What have our architects and designers been reading?

With stay at home orders becoming the norm across the nation over the last few months, many of our team members have found themselves with more time to catch up on their reading lists. With a mix of classic must-reads and newer titles exploring fresh concepts, the list below includes nine recommended titles from the avid readers of LGA Partners.

The Architecture of Happiness – Alain de Botton

Architecture / Psychology / Philosophy

A visually driven book discussing the philosophy and psychology of architecture and the effects the spaces around us have on our happiness.

Down Detour Road – Eric J. Cesal

The Architecture Field / Lived Experience

Published in 2010, Down Detour Road follows the author’s experience of finishing graduate school into an economic and ecological crisis when there was unprecedented unemployment in the architecture field.

Bicycle Diaries – David Byrne

Infrastructure / Urban Design

A collection of stories from the author’s many years relying on a bike as his primary mode of transit through many major cities across the world.

Devil in the White City – Erik Larson

History / Architecture / Murder

Devil in the White City tells two historical stories as one – Daniel Burnham, the architect responsible for the famous 1893 World’s Fair, and H.H. Holmes, a con-man and serial killer who used the fair as his hunting grounds.

Imagining the Modern: Architecture and Urbanism of the Pittsburgh Renaissance

Educational / History / Pittsburgh Architecture

An informative look into the Pittsburgh Renaissance of the 1950s and ’60s and how the city was reborn through architectural and urban planning initiatives that still shape the area today.

Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino

Traveling / Fiction / Thought Experiments

A difficult book to describe but a pleasure to read, Invisible Cities follows the fictional stories of a traveler as he recalls intricacies of the numerous fantastical (and often unsettling) cities he’s witnessed.

Concise Townscape – Gordon Cullen

Architecture / Urban Landscape / Educational

The book that first pioneered the idea of “townscape,” Concise Townscape, is a classic, influential work in the world of architecture literature that discusses the art of creating visual coherence to groups of buildings.

Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail

Engineering / Demolition / Structure

A book that explores historical stories of destruction – both intentional and accidental – and what we can learn from each example.

Complexities and Contradiction in Architecture

Textbook / Architecture / Educational

A classic manifesto style look at the evolution of architecture. Originally published in 1966, this timeless reference is just as relevant to architects today as 60 years ago.