The holiday season may be one of joy, but there’s always a little panic involved as well. You want to treat your loved ones to a gift they’ll treasure and appreciate, but where to start?
Readers, ArchDaily has you covered. This year we’ve separated our choices in sections to help you find that perfect gift for the picky (budding) architect in your life. Our choices – and links to where you can find them – after the break:
For the Traveler:
City Guides / CITIx60
These fantastic city guides are as beautiful as they are informative. Perfect for the traveling architect, the small books uncover the best cultural and architectural spots in a city. With an expanded list of cities and new places to discover, this is an ideal gift for the designer on the move.
3D Architecture Models
Chisel & Mouse
Do you wish you had a more permanent reminder of that perfect holiday trip or vacation, or maybe simply your home town? Chisel & Mouse create intricate models and maps of cities around the world, from iconic buildings and cityscapes to landscapes. Brothers Robert and Gavin Paisley have been casting and handcrafting this exact physical representations of architectural landmarks and cityscapes since 2011.
Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places
As the perfect coloring book for the kid in all of us, artist Steve McDonald’s work features immersive aerial views of real cities from around the world alongside illustrated architectural mandalas. Intricate and detailed line work offers bird’s-eye perspectives of cities like New York, London, Paris, Istanbul, Tokyo, Amsterdam, and many more.
ME & EU Postcard Book
For the architect that’s abreast of the latest news and looking to keep the conversation going, this limited edition postcard book documents a collective view of Brexit through a set of UK ME & EU Postcards. Designed with a perforated format, the postcards are published by Common Practices and made in the UK by Nathan Smith and Sam T. Smith.
Helios Lite is a designer laptop backpack crafted with lightweight, weather-resistant fabrics. Its slim silhouette is ideal for traveling architects that are seeking out a premium backpack that can carry up to a 13″ laptop with room to spare for books, folders and a water bottle. A rear Napoleon pocket holds valuables such as a wallet, passport, and boarding pass for easy access.
Blue Crow Media
These city maps by Blue Crow are designed as both a reference guide and travel companion. They include an introduction to the architecture of the era, along with photographs and details for each building, including the address, build date, and the architects or practice responsible. Love Brutalism? Check out this Brutalist Boston Map by Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo and Mark Pasnik with more than forty leading examples of Brutalist architecture across the greater Boston area.
Concrete Eau de Parfum
Comme des Garcons
Who says you can’t take the street with you? This “concrete perfume” was developed by perfumer Nicolas Beaulieu who was asked to create a deconstructed scent. The bottle was designed as a shell of hand-finished concrete and glass. The project takes on Comme des Garçons disruptive approach to design and distills it into a scent.
Moleskine Travel Journal
For the organized traveler, the Moleskine Travel Journal features loyalty cards, checklists, calendars, travel information, budget and trip planners, and more. Designed with 5 themed sections to fill in and 5 tabbed sections to personalize, the design includes over 200 adhesive labels for personalizing your journal.
For a backpack that’s weatherproof and can handle all your camera equipment, look no further than Peak Design. Their popular Everyday Backpack is made to adapt to different gear, lifestyles and environments. The patented MagLatch provides fast top access, while integrated luggage carry makes this bag equally suited for daily commutes and extended travel.
For the Studio Addict:
For Apple fans who are stuck in studio and ready to cut the cord, look no further than AirPods. These wireless headphones give you ample room to draw and build with no wires in your way. Whenever you pull your AirPods out of the charging case, they instantly turn on and connect to your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac. Audio automatically plays as soon as you put them in your ears and pauses when you take them out.
Toffu Content Library
Earlier this year we published an article about Toffu’s content library, offering vector samples of people, trees, and objects in plan, elevation, and isometric. The contents would make a great gift for architecture students seeking to populate and animate their presentation drawings, going beyond conventional line drawn blocks.
LEGO USB Flash Drive
The perfect gift for when the cloud finally breaks. This flash drive was designed in the shape of a traditional LEGO brick and holds 16 to 32GB of data to easily store, share, and transport media and files. Each LEGO USB Flash Drive is compatible with all LEGO brick toys, so you can keep on building on.
Architools has created multiple minimalist notebooks made for designers and architects alike. The projects raised funds on Kickstarter, and aim to bring a subtle elegance to the humble notebook. The books are made to embody qualities of wanderlust and sensory exploration. Featuring refined materials and design, it aims to inspire the next project or adventure.
Frank Gehry Masterclass
Because why not learn from the master himself? Discover Gehry’s vision for what architecture can accomplish and his ideas on contemporary architecture. The course includes a look at Gehry’s “never-before-seen model archive” and the chance to understand his creative process.
Archifold Architectural Origami Set
The Design Museum Shop
We all can get bored in studio and need to take our mind off things. Archifold is a series of origami sheets of paper with patterns based on the framework used by architects to create plans. A diagram is included in the envelope with guidelines for ‘building’ a little house, but it’s only one of the many possible designs offered by this set. Each envelope contains 34 doubled side printed sheets of paper.
NOTEPAD – House of Notes
Take your sticky note game up a notch with the House of Notes, a notepad composed of pre-cutted paper sheets in the archetypal shape of a house. Conceived as a simple object, it finds a minimalist shape as soon as the block is out of its cover-facade. The bloc can also be used as clipboard.
KitchenAid Architect Coffee Maker
Literally branded “The Architect”, coffee machine makers have come to embrace a cornerstone of studio culture. This 14-Cup Glass Carafe KitchenAid Coffee Maker features a removable water tank that is easily accessible, and the coffee maker can be programmed to brew up to 24 hours in advance.
Prepd reinvented the lunchbox to save us from our #SadDeskLunch! With Prepd Colors they took everything great about the original Prepd Pack and distilled it into something more simple, durable and colorful. They feature beautifully designed cases that work with a set of modular containers. The original version is handcrafted from high-quality, natural bamboo and a precision engineered polymer.
For the Bookworm:
Rem Koolhaas, OMA; Taschen
Koolhaas expands on his initial Elements series (released to accompany his curation of Fundamentals, 2014 Venice Biennale of Architecture.) Elements digs into the details behind the details that make architecture: how windows, facades, balconies, stairs are made. Each element has a surprisingly twisted history, connecting an esoteric world within architecture to politics, economics, regulatory requirements, climate change, and technological development. It’s a level of detail you’d be hardpressed to find anywhere else – and at over 2000 pages, it’s likely on the only book on the topic you’ll ever need.
The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids
Alexandra Lange; Bloomsbury Publishing
It’s normal for parents to obsess over their children: which school should they go to, which kids should they play with, what sport they should play. Design critic Alexandra Lange makes the case for the importance of objects and design in this canny new book, arguing that the way kids play (and the objects they play with) play an essential role in their development. Is there a difference between wood, plastic, or digital toys? What can kids learn from a see-saw or a slide? It may seem trivial but the way we play, Lange argues, reflects the way we live.
Toward a Concrete Utopia
Lukasz Stanek, Martino Stierli, Kath Halbreich, Vladimir Kulich & Contributors; MoMA Press
A few years ago ‘Spomeniks’ took the internet by storm – and like so many things on the internet, went viral before all the facts could be set straight. The years since has seen these monuments enter the public mainstream, culminating in an exhibition this year at MoMA that detailed why and how they were built, who and what they were for, and what they mean in a larger cultural context. It’s undoubtedly eye-candy, but it’s also a fascinating history that’s worth getting right.
Magdalena Droste; Taschen
The centenary of the Bauhaus is fast approaching, and any fan of architecture history would do well to brush up on the details of the global movement that defined architecture in the 20th century. This book, an update on a previously published edition, breathes sparkling new life into arguably overtread material. Complete with drawings, photographs, and diagrams, it’s an essential read for the year ahead.
The Man in the Glass House
Mark Lamster; Little, Brown
Philip Johnson has long held a complicated position in architecture. His works and theoretical teachings have become fundamental knowledge in architecture today, but the man himself is less easy to love. Mark Lamster’s new biography offers fair and unsparing insight into the man behind the Glass House – and reminds us that even the most influential figures in architecture aren’t without their faults.
Inside North Korea
Oliver Wainwright, Julius Wiedemann; Taschen
Olly Wainwright, architecture critic for The Guardian, travels not just behind the walls but behind the propaganda of North Korea in this new book. The story is one you likely don’t know: after mass bombing in 1953, nearly the entire city of Pyongyang was rebuilt in the vision of the nation’s leader Kim Il Sung. The result is a city as a stage set, with architecture built for events, programs, and populations that will never exist.
Beatriz Colomina; Lars Muller Publishers, Expected release December 2018
Price (expected): $40.00
Beatriz Colomina is one of the most exciting voices in architecture, bringing her unfailingly canny perspective to topics as broad as Playboy, domesticity, the bed, and even what it means to be human. In her newest title, she turns her eye to the x-ray – a tool she argues shaped 20th-century architecture indelibly. An excavation of public and private space on both an architectural and personal scale, Colomina suggests that to talk about architecture today we should first look at the tools we use to understand ourselves.
Any architect’s greatest tool – and the only one that you have to make for yourself – is imagination. Norman’s Architecture Adventure brings takes kids along the ride, teaching them the joy of unleashing your imagination. With beautiful, simple drawings and a curious, kind protagonist, it’s an excellent introduction to the exciting world that architecture can be.
This toy, invented over 100 years ago, combines the classic geometries of architecture into a kit of parts that kids can turn into just about anything. It may sound basic, but the simple act of choosing your blocks and learning how they balance builds essential skills in mathematics, logic, and even storytelling. It’s a valuable gift for any child – but one that an architect parent may want to play with as well.
The game that teaches balance and strategy, all in the form of a skyscraper – no skills required. It’s a classic among architects for a reason.
Federica Babina’s whimsical illustrations in this series transforms architecture from structures of brick and mortar to animals of fur and scales. In her eyes, Casa da Music becomes a pig, the Eiffel Tower a giraffe. It’s sure to charm picky parents and tots alike.
Origami offers endless opportunities for design and is an excellent way for kids to learn creative skills. This set comes with specific instructions to build a house, but what you make is up to you.
Each Magformer set combines a wide variety of open plastic shapes (easy for small fingers to handle) that can click together, allowing kids to combine them in whatever 2 or 3D shape strikes their fancy. Made of safe materials and with no sharp ages, they’re an excellent option for even the youngest of budding builders.
For the Chef:
Hamburg’s iconic concert hall by Herzog & de Meuron is the inspiration for this cookie cutter, which – we promise – will not force your Christmas baking into cost overruns. Note: gingerbread versions of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron not included.
This beautiful Nordic-design inspired saucepan is sure to get any architect’s heart beating. Made from a thick steel that’s suited to handling a variety of soups, stews, sauces, the non-stick interior will help protect your meal when the distracted archi-chef in charge inevitably forgets that things are cooking.
Price: varies by item
Issey Miyake might be architects’ favorite designer, with his clothing and accessories appearing on the arms of many a Biennale-goer. For those not interested by bags and textiles, perhaps this tableware collaboration with Finnish design purveyor Iittala might be a better fit. The collection comes in black, cream, and millenial pink – the perfect backdrop for any food instagrams.