Michael Webb
writes on modern architecture, design, and travel. He is the author of 26 books, most recently Modernist Paradise: Niemeyer House, Boyd Collection (Rizzoli) and Venice CA: Art +Architecture in a Maverick Community (Abrams). He travels widely in search of new and classic modern architecture and contributes to magazines around the world. Michael lives in the Neutra apartment that Charles and Ray Eames once called home.

FORM Event Images

Industry Partners





Michael Webb


Transparency and Color

Light in Art showcases the fittings and murals of the Israeli glass artist Shimon Peleg, and it provides a valuable resource for architects and designers searching for fresh ways of illuminating residential and commercial spaces.

Interior designer Michelle Krief established this new gallery at 8408 Beverly Boulevard, which has become LA’s premier avenue of design. In contrast to the sleek fittings from Italy and Scandinavia, Peleg’s work is hand-crafted and explores unfamiliar territory. He fuses translucent beads of glass to create pedants and wall sconces that resemble clusters of ice crystals. Fall foliage inspires a cluster of warm-toned leaves of glass, and those autumnal hues are carried over into bathroom sinks. Backlit murals, customized to fit any room, employ bold sweeps of color. “As a farmer and earth lover, I derive my passion directly from nature,” says Peleg, who joins a long line of artists who have found inspiration in the great outdoors.

Light in Art
8408 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048


Design Polymaths

Five celebrations of Charles and Ray Eames are on show in LA through early 2012, recalling the landmark exhibition of their work, which ended its international tour at LACMA, eleven years ago. That ambitious show attempted to bring all the designers’ achievements under one roof, and it overwhelmed many visitors.  Small, specialized exhibits make the Eames’s genius feel more visceral.

© 2011 Eames Office, LLC (

The best starting point is the iconic house (203 Chattauqua Blvd, Pacific Palisades). The living room has been emptied and its furnishings are displayed in a recreation of the house as a highlight of the LACMA exhibition “Living in a Modern Way: California Design, 1930-1965” (5905 Wilshire Blvd, through June 3). That gives the Eames House Foundation the opportunity to

Click to read more ...


Esther McCoy at the Schindler House  

Esther McCoy at her drafting board, mid-1940s. Courtesy of Esther McCoy Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian InstitutionIt’s always a joy to revisit the MAK Center on Kings Road, for it offers the pleasure of quiet contemplation and the thrill of an experiment in living that seems as fresh today as it was in 1922. Over the next two months the ghosts of the Schindlers are joined by that of Esther McCoy, a brilliant writer and an impassioned champion of southern California modernism. Sympathetic Seeing: Esther McCoy and the Heart of American Modernist Architecture and Design, sounds more like the title of an academic thesis than a riveting show, but don’t be put off.  MAK director Kimberli Meyer has risen to the challenge of curating a text-driven exhibition and integrating it with the fabric of a house that is a self-sufficient work of art. As you read McCoy’s pithy comments and hear her voice narrating a documentary on Schindler, you are transported back to an era when modernists were fighting for their principles, trying to win over an indifferent public, and combating reactionaries as benighted as today’s Republican right.  Exhibits include a semi-literate letter informing the FBI that McCoy and her commie friends were listening to Paul Robeson and talking about workers’ rights. Letters and clippings document the effort she spearheaded to save Irving Gill’s Dodge House a block to the north, a masterpiece that was wantonly destroyed after a shameless speculation by the LA Board of Education.

Click to read more ...


Channeling the Bauhaus  

Metalltanz, about 1928 - 1929, T. Lux Feininger, Gelatin silver print, © Estate of T. Lux Feininger, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Gorgeous images of distant galaxies play across our computer screens, generated from signals dispatched by unmanned space probes, and this miraculous imagery is relegated to use as electronic wallpaper. An exhibition at the Getty Museum of Lyonel Feininger’s photographs brings us back to earth, and makes the act of composing an image more immediate and moving. The New York-born artist was one of the first teachers at the Bauhaus, designing the cover of its prospectus, but he disdained photography as a mechanical medium. When he finally did pick up a folding pocket camera in 1928, he approached the subject as though it were an experimental art form, shooting the Bauhaus buildings and the city of Dessau at night. Complementing these tiny black and white images are holiday snaps of his family and exuberant shots by his son, T. Lux Feininger, which capture the high spirits of the Bauhaus students. The father’s precise compositions and the son’s spontaneity reflect the two faces of a school that shaped our concept of modernism, and still feels alive, eighty years after it was shut down. And, as a bonus, the exhibition includes images by Feininger’s colleagues, László Moholy-Nagy and Walter Peterhans, and a few from his subsequent exile.

Bauhaus, March 26, 1929, Lyonel Feininger, Gelatin silver print, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of T. Lux Feininger

Lyonel Feininger Photographs, 1928-1939, will be on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum through March 11, 2012


AIA Honors LA’s Best Architects

No Mass House by Neil M. Denari Architects/NMDA was awarded a Next LA Honor award and Best in Show.

Hosting the 2011 AIA/LA Design Awards gave the Pacific Design Center an opportunity to celebrate the completion of its Red Building and the 85th birthday of Cesar Pelli, who designed the PDC triad forty years ago. Awards were bestowed on 30 buildings in four categories, and the big winners were Johnston Marklee for three houses, Belzberg Architects for the LA Museum of the Holocaust (three awards), and Neil Denari/NMDA, who won the chapter’s gold medal, an LA Next honor, and top prize for the HL23 apartments in New York. As AIA/LA President, Hsinming Fung presented the 25-year award to Frank Gehry’s Loyola Law School Campus, saluted Merry Norris for her design advocacy, and paid tribute to the late John Chase for his contribution to the community: honors that were richly deserved. Lee and Mundwiler won the emerging practice award. The buildings and projects were diverse and consistently good—some consolation for the current lack of commissions, and the absence of new LA buildings by architects who are celebrated everywhere but in their home city. A full list of awards will appear in the January/February issue of Form.