Studio Joy Works, an architectural book reviewRead More
A review of one of my all-time favorite books; one I think every designer should own. Part review and part personal reflection, it's a continuation of my previous video on goal setting. As I struggled with my traditional goal setting exercise this year, I stumbled on a new methodology and consulted a formative book in my library for guidance. In this video I share how that book has shaped my architecture practice and my approach to life.
I view books as the raw materials of creativity. Looking at and learning from the work of others is crucial to the development of your personal style and sampling from every possible source you can: graphic designers, authors, engineers, sculptors, every field is essential. The deeper your understanding of what’s out there the more source material you have to draw upon and the more things you can smash together to craft your own style. Study those you admire, not to replicate their style (you don’t want to look like them) but to see like them.
A special thanks to my grandfather, whose counsel I miss each day, but who will always live on in my studio and work.
Reviewing two architecture books: Operative Design + Conditional Design and sharing my thoughts on the kit-of-parts design methodology they promote. Together these volumes are an excellent primer on architectural form making, iterative design, and can serve as handy portable, pocket-sized reference manuals. The diagrams are beautifully composed in full-color and the accompanying text - although brief - offers enough information to guide the reader / viewer on the book’s use. Recommended for: architecture students, teachers and professionals looking to revisit first principles or reinvent their own tired formal language.
The books in an architect's library provide context for their work: history, precedent, theory, technics, best practices, fresh perspectives and creative stimuli. The ones I return to often are like harmonic frequencies, which continue to vibrate and resonate over time even as my ideology is evolving.
Is it a coincidence that some of the most emotive connections to books and architectural writings were forged in architecture school many years ago? You know how they say the music you’ll listen to the rest of your life is the music you were into when you were 18? That’s how many of these books are for me. So, these precise books may not find the same resonance with you, but as a thought exercise, consider what your library currently says about you, your interests and your blind spots or your knowledge gaps one you might want to fill in.
Books feed the intellect, and a studio full of books assures we're surrounded by the ideas of many – the masters, colleagues, artists, entrepreneurs, performers, and documentarians. They’re a great equalizer when it comes to education and at a fraction of the cost of architecture school.
Be sure to check the resource page for links to all the books I mention in the video.