The 2023 AN Gift Guide has architects on your gift list
The temperature is dropping, the sales floodgates have opened, and eggnog advocates are at it again, which can only mean one thing: the holidays are coming. It’s not always easy to find thoughtful gifts for colleagues, friends and family; This list makes the process of finding a meaningful gift for the architecture enthusiast in your life (or yourself) much smoother.
Featuring the best new offerings of the year, this tour addresses architecture in all its fields: transportation, urbanism, collectible design, materials, and craft. This year, special attention was paid to the limited and reissue collections, designed by the architects themselves. The following offerings, organized by price, strive for balance, from wallet-friendly to luxury. Of course, there is diversity in classification as well. Whether it’s tech gifts, jewellery, or the latest designs in homewares and textiles, this resource covers all types of architects.
$50 and under
Pasta box – Parisian landmarks
Season and stir | $12.99
Whimsical and creative, these Parisian-themed pastas make the perfect cheerful surprise for a French architecture feast. From family-owned luxury goods brand, Season and Stir, the pasta is available in miniature versions of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe.
Boston t map
New York Puzzle Company | $23
Public transit enthusiasts can test their knowledge of Boston’s MBTA while spending the night with New York Puzzle Company’s Boston T map. This 500-piece jigsaw, made by the New York Puzzle Company, provides a relaxing activity that, once completed, serves as a map for thinking about how to innovate the city’s infrastructure.
Talbot Wyone | $24
For Talbot & Yoon, a Brooklyn-based architecture and design firm run by Mark Talbot and Youngjin Yoon, playful shapes and amorphous forms are a key element of an engaging design language. Their Goober Candle is no exception. The candle is made of unscented paraffin wax in various bubble-like shapes and is a fun addition to any interior decor.
Emerging ecologies Exhibition poster
MOMA Design Store | $30
On display until January 20 at MoMA, Emerging Environments: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism It is an ambitious exhibition that reflects on the past and thus the future of green architecture. This poster, featuring a drawing by architectural illustrator James Wines, commemorates the show while serving as inspiration for the countless ways people have designed sustainable solutions.
kaos death | $30
The depth and grooves of this cement ashtray mimic a topographical map. They are made by designer Sam Molloy through his fashion and homewares project, Caos Motē, which meditates on brutalism, infrastructure (hence Chinese materials), recycling, and interiors.
Brutal calendar 2024
Blue Crow Media | $32
Blue Crow Media’s annual monster calendar returns in limited edition for 2024, featuring stunning images of concrete heavyweights from Buenos Aires to Bulgaria. Printed with vegetable ink on FSC-certified recycled paper from a family-owned printer, the calendar makes the passage of time more enjoyable.
Josh Etiola X Areaware | $35
New York-based interior designer and writer Josh Etiola has transformed his paintings, originally an exercise in child-like exploration, into geometric and abstract textiles. This rigorous yet playful style draws from architecture, his work in the field, and his birthplace of New York City.
A.pair | $38
Based on a multi-view lenticular display system, these 3D earrings appear to move as the light changes, transforming its color and depth. A work of art, innovative accessories and materials, the earrings from the Korean brand A.pair are a unique and suitable gift for the architectural enthusiast.
Doug Aitken x Barley #1
Barley | $50
PARLEY, the global organization that works with innovators and leaders to create fundraising campaigns to protect the ocean, has partnered with American artist and director Doug Aitken. His work, reprinted on tote bags, honors architecture and the environment: each bag is created from five plastic bottles salvaged from the sea and removes 20 pounds of marine plastic debris.
Less than $100
Blue X-shaped cup
Common Things x CF Edition | $60
Architect and designer Komal Khehar recently opened a new retail location in New York’s East Village, Common Things, dedicated to nurturing and embracing designers and artisans. The space will change with the seasons but for its opening theme, the store is Yves Klein blue. As such, Common Things worked with Edition CF to create this handcrafted hourglass-shaped mug in a saturated color. It is an ode, as the store’s name suggests, to common objects and a celebration of craftsmanship.
Heller | $51 – $69
Lella and Massimo Vignelli’s signature stackable rainbow dinnerware has stood the test of time since its inception in 1964. Now, in 2023, it’s in vogue again, just as Heller expands its Hellerware line with Swell. This multi-purpose swinging coat rack by Anna Dawson uses tops to hang jackets and grooves to tuck away keys. Chances are, if there’s a design talent in your life, they’ve been dying to get their hands on one (or both) of these plugins.
The little game
Eames Office | $63.20
Designed in 1952 by Charles and Ray Eames, the little toy is the duo’s rarest and most desirable toy design. Featuring a collection of squares, triangles, and wireframes, this activity reflects the Eames family’s love of prefabricated architecture and hands-on learning. It’s a fun and educational gift for kids – and any architecture-interested adults who look after them.
Jerry Chrome Silver Chanukah Menorah
Crate and Barrel | $69.95
Inspired by Frank Gehry, this candle holder from Crate&Barrel is cast aluminum with a sleek chrome finish. Sharp and curved at once, it’s a statement piece perfect for the holidays.
Mergenttime x Food52 Margarita Napkins, Set of 4
Food52 | $75
American textile pioneer Margareta Mergentimi championed bold patterns with an eye toward modernism and politically progressive positions (such as socialism and abolition) that preceded her contemporaries in the 1930s. Form Portfolio and Food52 are reviving their historic linens, starting with their wreathed holiday napkin collection.
Laser Measure Pro
photo | $85
High-tech homeware brand HOTO has taken the tape measure and made it more efficient. Instead of durable steel, the HOTO uses lasers to measure distances up to 98 feet. Each measurement is recorded and saved in the corresponding application where it can quickly generate square footage and realize the floor plan.
E. Stuart Williams, Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate, 1947
Studio Sander Patelski | $88.84
Amsterdam-based digital artist Sander Patelski recognizes iconic, modern buildings as his medium. In this new limited edition edition, Patelski tackles the style of E. Stuart Williams brings to life mid-century through bold, nostalgic color combinations. Its depth and texture are due to the artist’s multi-layered approach.
Less than $500
Not a very small cinder block
Concrete cat | $160
Canadian operator Concrete Cat explores the whimsical and sculptural possibilities in the titular building material through objects, home goods and architectural elements. Her Not So Mini Cinder Block, a handmade mini cinder block in different colors, is both decorative and functional. Use two as notebooks or one as a utensil holder or pen cup. Either way, its form and materiality make it a suitable and unique gift for those who work in the built environment.
Maya Brenner | $168
Available in silver or gold, Skylight Hoops are the result of a collaboration between jeweler Maya Brenner and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The earrings are inspired by Wright’s use of skylights and the way he brought the outside in. One can easily recall the Pyrex skylights peering through mushroom-shaped columns in Wright’s Johnson Wax Management Building in the circular cutouts of earrings.
The glass house | $195
Handcrafted in the Black Forest using solid maple wood, these ornaments were designed by architect Johannes Gabriel in 1930 while working at the Bauhaus Dessau. The reissue reproduces the motifs in exactly the same size and color so that their geometric shapes continue to delight.
Original made | 195 euros
Drawing on stairs, arches and rhythm, the Ark Vases are a collaboration between Origin Made and Norm Architects. It consists of two semi-cylindrical volumes, each topped with a graduated pattern in inverted directions and with a hole in the middle to fit a glass insert. The vases are handmade by João Monteiro in Portugal.
Farnsworth House Model Kit
The art of playing | $228
This architectural model kit recreates the famous Farnsworth House of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Edith Farnsworth, or as it is now called, the Edith Farnsworth House. Reproduced with careful attention to detail and sustainably sourced materials, this model reliably captures the essence of modern glass-encased housing.
Ribbon dinner plates
SPREEZE | $240
Tableware brand Sprezz has teamed up with Adam Charlap Hyman of Charlap Hyman & Herrero (CHH) to design a series of whimsical plates. The ribbon dinner plates, available in various colors as well as a dessert version, resemble the ribbon that appeared in citrus prints made in the 17th and early 18th centuries. The panels look as if the wind has precisely blown the ribbon into each one, thanks to artist Pilar Almon’s textural details.
Modern American attached
Landmark Columbus Foundation | 1000 dollars
Upcoming book American Modern: Columbus Indiana Architectural Society It is the first in-depth exploration of Columbus and Indiana’s civic, cultural, and social forces. Written by Matt Shaw (former executive editor of that), The book contains photographs by Iwan Baan. To celebrate, Landmark Columbus produced an exhibit about the book in collaboration with the Columbus Area Visitor Center. In conjunction with this they are offering silkscreen posters and a signed copy to support the production of the book. For those looking to support the organization on a different budget, they are also offering posters from this year’s Columbus Fair Public by design.
Libond Watches | 2700 euros
This elegant Swiss watch with a square dial was designed by Alvaro Siza for Lebond Watches and follows his Leça swimming pools project. The shape of the dial suggests a straight swimming pool and the hour hands indicate the minimal dove markings used in its operation. Sophisticated, luxurious and full of details defined by Siza himself, LEBOND SIZA is The best of the best Architectural gifts.