Craig Dykers

Architect / Norway; United States / Snøhetta

Craig Dykers’s Book List

During my university studies I read Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s The Worst Journey in the World. In this autobiography, Robert Scott’s trek to the South Pole is described by one of the explorers who accompanied the expedition. As an architecture student I felt a kinship with this hopeless, remote struggle. This led to a number of ice-bound, life-and-death books like Elizabeth Arthur’s novel Antarctic Navigation. In this book, the chapter “The Honest House” suggests that architecture connects the candor of design with the challenge of staging adventure. These are things that I still feel are closely linked.

There are dedicated architecture texts in my list, sandwiched between novels, art, and anthropology. Primarily, I have been persuaded by subjects of the senses, memory, and the realm of place. This is what gets me up in the morning, knowing that we are not what we seem to be and the places where we live are not bound by catalogues of definitions—they are so much more.


21 books
Temple Grandin

You can pick up almost any book by Temple Grandin and be awakened. I like to joke that if you replace the word “cow” with “person” the book still makes sense.

Hans van der Laan

The first two chapters are among the most powerful descriptions of building I know of. Sadly, the remainder can be very dry.

Elias Canetti

Some of the unmentionable aspects of life grow more obvious when we operate as a mass entity.

Jane Jacobs

It is impossible to ignore this book if you have any degree of civility.

Ian McHarg

It is always fun to return to this text to see how we are faring since its publication.

Matthijs van Boxsel

An artful way to return to our essence.

James Joyce

Any random page—this a test of language that is non-directional.

Michael Benedikt

A longstanding text on the value of human sensory engagement with place.

Stewart Brand

I still enjoy the challenge of the practicalities of time in architecture.

Michio Kaku

One of the earliest popular nonfiction works that discusses the value of quantum mechanics and physics in our lives. It was my first clarification on the complexity of spatial theory.

Jun’ichiro Tanizaki

A small yet engaging alternative to the traditional Western image of cleanliness being next to godliness.

Italo Calvino

A lovely insight into the imagination’s role in the image of the city.

Anne Whiston Spirn

An eloquent and poetic description of the formal delineation of landscape.

David Lewis-Williams

Among my favorite books, although tangential. There is a wonderful description of the spectrum of consciousness as it relates to our deep history and the contemporary mind.

Umberto Eco

History is artfully revealed as mystery.

Patrick Suskind

Thank you, Mr. Suskind, for reminding us that scent is a sense.

Edward Rutherfurd

The is a vast novel that begins 40,000 years ago and ends somewhere around the time I was born.

Bruce Chatwin

This is an effort to describe the landscape of the earth as it is projected onto the landscape of the mind.

Lisa Heschong

An air of feminism makes this unusual book about ventilation one of the most endearing I know.

Manuel De Landa

I love the idea that our world is calcifying rather than expanding.

Marshall McLuhan

An essential book for understanding the power of the power of media in our creation of things.

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