Book List of the Week

Celebrating Our Anniversary: Five Designer Book Lists from the Archive

March 3, 2014

To celebrate the three-year anniversary of Designers & Books, launched in February 2011, we’ve brought together five book lists from our archive of more than 300 lists of books that have inspired designers and design commentators. This week’s sampling includes graphic designer Erik Spiekermann (which debuted in our post “Typomania”); architect Philip Freelon (“Imagining, Understanding, and Interpreting”); landscape designer Diana Balmori (“True Companions After Others Have Faded into Oblivion”); interior designer Jeffrey Bilhuber (“Embracing Opposites”); and interaction and product designer Carola Zwick (“Interaction and Information”). All 171 designer book lists can be found here and our 34 commentator book lists here.

Erik Spiekermann's Book List

This list was in my head, and I was thinking that getting the details and writing a few lines for each title would take a leisurely Sunday afternoon. It turned out to be a busy Friday morning instead. I’ve made this list from all the books I could reach from my desk at home without getting onto ladders. I have about 3,000 books, so there could easily be many more. As there is intelligent life outside the U.S., I have included some of my favorite books in German as well.

Philip Freelon's Book List

The majority of the books in my library are monographs and other volumes that document built and unbuilt work through photographs and written analysis/critique. I have not included these important and valued books on my list but have instead focused on the titles that have inspired me and broadened my understanding of the world—past, present, and future. My list includes books on design in general, architecture, photography, science, and science fiction. My interests, though varied, are centered on imagining, understanding, and interpreting environments.

Diana Balmori's Book List

This list of books is not at all homogeneous. But it isn’t random, either. These books have remained true companions of mine after others (although they produced immediate pleasure) have faded into oblivion.

Jeffrey Bilhuber's Book List

Here you will find a list of books that have inspired me in my professional and personal pursuits. Some I find I reference everyday, while others have simply stuck with me less as reference tools and more as life lessons.

Carola Zwick's Book List

As a designer you are concerned with observing and understanding change and solving emerging needs and problems. In addition, your concepts and ideas as well as the change you hope to trigger with your design intervention need to be communicated clearly.

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