10 books on architecture, design & cities to give as gifts this holiday season.
With Christmas and New Year’s Eve right around the corner, some of us might still be contemplating how to find the right gifts for our friends and families. If you happen to find yourself in this category, then it might be helpful to consider giving a book as a present. Great books can make us see the world differently and inspire us in many ways, which is why it’s very likely that they will have an impact on the reader. Additionally, as distinguished sources of inspiration, coffee table books are a great addition to any living room.
If your friends and family have any interest in architecture, interior design, and cities, here are the top 10 books ideas that make a perfect present. From philosophical and sociological perspectives on living to dream cabins and the houses of the greatest personalities, real or fictional, you could find a book that is suited to anyone’s interests.
This is a must read for anyone interested in the link between architecture and wellbeing. In this book, philosopher and bestselling author Alain de Botton explores the psychology of architecture and interior design by looking at diverse buildings and everyday objects from our homes. In doing so, he aims to respond to questions about the meaning of beauty and to unravel the way that our aesthetic experiences affect our state of mind in the long term. This book is a perfect gift for a philosophy lover who would enjoy gaining an insight into these subjects. You can find it here.
This book takes a fresh look at the often taken-for-granted aspects of our everyday lives that make up the cities we inhabit. In it, the authors emphasise the distinction between ‘seeing’ and ‘observing’, while analysing the way that cities work and shedding light on the seemingly hidden reasons why objects are designed in a specific way. This book will challenge the way you see your environment and is a great gift for someone with a curious mind.
Written by an experienced urban planner, this book explores the relationship between the way the cities we live in are designed and our quality of life. Sennett draws on sociological perspectives and uses examples of big cities across the globe in order to put forward the idea of an ‘open city’, one that embraces complexity and difference. This book is a good choice for someone interested in urban planning and its challenges in the contemporary context.
This book features the houses of some of the greatest artists of all times, spanning creative fields such as literature, fashion, music, film and visual arts. It includes the residences of 250 artists, from da Vinci, Picasso, and Pollock, to Louis Armstrong and Elvis Presley, offering a special insight into the link between their work, personalities, and houses. Responding to a great curiosity about how other people live, this is an inspiring gift for anyone interested in the arts. You can find the book here.
In a similar manner, this book explores the interiors of houses that belong to great personalities. In it, Simon Watson includes photographs and insights into the stories of elegant homes from Spain, Italy, Morocco, France, and Ireland, among others. The book includes a look into seventeenth-century palaces, such as Duchess of Alba’s Palacio de Liria from Madrid, and the retreats and residences of notable figures from the art world, as well as from the worlds of fashion and interior design, such as Roberto Peregalli. For more about the book, check here.
In this book, Phyllis Richardson draws a fascinating parallel between the houses of some of the greatest British authors and the ways these could have inspired their work. A perfect gift for a literature lover, this book analyses the houses of authors such as Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf, as well as postmodern ones, such as Kazuo Ishiguro. You can find it here.
In a similar manner, this book explores the interiors of houses that belong to great personalities. In it, Simon Watson includes photographs and insights into the stories of elegant homes from Spain, Italy, Morocco, France, and Ireland, among others. The book includes a look into seventeenth-century palaces, such as Duchess of Alba’s Palacio de Liria from Madrid, and the retreats and residences of notable figures from the art world, as well as from the worlds of fashion and interior design, such as Roberto Peregalli. If you would like to know more, check here.
The latest book from Zach Klein brings new inspiration through a series of photographs of cabins from around the world. What started as a personal project between friends became a successful series of books that will allow you to escape from your daily routine into a dream scenery. You can buy the book here.
This book surveys recent trends in architecture by putting together a set of images of 50 contemporary houses from around the world. It includes the work of famous well-known names, such as MVRDV, Shigeru Ban, and Marcio Kogan. You can find out more about the book here.
This book (in German) features images of some of the greatest architectural landmarks around the world. But before that, you can find photographs of the same buildings creatively reconstructed by using different kinds of foods. This book is a good idea if you’re looking to find a fun gift for an architecture lover.
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