Christmas is just around the corner and the last-minute shopping season is officially in full swing. You’re checking names of the gift list, happy with your thoughtful choice of presents – that is, until you get to the architect. Nobody ever knows what to get the architect! They have impeccable taste, revel in the obscure while eschewing the ordinary, and they generally know exactly what they want in a product or design. Choosing something that fits just right is a problem every architect’s friends and family know all too well. This year, skip the anxious bookstore visits and gift-card guilt with this handy guide.
LEGO Architecture Studio: LEGO! This one little word will put a smile on any architect’s face. The LEGO Architecture Studio contains an amazing 1210 monochromatic bricks, a pair of convenient sorting trays, and a “create your own architecture” book with 271 pages of architectural history and concepts. This set was designed by architectural modeler Adam Reed Tucker, and is endorsed by REX Architecture, Sou Fujimoto Architects, MAD Architects, and more.
Farnsworth House LEGO Architecture Set: LEGO sets make cool gifts for an architect of any age. Anyone with an interest in modern architecture will recognize this set, modeled after the iconic and influential Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Not only do these sets add a physical element to architectural study for the young student, but they serve as fantastic display pieces and conversation points for the seasoned professional as well.
LEGO Architecture Idea Book: For the architecture enthusiast who already has a lot of LEGO sets, it’s hard to go wrong with an instructional book like this one. This 232-page book is filled with ideas for transforming common LEGO bricks into architectural elements, even including useful product numbers to help the reader complete the builds of their dreams.
Architectural Model Building Kit: The Arckit 240 Architectural Model Building Kit was designed by architect Damien Murtagh in his efforts to find a more convenient and affordable way to present architectural models to clients. This Red Dot Design Award winner offers infinite components, including innovative “architextures” to print out for sprucing up the facade or interior walls. Anyone with a 3D printer and modeling software can create add-on components, too!
Mini Bricks On A Pallet: This fun set includes 90 super-accurate miniature bricks, made from real concrete and presented at a 1/12 scale. This playful present would make a great desk toy for a professional architect – something to fidget with throughout the day – but the bricks themselves can also be used for physical architectural modeling and creative dioramas.
Cinderblock Magnets: These cute little cinderblock magnets are another way to stay organized in style – and they’re made of real concrete, a detail sure to delight any architect. In the rare instance when there isn’t anything to hang or display, multiple packs would allow for the creation of fun 2D structures on the desk or whiteboard.
Magnetic Sculpture Blocks Cubes: Fidget toys are a fabulous desk accessory for anyone with a career that involves a lot of problem solving, phone calls, and brainstorming sessions. The architect in your life can use this magnetic sculpture set for casual relaxation or to create small impromptu models for concept demonstrations. Young aspiring architects can use the 216 included pieces to build small high rises, arches, and other fun architectural elements.
Servingware Christmas Gifts for a Landscape Architect: Designed by Patrick Martinez and featured in the Museum of Modern Art catalog, the Inondée ceramic serving bowl is a functional piece of ceramic art that can be used every single day. This piece is available in three sizes. Architects and landscape designers can use this gift to hold office supplies at work or to serve friends and family with fresh snacks at home.
Niche Centerpiece by Zaha Hadid: Renowned modern architect Zaha Hadid designed the Niche table centerpiece for luxury Italian homewares company Alessi. Architecture enthusiasts will immediately recognize the play on curves, angles, and space that defined so many of Hadid’s works. Like her architecture, this centerpiece smoothly blends adventurous art with everyday functionality.
Metal New York Skyline Chess Set: The perfect gift for architects with an interest in iconic city skylines. This handmade chess set features many of the most recognizable silhouettes across NYC – the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, the Flatiron Building, the Guggenheim museum, Chrysler Building, and even brownstones are represented as rows of pawns. Each set comes in an attractive presentation box, ready to delight as a holiday or birthday gift.
Bauhaus Chess Set: Is your gift recipient an admirer of architects like Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, or Ludwig Mies van der Rohe? This beautiful Bauhaus Chess Set is sure to inspire. The pieces look simple at first glance but hide an internal meaning and extremely functional form, their shapes demonstrating the moves that each piece can make: the knight has the shape of an L, the bishop an X, the king is a singular sphere on a cubic pedestal, etc.
City Themed Organizer Set: Architectural tools of the trade include plenty of pens and pencils, clips and tacks, and an endless variety of miscellanea – all necessary to coordinate the incredible amount of information that goes into even the simplest project. Staying organized is serious business, but Desktructure offers a fun and flexible approach with modular design in fine porcelain.
Concrete Tape Dispenser by Magnus Pettersen: Created by Norwegian furniture and product designer Magnus Pettersen, this sculptural concrete tape dispenser offers an architectural touch for an office desk. This design is smooth, refined, and serves as a stylish upgrade over ordinary office supplies. The notable weight serves as a functional consideration too – the dispenser remains securely while tearing away tape with one hand.
Rodrigo Torres Magnetic Paper Clip Holder: Industrial designer Rodrigo Torres created the Chip paper clip holder with playful functionality in mind – as paperclips are added, the smooth minimalist bird form appears fluffy and well-plumed. This design is weighty enough to double as a paperweight and stylish enough to display as a standalone piece. This accessory can help the architect in your life keep papers and files neat with a delightfully charismatic twist.
Normann Copenhagen Modular Wall Organizer: Drawing inspiration from the humble shirt pocket, Simon Legald created a modular organizer series that creates a seamless solution for vertical storage. This listing includes one organizer, the wide number 4 option – mix and match to create a set that best suits the space and needs of your gift architect recipient. Perfect for cubicles, home offices, and more.
Ferm Living Solid Brass Pencil Holder: Help your favorite architect stay organized in luxurious style with this unique desk organizer. The body is made from solid brass with a silky matte polish, a weighty and substantial design sure to last a lifetime. Different container heights accommodate a variety of everyday architectural supplies from engineer’s scales and liner pens to erasers and paperclips.
Hexagonal Bulletin Boards for Architectural Inspiration: These hexagonal bulletin panels are a versatile way to display notes, pictures, magazine articles, and more – great for the architect that prefers physical inspiration over online bookmarks. Each panel attaches with sticky foam adhesives, great for the dorm wall of an architectural student or the workspace wall of a professional.
Umbra Jewelry Box by Sung Wook Park: With the attractive and intelligent Stowit organizer, Industrial designer Sung Wook Park created a jewelry box fit for an architect. This design features a unique slide-out work top that reveals a hidden drawer beneath, each component fitting together like a sleek little puzzle. When closed, the minimalist design feels fresh and uncluttered.
The Hand of the Architect Sketch Collection: Created as a tribute to Italian architect Piero Portaluppi, this hardcover Moleskine includes autographed drawings by 110 acclaimed architects from all over the world. Books like these can provide motivation and inspiration for students of architecture – including those lifelong learners who are already in the industry.
Multi-tool Pen: This little multitool is a useful utility for architects on the go. Components include a ballpoint pen, a reversible flathead/Philips screwdriver, a touch screen stylus, a scale ruler, a built-in level, and ink refills. The compact size makes it perfect for throwing into a bag, always within reach when other tools are unavailable.
Le Corbusier Modulor Rule: Designed by legendary architect Le Corbusier himself, the Modulor Rule was an attempt to inject humanity into the effective yet soulless metric system – a way to add human context to the numbers that define the engineering all around us. He used his own Modulor rule to evaluate the proportions of historical architecture he encountered on his travels, and now these modern recreations can serve contemporary architects the same way. This fascinating design is a useful tool and an even more effective conversation starter.
Skyline Whiskey Glass Set of Two: When it comes to casual gifts, it’s hard to go wrong with a decorative whiskey glass. This series is etched with recognizable skylines across the United States – choose from Chicago, New York, or Philadelphia.
Areaware Architectural Drink Rocks: Material plays such an important role in every part of the architectural process. Architects must consider materials from structural, functional, aesthetic, and tactile standpoints, among so many others. These drink rocks are made from beautiful soapstone and marble, transforming common architectural mainstays into sources of enjoyment and relaxation.
Gothic Cathedral Mug: A versatile staple when it comes to gifting, unique coffee mugs are appreciated by almost anyone. This style features bas-relief decoration based on Gothic cathedral architecture, a great gift for students and professional architects alike. Those who do not drink coffee might find this to be a beautiful way to store pens or display flowers.
Alvar Aalto Glass Vase: Finnish architect Alvar Aalto left an incomparable legacy across a range of architectural styles, from Nordic classicism to International Style modernism. But also influential were his furniture designs and accessories, including his 1936 glass vase collection. This mouth-blown glass vase from Iittala is based on the award-winning originals, finished with Aalto’s name inscribed across the bottom.
Modern Architecture Wooden Dollhouse: Looking for something to inspire a younger child with an interest in architecture? This dollhouse will delight parents who are enthusiastic or knowledgeable about architecture, incorporating contemporary elements like the mono stringer stairs and the exposed structural beams. Children will love the playtime possibilities provided by the complete set of modern furniture and the flexibility of its modular adjustable design. This set is made from organic recycled rubber wood, sturdy and sure to last for years of enjoyment.
Arckit Kids Mini Modern Architectural Building Kit: Arckit makes fantastic architectural modeling sets for adults and professionals, but also has a few options for young children as well. This kit is rated for children eight years old and up, and it includes over 105 components for building modern homes and structures.
James Paulius Parkland Blockitecture: Perfect for children and adults alike, this wooden tile set makes it possible to design inventive landscapes complete with rivers and ponds and lush greenery in between. Landscape architects may appreciate the simplicity and quality of this piece – certainly fit for display. Young children may enjoy combining these tiles with wood block sets to create whimsical miniature cities and parks.
Future Architect’s Handbook: Despite its playful cover, this book is filled with seriously useful information for the young aspiring architect. The pages guide readers through the home design process from creating a site plan, laying out a floor plan, choosing an architectural style, and beyond. This book is appropriate for children ages 8-12.
Frank Lloyd Wright Educational Baby Book: It is never too early to start seeking architect gifts for kids. This book begins with the most basic element of architecture – shape. Parents will love the interior artwork based on the architectural works of Frank Lloyd Wright, while children will love the vibrant colors and interactive activities within.
Frank Lloyd Wright Coonley Playhouse Doormat: Sometimes the best gifts for an architect are the ones they can use and enjoy every day. This doormat is based on the stained-glass windows of the Coonley Playhouse by Frank Lloyd Wright, an iconic Chicago structure completed in 1912. This door mat is constructed from natural coir fiber over a non-slip rubber base, a wonderful gift for occasions ranging from housewarming to holidays.
Frank Lloyd Wright Water Lilies Table Runner: The whimsical print on this table runner is based on an 1895 stained glass design by Frank Lloyd Wright. This simple accent is sure to please the architecture enthusiast in your life, made from soft 100% cotton for lasting appeal. The gentle colors are easy to coordinate with a wide variety of interior styles.
Los Angeles Modern Architecture Coffee Table Hardcover: Handsome coffee table books are another versatile gift. For architects, photobooks can serve as a source of casual inspiration. And when displayed, their guests can be entertained by them as well. This 248-page hardcover is filled with the photography of Tim Street-Porter as it captures definitive Los Angeles modernist architecture – works by Frank Gehry, Pierre Koenig, Oscar Niemeyer, and so many others.
Customized Architectural Name Print: Millions of small architectural details are overlooked every day – but to the architect, those very same details might lay bare the very soul of a structure. This customized name print pays full appreciation to those ornamental volutes and lintels and arches, using their unique shapes to spell out any chosen word or name.
Walter Gropius TAC 02 Teapot: The name is instantly recognizable to any architecture student, professional, or serious enthusiast – Walter Gropius is the founder of the influential Bauhaus School of art, and one of the foremost pioneers of the International Style of architecture. In 1970, he sketched a unique teapot series named TAC 1. This piece is a successor, TAC 02, a collection-worthy design produced by Rosenthal porcelain of Germany.
Walter Gropius Wine Glass: Another design by the inimitable Walter Gropius, the TAC series of wineglasses present a striking profile sure to capture the attention of guests. Each one is elegant, appealing to the oenophile as well as the Bauhaus aficionado. Consider investing in a set to clink glasses in celebration of a hard-earned architect license, graduation, or other significant event. A set of such unique wine glasses always makes a lovely housewarming or holiday gift as well.
Norm Architects Wine Breather: This sculptural device can infuse a bottle of wine with up to 10 times more oxygen for a more developed taste, a treat for the architecturally-minded wine lover. Place the decanter on the bottle and let the wine run across the interior for distributed aeration – then serve from the carafe or flip the arrangement around once more to serve from the original bottle. Consider adding this to your list of Christmas gifts for an architect that has everything.
Designer Tumblers: Extreme attention to construction, purpose, and proportion makes these tumblers a work of art any architect can appreciate. It naturally swirls the drink when set down and fits the hand like a carefully tailored glove. Designed by Daniele Semeraro, the Cupa-Rocks ICE set contains a pair of hand-blown frosted glass tumblers set in a well-constructed gift box for a perfect presentation.
Fia Carafe: This sculptural carafe offers a simplistic form that stands on its own as a work of art, or as a functional object to bring art to everyday life. Mouth-blown from crystal glass, this piece includes a small ball that fits neatly within the bottom niche and doubles as a lid for the top. This beautiful carafe is suitable for water, wine, or fresh-picked flowers.
Minimalist Grinder Set: Designed by architects, the Bottle Grinder doesn’t look like any other spice containers out there. The smooth shell contains a ceramic mechanism that produces a beautifully consistent and even grind with adjustable coarseness. Because the spices come out of the wooden top, no remnants can fall out to dirty the table.
Designer Citrus Juicer: Designed by Philippe Starck, this just might be one of the most recognizable citrus juicers in the world. It’s a piece of artwork for the kitchen.
Precise Cutting Boards: The Obsessive Chef Cutting Board allows architects to translate their love of precision into delicious homemade meals. The burnished grid lines mark the appropriate cuts for slicing, dicing, brunoise, julienne, and more.
Timo Sarpaneva Iconic Cast Iron Casserole: Legendary glassworker Timo Sarpaneva created a casserole design so iconic, it ended up on a Finnish postage stamp. This award-winning design is not only exceptionally functional, it serves as a timeless work of art for the kitchen. Architects who value enduring construction may enjoy of the decades of enjoyment provided by this collection-worthy piece.
MoMA Perpetual Calendar: A favorite presented by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) store, the Cubes Perpetual Calendar puts a stylish twist on date presentation. This handsome piece is perfect for the desk or shelf, and would make a lovely gift for a professor, professional, or student with an interest in modern design.
MoMA Perpetual Calendar by Gideon Dagan: Here is an especially exacting take on the perpetual calendar concept. Gideon Dagan designed this perpetual calendar for MoMA in 1998, and it has since remained a favorite for its delicate attention to composition and balance. The month indicator is suspended by magnetic levitation – seeming to defy gravity at first glance – and the date marker sits secured to the cantilever beam by magnet as well.
Project Watch Terra: An aesthetic timepiece that reflects the layered look of topographical maps, the Terra watch would make a neat gift for landscape architects and structural architects alike. The minimalist design offers fashionable appeal, while the clear time markers will help your favorite architect stay stylishly punctual for meetings with clients.
Apple Watch Series 5: Customizable, super-functional, and seamless – the Apple Watch 5 can streamline the life of students and professional architects. The list of features is almost too numerous to recount, but those that may prove especially relevant to architects include a decibel meter to prevent hearing loss while visiting active construction sites, fitness features to encourage active breaks from the drafting desk, hands-free reminders and notes, and so much more.
Skagen Falster 2 Smartwatch: Designed to work with iPhone and Android phones alike, the Skagen Connected Falster 2 smartwatch offers a flexible solution for architects on the go. It’s built tough to withstand water and everyday wear, and it boasts a host of functionality that can be utilized for everyday productivity in the architecture and design industry.
Architectural Glass Terrarium: H Potter is known for making some of the most alluring glass terrariums on the market – each one designed to reflect the look and design of real greenhouses from the Victorian era to modern designs. This piece features stained glass accents, elaborate architectural cresting, ball feet, and an interior liner. Terrariums make great gifts for the landscape architect, and they can help bring an uplifting green element to the desk of a structural architect as well.
Crystal Glass Prism Magnifier: This attractive sculptural magnifier was designed by Daniel Martinez, crafted from K5 crystal glass for exceptional clarity. The concept was developed for a class called Small Things Matter at Parsons the New School for Design. This class challenges students to develop items that appeal to impulse buyers while creating some type of positive change elsewhere. This gift may help an architect in your life read blueprints or journal pages, while also serving as a reminder about the social responsibility built into every part of the profession. A portion of every purchase is donated to the Wikimedia Foundation.
Flensted Bauhaus Mobile: Inspired by the Goethe’s Theory of Colors and Wassily Kandinsky’s approach to movement and velocity, the Flensted Bauhaus Mobile is a potent conversation piece for design aficionados. This mobile is handmade in Denmark by the famous Flensted Mobiles company.
MoMA Material Cube Gifts for an Architect: Architects John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi designed the Architect’s Cubes set to encourage the in-depth exploration of material. This set encompasses materials that hold extraordinary importance in the world of contemporary architecture and industrial design – granite, silicone, acrylic, aluminum, EVA, cork, Bakelite, and humble maple wood. Architects can use this set as a tactile and visual source of inspiration or as a meaningful desk decoration.
Hanne Willmann Concrete and Glass Vase: This decorative vase by Hanne Willmann offers a juxtaposition very familiar to structural architects – weighty concrete alongside radiant glass. This design flips the expected on its head, a neat visual surprise to spark conversation among guests.
Eames Bird: In the world of design, few items are more recognizable than the iconic Eames House Bird. This unassuming accessory has graced the pages of more design magazines than perhaps any other object. The story begins with an American folk art bird figurine purchased by Charles and Ray Eames on their travels, a piece that stood in their living room for half a century whenever it wasn’t posed with some of the pair’s most iconic furniture designs in photoshoots. Reproductions continued this legacy on the pages of shelter magazines and photography books, now available widely as distributed by Vitra.
Danish Designer Figurines: Made by architects, for architects – these iconic wooden toys are from Denmark’s ArchitectMade, whose design philosophy revolves around creating products that will inspire and last for generations. Designers include Kristian Vedel, Paul Anker Hansen, Hans Bølling, and other names your recipient will surely recognize.
Bronze Bird Paper Weight by Tapio Wirkkala: Originally designed by Tapio Wirkkala in the 1970s, this handsome paperweight offers timeless appeal through its minimalistic form and elegant material composition. This sculptural piece is made from radiant polished bronze – weighty enough to serve its original function as a paperweight, and beautiful enough to display as a standalone decoration on the shelf of any architect.
Architecture Magazine Subscriptions: Professional and aspiring architects thrive when connected with recent developments in the community and across the world, and few resources provide a more focused high-quality resource than architectural magazines. Subscriptions are costly – especially for students and recent graduates – but the inspiration and information that can be gleaned from them is invaluable. A subscription is a gift that keeps on giving. Consider mainstays like Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, or the ever-palatable Dwell.
Faux Leather File Holder for Architectural Magazines: Because architects tend to keep up with a variety of magazines and digests, it makes sense to invest in stylish place to store recent editions for easy access. A stylish magazine rack can make a wonderful gift. It is difficult to have too many magazine racks – the gift recipient may like to keep magazines in multiple places around the home and workplace. This one features a nice classic style.
Concrete File Folder Magazine Rack: For something with a more playful look, consider this stylish concrete magazine holder. This piece is from Lyon Beton, a design firm that specializes in the creation of modern concrete furniture.
Atlas Marble Bookends by Elisa Ossino: Designed by architect and interior designer Elisa Ossino, the Atlas marble bookend displays the beauty of Carrara marble finely honed into light and theatrical geometric forms. These weighty bookends would serve as a fantastic gift for the architect who looks like to keep reference materials organized neatly within reach. With care, these bookends are sure to last a lifetime.
MoMA MUJI Cuckoo Clock: A modern minimalist take on the classic cuckoo clock, this MUJI design is available through the Museum of Modern Art for widespread enjoyment. This modern cuckoo clock includes a light sensor to prevent sound during nighttime hours, ensuring your fun architect gift will prove unobtrusive if used in the home.
Norm Architects Marble Wall Clock: Minimalist construction allows the material elegance of this wall clock to shine through in all its beauty. The dark, intricately grained marble offers a visually engaging place for your favorite architect to rest the eye – a pleasant approach to punctuality.
Architect Designed Alarm Clock: This stylish alarm clock is the work of Danish architects Jonas Bjerre Poulsen and Kasper Rønn of Norm Architects. Jonas focuses on shape and tactility in his work, whereas Kasper is more interested in tech and inventions. Here, their collaboration resulted in a clock with a rounded no-tilt design and no button to turn off the alarm. Instead, one simply turns the clock upside down to silence the ringing, ideal for the overworked architect who wakes up groggy and doesn’t want to slap at a button in the dark every morning.
Artemide TOLOMEO Table Lamp Mini: Tolomeo is an iconic table lamp designed by Giancarlo Fassina and Michele de Lucchi in 1989, beloved for its artful approach to thoughtful functionality. This design is sure to delight the engineer and architect alike – especially in a working environment. Constructed with careful attention to balance, this lamp can be adjusted with just one hand.
Modern Folding LED Table Lamp: For something a little more accessible, this folding LED table lamp provides a world of flexibility and functionality to illuminate the everyday tasks of an architecture student or professional. This design includes four lighting modes, seven brightness levels, and convenient USB charging for wireless freedom.
EVO Architect Intelligent Productivity Agenda: EVO is a personalized planning system based around the concept of “flow” – maximizing productivity and effectiveness, with a significant emphasis on personal wellness. Each agenda series caters to a different productivity style. The architect model focuses on those who prefer a methodical step-by-step approach to projects. Scanning the pages to the companion app yields helpful visualizations and statistics to keep architects on track. This gift is great for students and professionals who desire productivity with a healthy mix of self-discovery.
Wood and Aluminum Headphone Stand: Many students and architects focus better with a little bit of music to drown out ambient noise. Those who never like to start an involved project without headphones handy might enjoy a stylish place to put them between tasks. This cool headphone stand is a pleasure to look at, finished in a warm walnut veneer over a graceful curvaceous form.
Smart LED Lights: Creative architects know that lighting is a crucial feature in any home – and customizable LEDs offer a huge palette of possibilities to explore. The Phillips Hue Smart Lights start kit makes it easy to choose and save custom color themes, and even synchronize them with music, games, or movies for a fully immersive experience. Control by smartphone or even the Amazon Echo.
VR Set: Does the architect in your life like to stay on the cutting edge of technology? The VIVE Pro virtual reality system is popular for its gaming capabilities – offering unlimited access to 600 VIVEPORT games, and compatible with over 1500 Steam VR games. But it also opens possibilities for interacting with unique architectural computer software as well. Several high-end 3D modeling programs are fully compatible with the VIVE Pro, making it possible to experiment and build in a fully immersive virtual reality environment.
Amazon Echo Studio: The most popular smart home hub gets an acoustic upgrade with the Amazon Echo Studio. This piece is built with five internal speakers for range and depth, providing an immersive experience from anywhere in the room. Architects can benefit from the hands-free voice control for music, asking quick reference questions, creating to-do lists, making appointments, and controlling smart home devices like thermostats or lightbulbs.
Leather Blueprint Carrying Tube: When architects need to transport blueprints and architectural drawings to worksites, meetings, and between offices, document tubes are often the vehicle of choice. This design offers a unique upgrade from the throwaway plastic options – this one is constructed with a strong leather exterior and a protective suede lining. The adjustable shoulder strap ensures a comfortable carrying experience even with full hands.
Michael Graves Architect Color Pencil Set: Often a vocal supporter of drawing as part of the architectural process rather than just a means to an end, it seems especially fitting for a series of color pencils to carry the Michael Graves name. This beautiful collection encompasses a palette made famous through the legendary architect’s postmodern structures, decorated with neat white squares to reflect his characteristic approach to windows. Even the box is truly presentation-worthy, sure to delight the architect who receives this meaningful gift.
Handheld 3D Printing Pen: For architects who dream of doodling in 3D, handheld 3D filament pens can provide a creative and functional method of expression. This model is intended for use by teens and adults alike – a fantastic way to breathe life into architectural concepts with the touch of a button.
Architect Wild Bird Feeder: Architects often enjoy seeing quality composition in unexpected places. This modern birdhouse stands apart from the standard fare, created with attention to detail that birds may overlook but humans will certainly notice. Sturdy wood-and-metal construction provides dependable durability, sure to provide the architect in your life with many seasons of relaxing birdwatching.
1950s Architectural Case Study Bird House: These gorgeous handmade birdhouses have an even deeper connection with modern architecture, based on the famous mid-century Case Study Houses sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine and constructed throughout Los Angeles. Choose from a variety of bright Atomic Era colors for that intriguing retro flair.
Microsoft Surface Studio: The Microsoft Studio 2 is a creator’s dream. Desktop mode provides the functionality needed for architects to type up proposals and communications – the tablet mode allows for an intuitive approach to drawing, modeling, and other hands-on activities. This big-budget gift could transform the life of a recent architecture graduate or young professional.
Microsoft Surface Pro 6: The popular Microsoft Surface Pro 6 also converts seamlessly between tablet and notebook mode, a convenient option for architecture students and professionals on the go. For professionals who are still working with older devices, the improved battery life on the Surface Pro 6 can help the architect in your life break away from that dependence on power outlets and chargers to embrace full creativity wherever it strikes.
iPad Pro: For those that prefer the Apple ecosystem, it’s hard to go wrong with the iPad Pro. This powerful tool boasts all the dependable battery life, rich sound, and a Liquid Retina display with an impressively responsive touch. But perhaps most importantly, it offers smooth capability across other Apple products like the watch and the MacBook Pro – essential for architects who require a seamless experience across devices.
Ultimaker 3D Printer: An industrial-grade 3D printer can transform the career of an independent architect or a small firm. 3D printers can produce quick and inexpensive physical models that help with the concept development process by giving a clearer view of scale and context. These models can help grow a business too, impressing potential clients with detailed models that would be too slow or expensive to produce by hand. The Ultimaker S5 is ideal for these purposes, capable of producing multi-material prints with high uptime and smooth operation.
Leica Laser Distance Measure for Architects: Laser distance measures are a useful tool that drastically simplifies the process of measuring interior spaces. This highly recommended model can slash the amount of time your architect student or professional spends traversing a space with a tape measure, instead producing accurate results with just a few operations. This device is Bluetooth compatible, making it possible to easily share measurements to a phone or tablet.
Meural Digital Art Frame: Digital art frames give architects a fun way to display ever-changing sources of inspiration anywhere in the home or office. This model can be controlled by gestures or with the Meural app – change the displayed art, choose specific display times, modify settings, and more. A sold-separately Meural membership provides access to over 30,000 works of art from galleries and museums across the world.
DJI Mavic Mini Portable Drone: Drones are utilized in the architectural field for so many purposes – site analysis, rough topography mapping, finished project photography, and more. Even for architects who don’t use a drone in their day to day workflow, these futuristic devices can still provide an enriching method of exploration and inspiration by revealing a whole new way to view the world that surrounds. This device takes up to 12MP images and Quad HD videos with a flight time up to 30 minutes.
Moleskine Pen+ Smart Writing Set: Moleskine notebooks are a favorite of students and architectural professionals everywhere – especially for those who still prefer the satisfying convenience of pen and paper to digital tablets. For those who require the benefits of both, the Moleskine Pen+ can be a serious time-saver. This pen automatically transfers each stroke to the Moleskine companion app, easily exportable to formats like PDF and Evernote for later use and analysis.
Electric Pencil Sharpener for Architectural Drawing: Even with the proliferation of technology in the lives of students and professionals, architecture is still a pencil-heavy field. An electric pencil sharpener is a simple yet thoughtful gift any architect enthusiast would be happy to receive – making it easy to keep those soft graphite pencils going during long sketch sessions, or keeping color pencils sharp for detailed work.
Electric Eraser for Architectural Drawing: Architects who still prefer to sketch with a graphite pencil will also find themselves frequently in need of an eraser. An electric eraser is a relatively niche device – many people would never think to invest in one. But an architect who has ever needed to make sweeping corrections to a layout or sketch would find enthusiastic relief in the cleverness of the SumoGrip electric eraser. This device erases cleanly, precisely, and with impressively little effort.
Skyline Coat Hook by Helen T. Miller and Tracy Wong: A playful design that any architecture enthusiast can enjoy, this decorative wall hook provides space to hold five coats or accessories. Each hook can individually flip back up between uses, transforming the unit into a piece of fun wall art between uses.
Eames Hang-It-All Coatrack: The delightful Hang-It-All coatrack by Charles and Ray Eames is an iconic piece instantly recognizable to design and architecture enthusiasts. This coatrack is made using the same wire welding method as the famous Eames low tables and wire chairs, while the solid wood balls are representative of the Eames expansion into toys and furniture for children. Treat a colorful personality with the multi-hued option pictured here, or opt for a rich wood treatment for architects with a serious touch.
Fornasetti Architettura Candle: Based on the Architettura series by legendary painter Piero Fornasetti – itself inspired by the work of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio – the Architettura scented candle merges important historical influences into one practical decorative piece. Easy to display and rich with significance, this candle would make a fabulous gift for any architecture enthusiast.
Skagerak Natural Oak Letter Tray: Classic, organic, and beautiful – the Dania letter tray is a simple yet sophisticated piece to help the architect in your life stay organized in style. Natural artistry shines through every detail, from the unfinished oak grain to the classic box joint construction.
Herman Miller Organizer Kit: Created by Providence-based design firm Observatory for Herman Miller, this adjustable organizer adapts to the needs of the person using it. This design includes a sliding bookend to hold architectural notebooks and journals, a Formwork box for small items like paperclips or erasers, and two shelves for storage.
Miniature Chairs: Who doesn’t love miniatures? These small-scale chairs represent the most iconic mid-century designs – few can afford the full-size originals but these gorgeous miniatures allow anyone to own a piece of history. They’d make for a fantastic display on a desk, shelf, or might even make an incredible addition to a dollhouse if your favorite architect has children.
Landmark Model Kits: Model kits are so much fun, and the structural process strikes many of the chords that lead architects to love their art from the outset. Fascinations Metal Earth laser cut architectural models are easy to assemble with a snap-in-place design. These polished objects look classy when arranged in combination, and are perfect to order as a set.
Miniature Concrete Home Blocks: Spark the imagination of the architect in your life with the miniature SPACES collection from Material Immaterial studio. These modular forms are made of concrete, and look beautiful freestanding or grouped together.
Mansion Planter: This architecturally inspired planter boasts incredible detail, complete with miniature balconies, stairs, glass windows, and metal rails. The windows are the coolest part because you can peer inside and might even catch a glimpse of some roots.
Fire Escape Wall Shelves: Hand-welded epoxy-coated steel makes this unique fire escape shelf as sturdy as it is inspiring. It’s even stackable to create a unique and customizable landscape to suit the storage needs of its owner. The photo shows this neat design holding photos and plants, but it would work just as well to hold jewelry or small books too.
Herman Miller Chairs: As one of the best ergonomic work chairs out there, the famous Aeron Chair is an iconic design that feels right at home in the office of a creative. Architects spend hours sitting in front of a computer each day – so while the price may not be something everybody is comfortable with, a good chair pays for itself by reducing the risk of harm to the back and joints. Of course, don’t forget to move around frequently no matter how luxurious the chair may be!
Eames Lounge Chair: After a grueling day hunched over the draft table or computer, what could be better than… that’s right, THE Eames Lounge Chair, perhaps the most iconic chair in the world. Okay, so this one is a replica, but the price of the true licensed original is not for the faint-hearted – you can find it available here. Getting a lookalike for $660 is quite a steal, especially with this attention to detail. Materials match the original and include top grain Italian leather, rosewood plywood, and a sturdy aluminum base. Any architect would be giddy to receive this.
Art Prints: Classy posters a great design gift for the architect who has everything. Not sure which one to get? Architects typically love anything black, white, or charcoal – but if you know the rare architect who boasts a colorful wardrobe, you’ll probably be fine picking something with a nice color theme.
Architecture Books: Because Frank Lloyd Wright is required study for architects, this is a great choice for younger professionals and students and truly devoted fans. It’s hard to find a volume more thorough than this one: this hardcover book contains 544 pages detailing all 289 extant houses, including stunning full color photos and a selection of floorplans and archival images, along with essays written by several notable Wright scholars.
Cabin Architecture Book: For an architect who longs for a vacation away from it all, this book might be just the ticket. This substantial hardcover book explores the modern architecture of cabins of every shape and style, complete with delightful illustrations by Marie-Laure Cruschi and gorgeous full-color photographs of interiors and exteriors alike. The included briefs, clients, and situations are sure to make for some inspiring and useful reading.
Architecture Themed Moleskine Notebooks: Architects love Moleskine – but these books put a new twist on the old favorite. As part of the Process in Architecture series, each volume reveals previously unseen work and preliminary processes from famous architects around the world.
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