Book List of the Week

The Book List of the Week highlights the list of books provided by invited designers (including architects, fashion designers, graphic designers, interior designers, landscape architects, product designers, urban designers, and other design professionals) who have chosen books that inspire them and that have shaped their worldview or their ideas about design.
185 blog entries
Book List of the Week
December 29, 2014

We often ask our contributors not only what books have inspired them in the past but also what they’re reading now. Here are a few of the answers we received in 2014. You can find the complete list of 135 books our designers and commentators have recently read in our section on Current Reading. More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter February 26, 2013

Architect Jens Holm: HAO/Holm Architecture Office (Copenhagen and New York)
Profile     Book List
“After thousands of years and the recent rise of a multitude of storytelling platforms, books remain for me the single medium that manages to both inform and inspire without dictating a single visual truth or idea,” Danish architect Jens Holm tells Designers & Books. More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter November 4, 2013

For his (long—22 books) list for Designers & Books, writer, graphic designer, and multimedia artist Warren Lehrer, known as a pioneer in the field of visual literature, or “vis lit,” decided to focus on “books (mostly fiction, some non-fiction, a few hybrids) whose visual composition is an integral part of the writing.” More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter September 27, 2011

Interior designer Penny Drue Baird: Dessins LLC (New York and Paris)
book list
“I made my first trip to Paris when I was 18,” says Penny Drue Baird. “Unlike what all my friends and clients believe, it most certainly did not result in a coup de foudre. It was when I was there about three years later, when I was crazily ‘in love,’ that I became unquestionably addicted to Paris—and, truth be told, especially to those sauces! That was the true beginning of how the City of Light got to be an ongoing part of who I am and what I value.” More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter May 29, 2012

Product designer Sam Hecht: Industrial Facility (London)
Profile   Book List
“I believe that too many designers have lost the ability to realize that projects are ultimately for people—not the company,” states London-based product designer Sam Hecht in a comment on The World as Design, which is on the book list he recently sent Designers & Books. Hecht’s own work, covering kitchenware for Whirlpool, furniture for Herman Miller and Yamaha, and numerous products like appliances and tableware for Muji, is known for its clarity and is definitely “for people” and the lives they live. Design is important, Hecht says, “as a means of simplifying our lives in an inspirational way.” More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter June 14, 2011

Graphic designer Erik Spiekermann: Edenspiekermann AG (Berlin)
book list
When we talk about the waning of print communication and the waxing of digital communication, one element of the dialogue that retains its importance on both sides of the conversation is typography. . . . Type designers who grew up on print but have successfully migrated to the digital world have had the opportunity to have an outsized impact on contemporary commerce and culture in general, as well as on design in particular. Thus it is fitting that the German Design Council recently awarded Germany’s highest design award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, to Erik Spiekermann. More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter December 6, 2011

Architect Jeanne Gang: Studio Gang Architects (Chicago)
Book List

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger: The New Yorker (New York)

What happens when a Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic meets up with a MacArthur Fellow architect and the topic of their conversation is books? Shortly before it was announced that Jeanne Gang had been named by the MacArthur Foundation as a recipient of one of its 2011 awards, she and Paul Goldberger had a conversation about the book list that Gang submitted to Designers & Books. They also spoke about Gang's book Reveal, as well as how her idea of “turning off reality and letting yourself imagine” applies both to the design development process of a building and the interior monologue that goes on when you are reading a book. More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter September 6, 2011

Landscape architect and urban designer Diana Balmori: Balmori Associates (New York)
book list
Diana Balmori sees landscape architecture as an art that balances formal precision with what she calls the “unfixity” of nature, saying that “there is an element of wildness that needs to enter into our lives.” In her recent book A Landscape Manifesto, she lays out her ideas—which include the philosophical and the poetic—in 25 precisely numbered points. (Three of our favorites, by the way, are #1, “Nostalgia for the past and utopian dreams for the future prevent us from looking at our present”; #23, “The edge between architecture and landscape can be porous”; and #24, “Landscape can be like poetry, highly suggestive and open to multiple interpretations.”) More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter October 18, 2011

Architect Tom Kundig: Olson-Kundig Architects (Seattle)
book list
In the new book Tom Kundig: Houses 2, featuring 17 of architect Tom Kundig’s recent residential designs, the Finnish architect and critic Juhani Pallasmaa’s foreword states that “a great building turns our attention away from itself and makes us experience the world around us with focused and re-sensitized senses and sharpened understanding.” More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter September 4, 2012

Architect Jürgen Mayer H.: J. MAYER H. (Berlin)
Profile    Book List
Architect Jürgen Mayer H.—the speaker this Thursday, September 6, in the Fall 2012 lecture series of the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD)—is the first designer in a new collaboration between the GSD and Designers & Books that will feature book lists from a variety of GSD guest lecturers. More...