Architecture and the City Festival
September 1–30, 2014
The American Institute of Architects, San Francisco chapter (AIA San Francisco) and the Center for Architecture + Design announce the 11th annual Architecture and the City festival, the nation’s largest architectural festival of its kind. Taking place in San Francisco every September, the month-long celebration features behind the scenes and walking tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more, providing opportunities for participants to engage with the local architecture community and experience design in a myriad of ways throughout the city. The 2014 Architecture and the City festival theme, Home: My San Francisco, will examine the shifting nature of home, the different elements that contribute to its definition, and its relation to the urban fabric. Over 40 festival programs will explore the cultural richness and diversity of our local architectural and design community as well as provide a platform for conversation about our changing landscape and its implications for a city in a time of rapidly intensifying housing needs.

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.

Gearing Up for Better, Healthier, and More Efficient Homes
September 19, 2014
The USGBC will present, Gearing Up for Better, Healthier, and More Efficient Homes, at the upcoming AltCar Expo on Friday, September 19th at 9:30am.   Designed for building & design professionals, the lecture addresses the need to erect higher performing buildings and the push towards zero net energy buildings. Panelists include:  Tim Kohut, AIA Architect, Green Dinosaur; Lena Ashby Senior Sustainability Coordinator, Green Dinosaur; and Joel Cesare, Sustainable Building Advisor, City of Santa Monica.

10th Annual KAYAK and SUP Coastal Cleanup Day Event
September 20, 2014
On Saturday, September 20, from 8:15am–1:30pm, The Bay Foundation (TBF) will host its 10th Annual Marina del Rey Kayak Cleanup Day Event as part of the greater annual Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) which draws over 14,000 volunteers from across Los Angeles County to hundreds of events. As the longest-running kayak and SUP cleanup site, the TBF event is immensely popular each year and spaces fill up early.

San Francisco Living: Home Tours
September 20–21, 2014
AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design are excited to announce the 12th annual San Francisco Living: Home Tours, a two-day open house event featuring a select number of modern residences. The popular weekend showcases a wide variety of architectural styles, neighborhoods and residences, including single-family homes, contemporary renovations and multi-family residences, and is the first tour series in the Bay Area to promote residential design from the architect's point of view. Throughout the weekend, tour participants can see some of the city's latest residential projects from the inside out, meet design teams, explore housing trends, and discover innovative design solutions that inspire unique San Francisco living.

Detroit Design Festival
September 23–28, 2014
Presented by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), and supported by the Knight Foundation, the fourth-annual Detroit Design Festival spans all design disciplines and brings together commerce, culture, education, and entertainment with a full, varied program of exhibitions, openings, installations, shows, talks, open studios, fashion shows, product previews, performances and workshops.

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.

Case Study & Site Tour
October 2, 2014
Steven Ehrlich will discuss his elevon designs at an Urban Land Institute Los Angeles event at elevon at Campus El Segundo. He will be joined by representatives of the development and leasing teams.

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.

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.

New Urbanism Film Festival
November 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.

Making LA Conference
November 7, 2014
de LaB's one-day event will be a unique setting where creative leaders from across Los Angeles will share best practices and investigate new ways to make their burgeoning civic, architectural or design projects a reality. More details are coming soon.






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




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FORM WEB Extra: A Conversation with Legendary Designer Richard Frinier

SWIM from Brown Jordan designed by Richard Frinier. Photo courtesy of Brown Jordan.In FORM’s new issue, our Showroom column features some recent outdoor furnishing designs. For our Web readers, we’re delighted to share our interview with Richard Frinier, a dean of contemporary design. Here, he discusses how he came to be in the business, how he approaches his work, what makes a good chair and some of his surprising sources of inspiration. 

How did you get your start?

I was originally a sculptor and lighting designer and came to design furniture many years ago when I was approached by a former California furniture manufacturer to design a case good collection for bedrooms. I gave it some thought and one of my ideas went into production and sold over 9,000 sets. Sets not pieces. This unexpected success led me to explore the possibilities of focusing on furniture design in my design practice.

One weekend, I discovered a picture of a chaise lounge on the cover of what was then The Los Angeles Times Magazine. It was made by Brown Jordan. In that moment, I had an epiphany about channeling my creative energy into outdoor furniture design for its sculptural qualities. I went on to join Brown Jordan as a staff designer in the early 1980s staying 21 years and evolving to become the Company’s Chief Creative Officer overseeing 14 brands in the areas of design and product development, brand stewardship, marketing, advertising and public relations. I generated hundreds of collections and thousands of individual designs during those years many with patents, and we also garnered over 60 design excellence awards.

In 2002, I launched my own creative consultancy, where I license my furniture, textile and accessory collections. It has been an exciting time for me over the past 12 years to evolve my work at large. Today, I am celebrating over 30 years of design and my designs for others have translated into nearly one billion dollars in sales. Along with my clients, we have received another 20 awards with many success stories around the world, including a Stars of Design Award from the Pacific Design Center and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Casual Furnishings Association. This is my passion and I hope to be working at my craft for many years to come.

How do you approach designing a chair?

My approach to design is deeply rooted in my passion for materials, either new materials or older materials used in new ways, and also my understanding of the importance of less is more—using a method of reductive detailing until I have edited the design down to its purist form, leaving only what is relevant and important for its style, function and comfort.

I am also very inspired by architecture and both interior and exterior spaces. The architecture and spaces inform me and serve as great inspiration for what will come next. I always keep in mind that furniture, especially outdoor furniture, is not simply used for dining, lounging and entertaining. Whether the furnishings and textiles are used in a residential or hospitality environment, they may be seen from all sides and from many different perspectives. How the back of a chaise or arm detail on a dining chair or the scale of a lounge chair or daybed are created —all become even more important, as they are seen from a living room or lobby area beyond glass sliding doors; from balconies looking down to a pool; or they are actually used for interior spaces and not just exterior spaces. The integrity of the form, frame, styling and materials—each carries a unique significance to the overall creation with intention by design.

ORBIT from Dedon designed by Richard Frinier. Photo courtesy of DedonWhat is your design process like?

I begin with quite a bit of interaction with my clients to learn what they would like, what they need. I also study what they already have, as for me it is always about what is missing that draws me into a project. It is important to fully understand the DNA of a client in order to incorporate the feeling of their company, while still designing something that is recognizable as one of my own creations. I have spent many years collaborating with my current clients. Twenty-one years designing in-house for Brown Jordan; and, since forming my own creative consultancy in 2002, I have enjoyed very successful design collaborations with Glen Raven/Sunbrella, Brown Jordan, Dedon, Century Furniture and others. I am celebrating well over 30 years of designing myself. So, it is never just about the design alone. It is about blending my client’s brand identity with my own. In this process, I have developed a body of work with each client and at large as an artist. The process itself is driven with passion and focus. In this regard, it is more similar to other creative processes. It requires dedication to a constant thought process surrounding the design and how it will be viewed and used, and also a commitment to the continual refinement of a design, which in total informs you when a design is complete.

How has new technology during the design stage and/or during production changed how you approach your design process?

While there are newer technologies, such as 3D printing, we have a way to go before that particular technology becomes mainstream in designing furniture.

I still prefer to draw by hand for its authentic and intuitive nature is very important to my design process. The making of one-off prototypes is still done by hand. The biggest thing that technology has changed in terms of designing products is that there has been a democratization of design—making it increasingly accessible because of the Internet. It has resulted in dramatic changes in how the A+D community and consumers alike inform themselves and learn about products and how these products are specified and purchased.

How has your aesthetic evolved over your career?

I design a very broad range of architectural styles of furniture, from modern and contemporary to transitional and traditional. My style is most commonly recognized and referred to as being classic and timeless by my colleagues in the design industry and also from the press. I am emphatic about using my design skills through the process of reductive detailing, resulting in finished designs that do not possess more embellishments than the design calls for, to be as purely authentic as possible. I have always been a futurist with a reverence for the past. I stay as true as possible to my designs from conception to production.

KYOTO from the Richard Frinier Collection for Century. Photo courtesy of Century Furniture.What are some of the particular challenges of designing good seating furniture?

It is actually pretty complicated to create a comfortable and distinctive chair that will also pull up to a dining table and allow the arms to go under that table just perfectly, so that your hands when placed on the chair’s arms will actually clear well under the table. In good design, sometimes achieving the obvious and simplicity becomes a complex proposition. Also, you never know where a chair may be used, whether for residential or hospitality spaces, so everything I design must pass the industry’s commercial testing standards.

The most important challenge for me in my own design process is to create something that looks exactly like something you have never seen before. I endeavor to create designs that allow the eye to rest easily upon them. It is extremely important to me that my designs are authentic, relevant and memorable.

What are some of the pleasures of doing it?

Working with people domestically and internationally to make it all come together. I also enjoy the story. Creating the name and sharing the inspiration. Working with photographers and directing photo shoots. Designing and creating marketing materials and ad campaigns. It is a more complete and satisfying creative process to influence and create the entire package in totality to ensure the understanding and success of my designs for my clients and myself.

My design concepts seem to possess and convey the passion that I felt during their creation. This helps to establish an emotional link with others. It really doesn’t get much better for me than to see a person’s expression change when they see a design I have created that they love. Making an emotional connection with people is personal. If my design can evoke this type of emotional response, it is really the highest compliment to me.

ORIGINS textiles using recycled-yarn content from the Richard Frinier Collection for Sunbrella. Photo courtesy of Pindler.What inspires you?

Architecture and the space architects create.



When I see something is missing.

When someone tells me, “It can’t be done.” I love a challenge and challenging others.

Quietude. My mind is creative when it is at rest. It wanders solving problems and generating new ideas.

Procrastination also motivates inspiration.

What are some of your favorite chair designs of others?

1952 Diamond Chair by Harry Bertoia; 1946 Van Keppel Green Lounge Chair and Ottoman; 1965 PK24 Chaise Lounge by Paul Kjoerholm; 1966 Lounge by Richard Schultz

Who are your favorite designers and/or architects?

Pierre Koenig, Richard Neutra, Killingsworth and Brady, Oscar Niemeyer, Claudio Silvestrin, Thiep Cung.


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