Philip Freelon

Architect / United States / The Freelon Group, Architects

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.

10 books
David Macaulay

Intended for children, Macaulay’s first few books (including Cathedral and Castle) were inspiring to me as a lifelong student of architecture. And I greatly admire his exquisite pen-and-ink drawings.

Nader Ardalan
Laleh Bakhtiar

A refreshing and fascinating departure from the standard Western theories on form, space, and order.

Orson Scott Card

A sci-fi classic with an intriguing take on the self-awareness of children and how destiny plays into one’s future.

John Hope Franklin

Written by a preeminent African American historian and family friend, this was the first scholarly publication that detailed the struggles and triumphs of black Americans.

Kevin Lynch

My introduction to design at the urban scale. A must-read for city and urban planners. The simple diagrams in the margins illustrate the concepts beautifully.

William McDonough
Michael Braungart

A call to arms for all, especially design professionals.

Stephen Hawking

The ultimate “Big Picture.” The theoretical physics that underpins our universe—in layman’s terms.

Frank Herbert

Herbert creates a compelling world complete with physical habitat, socio-economic structure, religious rituals, sustainability and natural resource issues, and human drama of the highest order—all grounded in solid scientific research.

Francis D. K. Ching

A trusted reference of mine when I was a student and still relevant 30 years after publication. The pencil drawings are at once impeccable and soulful.

Philippe Gross
S. I. Shapiro

A philosophical approach to one of my favorite art forms.

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