitive to context and the community at large. In a firm committed to a collaborative effort, Steve’s communication skills and hands on approach lead to exciting and successful built solutions.
As a LEED Accredited Professional Steve has an interest in working towards energy conservation and environmentally-friendly building and construction methods.
Diego Velasco is a Principal at M.W. Steele Group. Trained as both an urban planner and architect, he maintains a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to design that makes him versatile and diverse in his skills. His planning work at Steele Group ranges in scale and scope from Master Planned Communities to General Plans, Community Plans, Streetscape Design, Design Guidelines and Community Outreach.
Integral to this work, Diego often organizes and conducts workshops, charrettes and presentations with community stakeholders across San Diego and California. At the same time, Diego leads the affordable housing projects of the firm, engaging in design, documentation and construction of several multi-family residential buildings in the City of San Diego.
Diego holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture and City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Washington. He has worked in both the private and public sectors, and over the years, has been involved in his community at several levels. He was an elected member of the Centre City Advisory Committee from 2009 to 2010, a panel member of the Move San Diego Alliance and a speaker at San Diego APA events. He is also Adjunct Faculty at the University of San Diego and at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate urban design studio courses focused on critical planning areas in the City of San Diego. Diego was the Past President of Citizens Coordinate for Century Three (C-3) in 2014 and a frequent speaker at organizational event such as C-3, ULI and APA.
Michael P. Paluso, recently promoted to Associate, Senior Manager at M.W. Steele Group, is a proven addition to the well-balanced and talented leadership team of founder Mark Steele and the firm’s principals Steve Miles and Diego Velasco.
Michael’s desire to become an architect began when he was just 12 years old. His passion for architecture was framed within the idea that one could leave a positive, longstanding impact through the built environment. His belief system consequently has been shaped by two key lessons he has learned throughout his 10+ year career including honesty in materiality within architecture, allowing the structure to inform the final design and secondly, the classic modernist adage that form follows function.
Michael manages complex projects of varying sizes, scopes, and building types from the initial design through construction. Highly organized and detail oriented, Michael’s extensive knowledge base allows for him to develop creative solutions to complex architectural problems. His commitment to the firm and subsequently every project he is assigned to shines through in each facet of his work including his sustainability efforts.
With a strong desire to improve the built environment and an emphasis to make the projects he works on sustainable, Michael is proud to have been part of the team on San Diego State University's Melvin Garb Hillel Student Center Certified LEED Gold project and a previous local affordable housing GreenPoint Certified project. With this ethos, Michael also volunteers on his church parishes’ architectural renovation committee adding his expertise to insure the historic and architectural integrity be maintained.