Michael Welton

Raleigh, NC, Architecture Critic and Design Journalist

Where architectural criticism and coverage of the built world are concerned, J. Michael Welton has a reach that elicits envy in the most actualized of journalists. Not only is he the architecture critic for the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC; he writes about architecture, art and design for national and international publications that include The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York magazine, Dwell, Metropolis and Ocean Home.

Michael’s own digital design magazine, Architects + Artisans (A+A), is a lively spot on the Internet where he presents his ideas about new products, discusses design philosophy and architectural theory, and features the hottest new talents to hit the design scene. He documents the development of architecture, artisanship and sustainability for the 21st century in a way that’s not just about the activities carried out by designers but about the people and products that make highly refined spaces ring true.

How comprehensive is his point of view? With A+A, Mike strives to chronicle the zeitgeist associated with a particular design—whether related to social situations, economic forces, cultural shifts or historical precedents. You can see that he succeeds at his aim—to have A+A wire itself into the coolest design trends on the planet—by taking a glance at the site’s archives. Ultimately, the online magazine is dedicated to creating a community where thoughtful design for a sustainable world is not merely a phrase, but an essential way of living and working.

In his design and architecture column on The Huffington Post, he covers a sweeping array of topics relevant to the industry, as well. And in May 2015, Routledge Press published his book on architects who draw by hand. Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand explores and illuminates the ways that 26 diverse architects—including Michael Graves, Daniel Libeskind and Laurinda Spear—use freehand drawing to shape our built environment.

Michael chose the Z3 Birds Nest in our Ethos Collection as his pick of our products, mentioning the complex patterns of light the fixture gives off as a tie-in to seriously stunning architecture.

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