Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

This site uses cookies. By using our services, you agree to our cookie use.
Learn more here.

What to buy an architect this Christmas

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.

magma architecture sketchbook

magma architecture sketchbook

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.

Muji pens

Muji pens

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.

Granby workshop lights

Granby Workshop lights

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.

AR covers

AR covers

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.

Cos black tops

COS black tops

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.

Material immaterial concrete houses

Material immaterial concrete houses

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. 

Midori soft case

Midori Soft Pen Case

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.

Tom Pigeon Totem Necklace

Tom Pigeon Totem Necklace

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.

GRAD prints

GRAD prints

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.

brualist london map

Brutalist London Map

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. 

Detail paper

Detail paper

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.