5 Architecture and Design Books for Fall

With the fall semester in full swing it's time to buckle down and crack those books. In that spirit, are five books I've enjoyed in the past covering Architecture, Design and Sustainability.

Fall Architectural Reading List

1) The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda: In this book John Maeda covers design principles related to design, technology, business and life in a simple and concise 99 pages. Using a format of 10 simple laws that include key ideas such as Reduce, Organize, and Emotion this book offers insight on how to achieve more with less.

2) Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken: A follow-up to his book The Ecology of Commerce this book outlines the impact our business endeavors have on the earth and what some companies and organizations, such as the USGBC, are doing to reverse those unintended impacts. For me this book in conjunction with attending the USGBC's Green Build conference helped me understand and embrace LPA's pursuit of excellence in the area Sustainable Design.

3) A Fine Line: How Design Strategies are Shaping the Future of Business by Hartmut Esslinger:  Hartmut Esslinger, founder of frog design, inc., an industrial design firm, writes about how corporations should embrace design principles to make products better and more sustainably designed.

4) PresentationZen by Garr Reynolds: The title on this one makes it a little hard to embrace but after getting past the title and first chapter I found this to be a great book. Included in the book is a detailed methodology for creating and preparing for presentations that include PowerPoint. I liked his approach to developing a presentation that suggests a very analog process of brainstorming and storyboarding followed by how to convert that process into a presentation. There are also good examples and recommendations for creating high quality slides that complement, not act as, your presentation.

5) Gehry Talks: Architecture and Process by Frank O. Gehry and Mildred Friedman: The only coffee table book I've ever read cover to cover and one that sheds light on the use of technology in the design process. On the cover lies an incomplete sentence that states "the computer is a tool, not a partner... an instrument for catching the curve, not for..." This sentence attracted me to the book and led me to find the concluding words which were "not for...creating the curve," a simple sentence that reversed my thinking about how technology is used in the design process.

In reading these books I find many of their core principles and values present at LPA which provides an opportunity to not only learn by reading but to learn by doing. Happy reading!

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