Lilian Pfaff, originally from Europe, came to Los Angeles over 10 years ago and engaged immediately with California Architecture through her contributions and research studies for several exhibitions presenting the work of the architects Richard Neutra, John Lautner, Smith & Williams and Luis Barragán for the Hammer Museum and Art, Design & Architecture Museum UC Santa Barbara as well as the Barragán Foundation.
Since working on a book and exhibition about J.R. Davidson, the architect of three Case Study Houses and the house for famous German writer Thomas Mann in Los Angeles, she is dedicated to real estate and became a realtor shortly afterwards.
She re-discovered the Luis Barragán fountain in Brentwood and saved the Thomas Mann house from demolition through a media campaign in Germany and was overjoyed that it was bought by the German Government and is now part of the residency program of the Villa Aurora.
Lilian is a trained architectural historian, she has deep knowledge and understanding of contemporary architecture and is well connected with Los Angeles architects through her writings for US and European architecture magazines and newspapers. Back in Switzerland she was the Editor-in-Chief of the architectural and engineering magazine Tec21 where she is still the US correspondent. She received her Ph.D. in Architecture History from the University of Zurich, Switzerland and her M.A. in Art History from the University of Hamburg, Germany as well as her Master of Advanced Studies in Architecture Theory from the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich.
Additional to her professional background as an architectural historian, Lilian has a lot of experience as a historical homeowner. After moving to L.A. she renovated the 1930 house with an addition and garden design of Gregory Ain in Silverlake according to the time period and understands the process of working with new materials and technics in a way which is true to the original architecture. Since then she remodeled and renovated all her homes, a midcentury building in Mount Washington and a Japanese home in South Pasadena.
Through her own transition from Europe to California, Lilian is aware of the challenges and differences in buying a home in the US compared to Europe which makes her an ideal partner for new homebuyers coming from abroad.
She also loves and collects contemporary art and is part of the international art scene in Los Angeles. She is the editor of the books Clocks and Clouds: The Architecture of Escher GuneWardena, (2017), Ernst Neufert Peter Neufert, (2015), and Prada Aoyama Tokyo: Herzog & de Meuron (2003).
Lilian is an adjunct professor for architecture history and theory at OTIS College of Art and Design and at Woodbury University and has also taught at SCI-Arc and USC, Los Angeles.
Her new book about the work of the Los Angeles architect J.R. Davidson will be published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum UC Santa Barbara in 2019.