David Rockwell

Architect; Interior Designer; Scenic Designer / United States / Rockwell Group

David Rockwell’s Book List

The books on my list represent a group of people and things that have influenced my approach to design over the past 30 years—from childhood memories to the magic of theater to some extraordinarily creative individuals.

12 books
Luis Barragán

When my parents moved our family to Guadalajara, Mexico, I started to realize the excitement and potential of life in public spaces. Luis Barragan’s use of color, craft and light in his buildings in Mexico are permanently imprinted in my mind.

Jeroen Beekmans

Ever since seeing my first Broadway show as a child, I’ve been fascinated with how ephemeral experiences can have as much impact as permanent structures. I’m always dreaming up and experimenting with portable and temporary structures, so I love this collection of pop-up urban interventions. The mobile skyscraper is pretty great.

Dana Cowin
With Julia Turshen

Dana Cowin is one of the most knowledgeable people that I know about food. So it was an unexpected and hilarious surprise when she revealed in her new book that for years she didn’t know how to cook. Fortunately, Dana was able to enlist the world’s top chefs to teach her—and us—the craft of cooking.

Dennis Crompton

One of the things that led me to the Architectural Association in London was Archigram’s work. I particularly love Peter Cook’s Plug-in-City, his futuristic vision for an urban infrastructure that can continuously rebuild and reinvent itself to meet the needs of its inhabitants.

Eames Demetrios
Gloria Fowler Editor
Steve Crist Editor

The design process and work of one of the greatest collaborative design teams of the 20th century, Charles and Ray Eames, is presented in a beautiful, lovingly made tome reminiscent of their slideshows.

William Goldman

William Goldman’s depiction of the inner workings of Broadway productions and the big personalities associated with them is very revealing. It was essential reading for me when I worked on my first Broadway show.

Nicholas Griffin

My son Sam developed an interest in ping pong a few years ago, and now plays competitively around the world. I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about the sport, and this book provides a fascinating historical spin (pun intended) of the game’s impact on U.S. and China relations.

A quirky, personal and sometimes poignant take on objects—both ordinary and extraordinary – that Maira handpicked from the Cooper Hewitt’s archives.

John Lahr

An unvarnished, deeply researched biography of one of America’s greatest playwrights.

John Loring

A comprehensive look at the prolific career of one of my favorite designers whose profound interest in theater drove his architectural work.

Frank Rich

Boris Aronson was unquestionably the greatest scenic designer of the 20th century. Frank Rich and Lisa Jalowetz Aronson, Boris’s widow, did an amazing job of presenting the brilliance and artistry of his work.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten

One of my passions is cooking for friends and family, and this book is so well written that it enables me to prepare dishes with complex flavors with relative ease. The chicken soup with coconut milk and lemongrass is one of my favorite recipes.

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