Barton Myers: Works of Architecture and Urbanism
September 12–December 12, 2014
With works as varied as a Vidal Sassoon Salon from 1968, the U.S. Expo Pavilion in Seville, Spain in 1992, and his steel houses, this exhibit will present an overview of almost fifty years of architecture. Barton Myers first attracted attention in the late 1960s for his civic buildings and urban projects in Canada. He returned to the United States in 1984 to open a Los Angeles office and became known for his performing arts centers, campus buildings, and steel houses among many projects. 

The Barton Myers papers were donated to the Architecture and Design Collection of the AD&A Museum, UC Santa Barbara in 2000.  The archive covers Myers’s work from 1968 through 2002 and includes sketches and computer drawings, watercolors, images by well-known photographers, detailed study models and models of blocks-long sections of cities, as well as research notes, correspondence, lectures, and writings.

Archtoberfest San Diego 2014
October 1–30, 2014
Archtoberfest San Diego 2014 is a collaboratively-operated initiative aimed at establishing an annual, month-long program of public events and activities pertaining to architecture, design, planning and sustainability.

Docomomo US Tour Day 2014
October 11, 2014

Docomomo US is pleased to announce the full schedule of Tour Day, one of the largest national programs devoted to the appreciation of Modern architecture in the United States. Set to take place on October 11, 2014 and throughout the month of October, this year’s event includes more than 50 tours planned in 21 states and 37 individual cities and brings together 17 Docomomo US Chapters, 5 Friend Organizations, in addition to architecture and preservation organizations, architects, historians, designers, and enthusiasts. Hosted by many of the leading preservation voices, Tour Day 2014 events will offer something for everyone.

Get inside the Neutra VDL House with Host: Natural Histories for Los Angeles
October 11, 2014

This fall, curators from three Los Angeles-based organizations come together as part of World Wide Storefront, a Storefront for Art and Architecture project, to present Host: Natural Histories for Los Angeles. This series of exhibitions and events is a collaboration between Big City Forum, Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, and the Neutra VDL Research House.

Santa Monica Conservancy's Annual Salon
October 12, 2014
The Santa Monica Conservancy will host its annual fundraising salon at the historic Bundy House on Sunday, October 12, from 3 – 5 pm.  Constructed in 1913 for developer Thomas Clark Bundy and his wife, tennis champion May Sutton Bundy, the home was designed by eminent Los Angeles architects Hunt & Burns. This house was one of the first constructed in its neighborhood and remains highly intact today, retaining its original blend of Colonial Revival and Craftsman features.

Spark* Perkins + Will Dialogue with Arid Lands Institute

October 15, 2014
We’ll be re-launching a design dialogue series called “SPARK,” which will be showcasing all of the innovative and progressive solutions to LA's water issues submitted this year for one last time, before these ideas get packed up and displayed in Perkins+Will offices around the world!

Networking & CPD Presentation
Photovoltaic Systems: Leasing and Valuation by James Finlay, MRICS

October 16, 2014
Installation costs of solar PV continue to drop as energy costs rise, making this distributed power system a more frequent component of real estate valuation.  This session will be an overview of current tools to determine market valuation as well as a primer on solar PV leasing and financing.

Westedge Design Fair
October 16–19, 2014
The curated fair features over 150 leading and emerging, domestic and international furnishings brands. Catering to both trade and consumers, the event offers a complete experience for attendees, including panel discussions and workshops, culinary activities, custom installations, and a series of special events.

4th Annual Found L.A.
October 19, 2014
On Sunday, October 19, 2014, the non-profit L.A. Commons ( will host its 4th annual Found L.A: Festival of Neighborhoods, and its first based on a mayoral theme, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets Program. Angelenos will explore the main arteries of neighborhoods around the city, developed and not so, and meet the people in the center of activity there.

ACADIA 2014 Design Agency Conference
October 23–24, 2014
DESIGN AGENCY will bring together the spectrum of research and creative practice currently occurring within the ACADIA community through the combined support of the research networks of the University of Southern California, University of California Los Angeles and Southern California Institute of Architecture. Questions the capacity for computation to inform or challenge traditional design processes; computation as design operation - the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power, and/or computation as design instrumentality - the design mechanism through which power is exerted or an end is achieved.

ASLA SoCal Chapter Quality of Life Design Awards
October 23, 2014
The Southern California chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects holds its biennial awards, honoring excellence in designs originating in one of the nation's largest chapters and executed across the globe. 77 Projects were submitted and over 40 were awarded by our esteemed jurors in the categories of Design, Planning and Analysis, Communication, Student, and Concepts, Ideas and Theories.

2014 Design Awards Gala
October 29, 2014
The 2014 AIA|LA Design Awards location and date has been set for this year. We are excited to host you at the Heart of Downtown Los Angeles with the ceremony at the Million Dollar Theater and the reception at Grand Central Market. Join us at this amazing and historic venue to honor our winners and honorees.

LA Conservancy Presents "We Heart Garden Apartments!”
November 1, 2014

Imagine living in a garden oasis in the middle of America’s second-largest city. Thousands of people do, and it’s a unique and endangered way of life in development-prone L.A. Here’s a chance to see what life is like in historic garden apartments, “villages in the city” that could never be built today.

New Urbanism Film Festival
November 6–9, 2014
The primary goal of the New Urbanism Film Festival is to renew the dialogue about urban planning with a broader audience. The Festival brings in movies, short films, speakers, on the topics of architecture, public health, bicycle advocacy, urban design, public transit, inner-city gardens, to name a few.

de LaB's Making LA Conference

November 7, 2014
During the conference, we'll be exploring the themes of Water, Transportation, Density and Community. Our hope is to hear from a diverse range of practitioners, city officials, makers and artists who are deeply involved in/committed to these themes. We're looking to include conversations, videos, slideshows and presentations about projects that are currently in development and recently completed that are promising to shape the future of Los Angeles. Our goal is to showcase ideas, visions, projects and more that explore how Los Angeles can make huge strides in terms of water conservation, transit richness, urban density and important community initiatives. Current confirmed speakers for the water section include: Deborah Weintraub, Deborah Deets, Carol Armstrong, Omar Brownson, WeTap, among others. Other conference speakers include Moby, Mayor Aja Brown, and representative from Side Streets Projects and Resilient Cities, among many others.

USGBC-Los Angeles’10th Annual Green Gala

November 13, 2014
The Los Angeles Chapter of the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC-LA) will host the Chapter’s 10th Annual Green Gala on Thursday, November 13, 2014, from 6:30 – 10:30pm at the Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA. The Green Gala is recognized as the single largest annual vehicle for communication, celebration and bridge-building among those who think, act, design and build greener throughout the County of Los Angeles and its metropolitan areas.

DIEM: Design Intersects Everything Made

November 14, 2014

West Hollywood Design District presents the 3rd annual DIEM: Design Intersects Everything Made, a one-day design symposium that offers culturally resonating discussions, panels and keynotes from leaders in the fields of design, decorative arts, fashion, architecture and fine arts.

Innovation and Design Excellence in Healthcare Facilities Design: Today and Tomorrow
November 21, 2014
Hosted by AIA Los Angeles and AIA San Francisco, Future Care: Design for Health is a one-day healthcare symposium featuring the top minds in healthcare planning, design and construction. Speakers will address the rapidly changing healthcare environment and how these changes impact what healthcare providers need from the design and construction community.






Registration Opens: October 1
Breaking New Ground
The California Endowment

Deadline: October 31

Show Us Your Baldwin

Deadlne: November 30
Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award
International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA)

Deadline: December 8

2015 Diversity Scholarship

Deadline: December 31
Kitchen Design Contest
Wolf and Sub-Zero 

FORM Event Images

Industry Partners




« Workbook: To the Manor Born | Main | Book Review: On Bikes, in Paris »

WEB EXTRA: Restaurant Design: A Chat with ICRAVE's Greg Merkel

Greg Merkel, the creative director at ICRAVE, has a portfolio that includes the design of STK New York. We asked him for his thoughts on restaurant design. Image courtesy ICRAVE.FORM's current print edition features the winners of the AIA|LA Restaurant Design Awards. Inspired by the amazing spaces, we reached out to Greg Merkel to get some insight into his approach to restaurant design. Merkel, the creative director of ICRAVE, joined the company in 2006 and has worked on projects ranging from nightclubs in New York and Los Angeles to restaurants around the country. Here, he unpacks what makes a great restaurant and how, with today's diners, the expectations are bigger than ever. 

How does restaurant design differ from other types of hospitality design?

Restaurant design has been getting better and [more] over the top. I feel recently they have become a whole new animal—a beast unto themselves in the hospitality world. Obviously food and getting it to people is nothing new, but the recent obsession with eating "the best of" plus having access to the coolest, newest everything at the touch of a button has put an unprecedented spotlight on dining out. In response to this, the industry has propelled the notion that the environment in which you eat "the best burger" or "the best steak" is nearly just as important as what’s on your plate.

What is it about restaurant design that's appealing to your practice?

At ICRAVE, we find this spotlight being shone on dining out and the customer’s expectations for how the space should interact with all five senses, much more interesting than just the stage itself. We don’t want to design another restaurant just to design another restaurant. When you shine a spotlight on something, you are opening it up to be seen in a new light. It is this "newness" that we try to focus on.

What are the particular challenges of restaurant design?

It is getting to the point now that just about every restaurant offers amazing food and the "best this" or "best that." Restaurants now need to up their game and offer an experience beyond dining. It’s been said that people first consume with their eyes, so the design of the space must set the stage for the food, but now that we have all become such skilled consumers and consume information all day long, it is no longer enough to just deliver a beautiful space. Consumers have become savvier and get bored faster, which puts more pressure on us the designers to offer something to match.

Greg Merkel, of ICRAVE. Photograph courtesy ICRAVE.

What are some of the opportunities/benefits?

At ICRAVE there are always opportunities in every project we do, restaurant or not. For us the opportunities are usually the challenges mentioned above—how to push the project beyond what is expected. How can we make the space more impactful and have meaning beyond the materials on the walls? How do people interact in the space?

What's the key to a great space?

The key to a great restaurant is that it must be more than just an amazing looking space. At ICRAVE, we are more interested in creating one holistic design, environment, and experience that extends beyond the brick and mortar location. A great space is one that manages to feel completely natural and comforting, all while getting you to engage in a way that you otherwise wouldn’t, or is one that manages to feel new and fresh each time you come without having to reinvent itself every couple of months. There are many different metrics for measuring greatness for us, but we try to challenge the norm of restaurant design by asking the unasked questions and deconstructing every touch point or design element that is experienced by the customer.

What are some trends in restaurant design at the moment?

We are arguably in the heyday of beautifully designed restaurants, but design trends come and go. Most recently the idea of timelessness and its counterpoint to the economic crisis has served us all well in the design industry. Obviously ‘timelessness’ means different things to different clients, but I don’t see this going away anytime soon.

What are some trends that are on the horizon?

There is now a much more distinct bleed between different programs within the world of hospitality. The lines between dining and retail, dining and entertainment, dining and spectacle have all been blurred…defining and curating this gray area where all of these are all meeting is what interests and drives us at ICRAVE. We feel and are driving the idea that restaurant design now has to extend beyond food type and look to the holistic design and programming I mentioned before. We are now designing the brand, how the brand communicates, what the messengers of the brand are wearing, the programming that happens inside of the locations beyond just eating and drinking, and of course what the space looks like. It is less about a trend in décor than it is about a trend in offering an experience and a lifestyle.

What are some trends that are on their way out?

Not to sound pithy, but all trends by their very nature are on their way out. Once it has gathered enough momentum to be listed as a trend, it is more than likely on its way to being played out. Sorry, trends.

Any trends that are filtering into other areas of design (residential, etc.)?

The crossover projects that I mentioned before means that we are now going to see restaurants as more "dining as retail" and "dining as entertainment" situations. With this I think we will see more and more dining setups in retail locations and the line between the two will be further blurred.

What's a dream project like?

I’m actually very lucky in that I am actually already doing my dream project. I am renovating my home along with my wife Catalina who is also a designer. It is really a labor of love (we are nearly two years into the process and just barely starting to see the finish line), but it is great to do something for yourself and with a loved one. Despite the disagreements.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>