Lois Davidson Gottlieb was born in San Francisco, California, and studied art and engineering at Stanford University, where she earned her B.A. in 1947. She won a Taliesin Fellowship to study with Frank Lloyd Wright, which she chronicled in her memoir A Way of Life: An Apprenticeship with Frank Lloyd Wright, and went on to obtain an M.Arch. degree from Harvard University in 1950. She worked as a designer for the firm of Warren Callister in San Francisco, and then teamed up with fellow Taliesin apprentice Jane Dunscombe to form the design team Duncombe-Davidson, based in Sausalito, CA. During their partnership from 1951 to 1956, they designed residences in Marin County. From 1956 to 2002, Lois worked in private practice, designing mostly residences in Washington state, California, Idaho and Virginia. She also taught architecture at the College of the Holy Names in Oakland, CA, Alameda State College (later California State University) in Hayward, CA, and the University of California Extension in Riverside, CA. She published several other books including, Environment and Design in Housing (1966), based on her lectures.