12 Perfect Gifts for Architects and Designers

If you’re looking to treat your favorite architect, browse our Gift Guide for inspiration.

Paul Keskeys Paul Keskeys

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It’s been a long, tough year, for so many reasons — and that’s all the more reason for architects to get into the festive spirit and look forward to better times ahead. If you have a friend or a family member who is a part of the profession, you will know just how hard they work from January to December, and how they deserve a special treat during the holiday season. Or, perhaps you are an architect yourself — in which case, there’s no shame in treating yourself!

Either way, there is bound to be something on this list that will provide the perfect gift for that design lover in your life, or a cheeky present for yourself to enjoy. Take a look through the list and click the associated links to purchase your favorites.


Zaha Hadid: Complete Works 1979–Today by Philip Jodidio and Taschen

With abundant photographs, in-depth sketches, and Hadid’s own drawings, this key volume traces the evolution of the iconic architect’s career, spanning not only her most pioneering buildings but also the furniture and interior designs that were integrated into her unique, and distinctly 21st-century, universe.

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Archidoodle: The Architect’s Activity Book by Steve Bowkett

This innovative book is the first to provide a fun, interactive way to learn about architecture. Filled with an array of beautiful and elegant drawings, it poses all manner of architectural challenges for the user: from designing your own skyscraper, to drawing an island house or creating a Constructivist monument, plus many others more.

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“The World’s Best Architecture” book by Architizer and Phaidon

This stunning, full-color compendium of projects represents the very best in architectural design from around the globe. Including every conceivable building type from cultural icons and contemporary residences to educational facilities and pop-up pavilions, this is a truly comprehensive survey of architectural excellence, and an essential addition to every creative person’s bookshelf.

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Drafting Table with Storage Shelf by Tribesigns

If, like many, you’ve found yourself working from home during 2020, a new workstation or computer desk may be ideal for crafting new designs over the coming year. There are endless options but we like this walnut finish desk by Tribesigns for its simple yet robust design. When you are in the mood for some more traditional sketching, the desk has a section that can be fixed in 12 different positions — from flat to 80°degrees — to achieve the desired angle for drawing.

Mid Century ‘Eames’ Lounge Chair by 1 Inch

There is nothing an architect could want more for their home than a classic Eames chair and ottoman. However, the genuine version of this iconic piece will set you back more than $6,000. Fortunately, 1 Inch has produced this highly respectable replica, available for just 10% of that price. This mid-century modern beauty is available in black or cream, with a palisander or walnut veneer base.

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iPad Pro by Apple

For architects that love to draw digitally, nothing can beat the iPad. Apple’s iPad Pro has become a mainstay for designers of all specialisms. Apple’s excellent build quality and the smoothness of iOS make this one of the most desirable tablets on the market. The 12.9” iPad Pro is the largest iPad that Apple has to offer. With a screen that rivals the size of most small laptops, it’s ideal for architects to use as a primary drawing device, and its powerful A9X chip means it can easily run intensive tasks without breaking a sweat or heating up the chassis.

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Sketching Kit by Castle Art

If you’re not ready to convert to drawing fully digitally just yet, or you just love the tactile quality of pencil sketching, this set is a perfect companion. Discover your preferred sketching style whether using the range of graphite pencils (there’s 12 to choose from), the charcoal pencils or perhaps the graphite sticks? Combine these top-quality tools with popular sketching techniques and enjoy results worth sharing.

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Isograph Technical Drawing Pens, Set of 3 by Rotring

When it comes to architectural pens, Rotring has long been the benchmark, and for good reason. This 3 pen set of high precision technical pens is the most popular, and is perfect for architecture students and architects alike due to the high quality of its materials. Wear resistant, hard chrome plated thin tips and stainless steel nibs allow for exquisite detail work.

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Toys and Crafts

Frank Lloyd Wright Paper Models: 14 Kirigami Buildings to Cut and Fold by Marc Hagan-Guirey

This innovative craft book features step–by–step instructions and templates so you can create beautiful kirigami versions of Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic modernist architecture. Each project features a short history of each house, step–by–step instructions and a template that you remove from the book. You follow the lines on the template, cutting and folding to make your own model. All you need is a scalpel, a cutting mat and a ruler.

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LEGO Architecture Statue of Liberty Building Kit

The LEGO Architecture Series is best known for its skyline models, with sets of landmark buildings from New York, Paris, Chicago, Tokyo and Sydney among the available collections. However, this Lady Liberty building kit stands out, with 1,685 pieces coming together to form a remarkably sculptural representation of one of the world’s most iconic statues.

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Blockitecture Architectural Building Blocks by Areaware

Blockitecture sets are a fantastic way to introduce children to the art of construction, and the adults in your life might well find themselves wanting to play, too. Designer James Paulius has crafted multiple sets inspired by different architectural styles and typologies, including Garden City, Deco, Brutalism, Habitat, Factory and Parkland. You can combine any number of sets together to build the city of your dreams.

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Bonus: Architect Definition T-Shirt

Is everything printed on this T-Shirt a cliché? Perhaps. Is it also perfectly accurate? Absolutely.

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Paul Keskeys Author: Paul Keskeys
Paul Keskeys is Editor in Chief at Architizer. An architect-trained editor, writer and content creator, Paul graduated from UCL and the University of Edinburgh, gaining an MArch in Architectural Design with distinction. Paul has spoken about the art of architecture and storytelling at many national industry events, including AIANY, NeoCon, KBIS, the Future NOW Symposium, the Young Architect Conference and NYCxDesign. As well as hundreds of editorial publications on Architizer, Paul has also had features published in Architectural Digest, PIN—UP Magazine, Archinect, Aesthetica Magazine and PUBLIC Journal.
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