The gift-giving season is here – and chances are you have to buy something for an architect, prompting fears of the disparaging looks your gifts might receive when they are just not quite right. Fear not: the AR’s fight against mediocrity also extends to presents, and here we have selected a few architects’ favourites.
1. The Magma Architecture Sketchbook
Move over Moleskine, we never particularly liked your overly thick and waxy paper anyway. Magma’s Architecture Sketchbook combines a variety of paper types with quick reference materials: the Classical orders, wheelchair space requirements and architectural jargon to avoid embarrassment at the dinner table.
2. Pretty much any pen or pencil from Muji
Go for a plastic gel pen if you’re on a budget, or spend a little on an aluminium retractable pencil. And of course, don’t just buy the one – they tend to go missing fairly quickly. For the no-holds-barred approach, go for the aluminium fountain pen – less practical perhaps, but certainly sleek.
3. Something from Assemble’s Granby Workshop
The Turner Prize-winning Assemble set up the Granby Workshop in Liverpool to encourage the hands-on activity that has brought such great change to the area. Training and employing locals in experimental manufacturing processes, here you can pick up a rock table, lamp or workshop trestle for the socially minded architect in your life. Proceeds go to a programme engaging young people in creative projects.
4. A subscription to the AR
Make sure the architect in your life is as critically aware as can be with a subscription to the AR, bringing them ideas and inspiration every month and full online access. Subscribe here and, as an extra gift, the lucky subscribee will receive a free archive issue to read on Christmas day.
5. A black top from COS
Standard architecture attire, drapey and wonderfully unisex. Buy several: all in black for the diehards or in a variety of shades for the less stereotype-conforming.
6. Material Immaterial Studio’s miniature concrete houses
This range of nine miniature houses may not serve any functional purpose, but will certainly look the part on a tidy desk. Oh, and they are made of concrete, which we have heard architects like.
7. Midori’s Soft Pen Case
Those new pens will need a home – Midori’s soft case is just the place. Alternatively use it for glasses, modelling bits and bobs, or just about anything else that fits.
8. Tom Pigeon jewellery
Available in a geometric combination of formica and brass, or a playfully Postmodern combination of shapes, this range of pins, earrings, necklaces and bracelets should more than satisfy the architecturally minded.
9. The GRAD’s Constructivist prints
The Gallery for Russian Arts and Design’s prints include many beautifully rendered depictions of architectural fancies: castles, bridges and housing blocks that are sure to tickle the fancy of the architecturally minded.
10. The Brutalist London Map
The result of a collaboration between the Twentieth Century Society and Blue Crow Media, the Brutalist London Map is a handy guide to all of the city’s most notable Brutalist landmarks, from the Camberwell Submarine to the Alexandra Road Estate.
11. Detail paper
If all else fails, plump for detail paper. You might not receive great thanks when it is unwrapped, but you can guarantee it will go to good use. Perhaps they’ll thank you a few months later.