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Books for Architects and Designers

Books for Architects and Designers

Spread from X-Ray Architecture by Beatrice Colomina

With their design taste and dedicated eye, it is not always easy to buy a gift for architects or designers. But search no more—in this list, we provide a curated selection of books from our library. Whether you are looking for the perfect gift or are on the hunt for reading inspiration for the holidays, these options have a lot to explore and a little bit of something for everyone.

For the scientifically—and bodily—minded:
X-Ray Architecture By Beatriz Colomina, March 2019, Lars Müller Publishers
Available here

X-Ray Architecture explores the enormous impact of medical discourse and imaging technologies on the formation, representation, and reception of twentieth-century architecture. It challenges the normal understanding of modern architecture by proposing that it was shaped by the dominant medical obsession of its time: tuberculosis and its primary diagnostic tool, the X-ray.

Beatriz Colomina traces the psychopathologies of twentieth-century architecture—from the trauma of tuberculosis to more recent disorders such as burn-out syndrome and ADHD—and the huge transformations of privacy and publicity instigated by diagnostic tools from X-Rays to MRIs and beyond. She suggests that if we want to talk about the state of architecture today, we should look to the dominant obsessions with illness and the latest techniques of imaging the body—and ask what effects they have on the way we conceive architecture.

Ph. Mariam Samur

DATE: March 2019 / PUBLISHER: Lars Müller Publishers / AUTHOR: Beatrice Colomina / DESIGN: Integral Lars Müller / PAGES: 200, with 277 illustrations

For the leisurely pursuer of architecture: 
Fables and Constructions: Six Takes on Future Architecture By Lucie Kohoutová & Martina Freitagová, October 2019, dpr-bacelona
Available here.

A concrete pontoon, a landfill, or a whole city made of plants: unusual as they may be, these are just a few of the narrators of this book. Inspired by filmmakers Beka & Lemoine, postmodern classics or comic books, authors of this experimental archi-fiction invite you to experience six innovative projects through the non-traditional, non-expert lens of its potential end-users or parts. Fables and Constructions deliberately plays with multiple genres and perspectives to help diffuse creative architectural ideas beyond their professional field. This audacious experiment with different forms of writing is the winner of the first dpr-barcelona writing grant 2019 for Future Architecture.  

Ph. Courtesy dpr-barcelona

DATE: October 2019, Spain / PUBLISHER: dpr-barcelona / AUTHORS: Lucie Kohoutová & Martina Fretigaová / ILLUSTRATIONS: Andrea Šafaříková / DESIGN: Cristina Garriga (My Bookcase) / COPY-EDITING: Daniel Lacasta Fitzsimmons

For the curious and conscious critic:
Architecture Appropriation. On Squatting as Spatial Practice. Edited by René Boer, Marina Otero Verzier, Katía Truijen, in collaboration with the communities of ADM, Landbouwbelang, Plantage Dok, Poortgebouw, Vluchtmaat and Wijde Heisteeg 7, 2019, Het Nieuwe Institut
Available here.

Architecture of Appropriation. On Squatting as Spatial Practice acknowledges squatting as an architectural practice. The publication analyzes a series of case studies through architectural drawings, interviews, and archival material to build up a record of past and current struggles, spaces, and oral histories, forming the basis for a new acquisition policy for the State Archive for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning. The project brings the expertise of the squatting movement together with architects, archivists, scholars, and lawyers, to discuss approaches to the research, archival practices, and representation of precarious, non-author-based, and often criminalized spatial practices in the institutional framework of an archive and museum.

Ph. Courtesy Het Nieuwe Instituut

DATE: 2019 / ARTISTIC AND GENERAL DIRECTOR HET NIEUWE INSTITUUT: Guus Beumer / EDITORS: René Boer, Marina Otero Verzier, Katía Truijen; in collaboration with the communities of ADM, Landbouwbelang, Plantage Dok, Poortgebouw, Vluchtmaat, and Wijde Heisteeg 7 / GRAPHIC DESIGN: Maud Vervenne / PHOTOGRAPHY: Johannes Schwartz / ART DIRECTOR: Maureen Mooren

And last but not least, NESS!

In our playful, suggestive, and edgy issues, we explore new ways of thinking about the built environment and singular phenomena. We are in continuous dialogue with provocative designers, users, developers, and thinkers to expand and diversify our conversations and to be open to new visions and ideas. The magazines are sure to be a welcome addition to any holiday mood!

NESS 2: Mad World Pictures explores ways of representing and presenting this mad and uneasy to synthesize world. It features Michal Maltzan, Ensamble Studio, Jean Lucy-Nancy, Richard Saul Wurman, Bruno Latour & Alexandra Arènes, Giuliana Bruno, Andriana Amante, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, Walls of Air, Lafeliz, Luis Úrculo, and more. Available Here.

NESS 1: Between Cozy History & Homey Technics explores the intellectual and pragmatic tools at hand, the role of photography, aesthetics, and views on curating architecture. It features Bruther, SO – IL, Stan Allen, Jesus Vassallo, Enrique Ramirez, Mimi Zeiger, Emanuel Christ, Camilo Restrepo, Sharon Johnston, LOT & objects of common interest, Lena Wimmer Architects as well as an extensive report on Detroit. Available Here.

In the first issue of, we feature the works and thoughts of Hashim Sarkis, Dean of MIT School of Architecture and Planning, and Curator of the 2020 Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia. Available Here.

Explore more in our Editorial 3–Holiday Moods!

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