The Gift Blog brought to you by Gift for Architect

We are going to make your 2013 holiday shopping list easy to fill out - GiftForArchietct.com brings you our picks for the top gifts that architects will love.

Lego Architecture Studio

If you can get your hands on this one, you are one lucky shopper. These have been flying off the shelves and many of our favorite retailers can't keep them in stock. If you get see one available, pick it up right away!

(GiftForArchitect.com Review) (Buy at Amazon) (Buy at LEGO.com)

Nest Thermostat

This is the ultimate gift for the techie / nerd / data-gathering architect. He or she can keep an eye on the temperature from anywhere in the world and they can monitor daily energy consumption.

(GiftForArchitect.com Review) (Buy at Amazon)

The Architect Says

A small blue book that is full of inspirational quotes and words of wisdom from famous architects. This is a great desk accessory and conversation starter.

(GiftForArchitect.com Review) (Buy at Amazon)

Le Corbusier Skull T-Shirt

This is a perfect gift for a T-Shirt-wearing architecture student. The shirt features a skull wearing Le Corbusier's famous glasses with cross bones made of T-Squares. Architecture humor at its best!

(GiftForArchitect.com Review) (Buy at Zazzle)

Wood Earbud Holder

The wood earbud holder makes a perfect stocking stuffer. It will keep earbuds tangle-free when they are thrown in a bag or purse. With its smooth wood finish it beats those crappy plastic versions by miles.

(GiftForArchitect.com Review) (Buy at Etsy)

Monochrome Deck of Cards

Here is another stocking-stuffer or small gift. These playing cards are black-on-black and are super cool. This will make a statement at the next poker night!

(GiftForArchitect.com Review) (Buy at Gent Supply)

Kiko+ Machi Tiny Town

Here is one for the children of architects. Now you don't have to worry about their parents judging your gift selection - this is cool and fun. Perfect for budding urban designers.

(GiftForArchitect.com Review) (Buy at Amazon)

Anything from Alessi

Alessi is a well-known brand that makes useful products with great design and a humorous twist. We suggest pretty much everything they make. To the left are a few ideas, but your best bet is to head over to Amazon and surf their pages.

(Alessi Pages at Amazon.com)

Architecture for Humanity Sponsorship

Our choice for gifting a donation in honor of someone special. Architecture for Humanity does great work all over the world. You can sponsor a client meeting, a day of design work, or more.

(Architecture for Humanity Sponsor Page)

We hope that there are some good ideas for you above, but if not, browse around our site for plenty of other awesome gift ideas for your favorite architect.

Happy Holidays from all of us at GiftForArchitect.com!

Just about every architect you meet will tell you how they enjoyed playing with LEGOs when they were young. We all built some pretty amazing structures back in the day. Now we are fascinated by the LEGO Architecture series as you can see from our gift suggestions: Villa Savoye and Farnsworth House.

LEGO has a site dedicated to the Architecture Series. We think you will enjoy some of the features of that site. There are profiles of some of the designers, a pictorial of all of the different models, and a brief history of the series, which is an idea that dates back to the 1960s.

LEGO Architecture Website

We enjoyed the site and we think you will, too.

There are some great apps out there, but there are also some terrible apps out there. Here are some great Android apps for architects. If you are giving the gift of technology, we suggest that you load a few of these onto the phone or tablet before you tie the bow.


Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile Express

The premier maker of drafting software has released a suite of apps and Sketchbook Mobile is their sketch pad offering. This is one of the best sketch pad apps available. It has a wide array of tools including pencil, brush, or spray nozzle. Navigation is easy the tool icons make sense. The link below is for the free version so you can try it, but if you want more drawing tools and the ability to save, you will want to purchase the full app.

Free, but a paid version unlocks saving and other features.

Available for tablets and phones.

Install Sketchbook Mobile Express


Open Buildings

OpenBuildings.com is a free database of buildings around the world that is setup as a user-editable wiki. The Open Buildings app allows mobile phones to access the database, which comes in handy for architects travelling to new cities. If you turn on Location Information, the app will immediately tell you what pieces of architecture are nearby. This is quite useful for the wandering architect who has to kill some time in an unfamiliar city.

Free.

Currently only available for phones as of 1/2013.

Install Open Buildings


Catch Notes

Our favorite note-taking app is Catch Notes. It has all of the features of other notes apps, but it also has a clean and simple user interface - both in the app and on the website. We use Catch daily to record meeting notes, remember ideas, or set reminders. It is seamless and keeps everything synced whether you access via the website or the mobile app.

Free, but upload limits apply.

Available for tablets and phones.

Install Catch Notes


Pocket

Pocket is a brilliant app that took its inspiration from the iPhone's popular Instapaper. Pocket allows you to save a news story, article, video, etc from the internet onto your mobile device. The text is formatted neatly for reading on a small screen with multiple settings to make the text easy to read. Best of all, the articles are all synced to the device so you can read while offline. This is a must-have app for those tablets that only have wi-fi - especially if you take your tablet with you during the day. Remember the articles you want to read and have them available anywhere.

Free.

Available for tablets and phones.

Install Pocket


Design Dimensions

This is a neat app that provides architects (and everyone else) with approximate dimensions for common objects - chairs, refrigerators, TVs, etc. This is especially useful for residential architects, but they are growing a fairly strong database of objects so it may become more useful for commercial and institutional architects in the future.

Free, but a paid version removes advertisements.

Available for tablets and phones.

Install Design Dimensions


Measure Master Pro

Calculated Industries makes the best physical foot-inch calculator available and now they have an app. The app works, and looks, just like the actual calculator so there isn't any learning curve. While this is more expensive than some other foot-inch calculators, we think it is the superior choice because of its feature set, reliability, and overall design.

$5.99

Available for tablets and phones.

Install Measure Master Pro

Doug Patt is an architect who studied in Pennsylvania and who is making a name for himself in the on-line architectural education world. We have Doug's book, How to Architect among our recommended gifts; however, there is much more to his growing publishing empire.

Doug's website shares the same name as his book, How to Architect, and can be reached via howtoarchitect.com. There you will find a ton of great resources for architecture students, new architects, and even just everyday folks interested in architecture. You can start with his well produced YouTube videos, where you can learn how to design your dream home, learn how to draw like an architect, or even learn what it takes to become a licensed architect.

How to Architect - Doug Patt's Architecture Empire

If you want to delve deeper into the architecture profession, you can join The Architect's Academy, which is a membership site with tutorial-type videos that take his YouTube videos to the next level. You even get personal training from Doug in the form of web-based classes and lectures. I haven't taken any of the classes, but the preview videos are well done so I imagine the class videos are even better.

Finally, if you are looking for a gift and your architect is a bird lover, you may want to buy The Architect's Birdfeeder, a clear plastic bird feeder that seems to be inspired by the Ikea ship-flat-and-construct-yourself phenomenon. However, this one doesn't require an Allen Wrench or complicated directions to assemble.

Design websites are a dime-a-dozen, but there are a few great sites out there that offer well designed products at reasonable prices. Fab.com is one of those great sites that cater to the Dwell crowd. You can spend hours on their site. Fab's mission, in their own words, is to make you smile:

Every day we set out to delight you, inspire you, make you laugh, and give you something to look forward to. We strive to provide the best designed website and apps, selling the best designed products, delivered with the best designed service. We want you to literally LOVE your every interaction with Fab.

We also suggest that you check out their blog.

Here is our very first Holiday Gift Guide for Architects and other designers. This is a list of items that should go over very well for anyone interested in architecture. Many of these gifts would also work for a person who loves well-designed objects. We hope this will help make your holiday shopping a bit less stressful.

Books and Media

How to Architect wins our award for Best Book Title of 2012 for its ironic use of a noun as a verb - the content of the book is also wonderfully cheeky. Another great option is the Moleskine Hand of the Architect, which is a beautiful sketchbook that is filled with wonderful sketches by famous architects (don't worry, it also comes with an empty sketchbook that needs to be filled).

   

 

Stocking Stuffers - Inexpensive

If you need something inexpensive, but also something that will make a great impression or if you simply need something cheap as a stocking stuffer, you can start with a Stainless Steel Sharpie for $6. For a beer lover, you may want to pick up the Diabolix Bottle Opener for around $16.

   

 

Sort of Cheesy, but Also Pretty Cool

We have two great options for a gift that is a bit cheesy, but still interesting. The Bookstand Lamp designed by SUCK UK is a lamp....no a book holder....no a house. Whatever it is, it has a sense of humor and should make anyone smile.

For an adult who may be longing for the days of playing with LEGOs (rather than stepping on them in the middle of the night) there are the architecture inspired LEGO Houses. The Farnsworth House is interesting, but we prefer Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye.

   

 

Straight Up Useful

Architects spend lots of late nights working on their masterpieces. Late nights translate into caffeine addictions - and you can't be a snobby architect without a fancy coffee or tea press. This Alessi Inka Press is both modern and just slightly odd.

Vitriini Glass Boxes are beautiful items that also serve as a holder for jewelry or other small items.

   

 

For the Electronics Lover

The Jambox Bluetooth speaker is a great mobile option for music lovers with a keen eye for design. Nintendo lovers will be intrigued by the nod (unintentional?) to the original NES controller when checking out the speaker's buttons. Each color has a different grille design so be sure to check out each option. You can even customize your Jambox on the Jawbone website.

 

The ULTIMATE

If money is no object and you want to give some of the best monographs out there, you can also sign your architect up for a subscription to El Croquis. We are talking more than $400 for 5 issues, but they are the absolute best books of architecture on the market.

Hollywood and architects have something in common: they both like to dream about what the future may behold. Hollywood puts the fear of the future out there for all to see. Architects hope that they can somehow affect the future in a positive way. Sometimes architects play a significant positive role in the lives of the people visiting their buildings...sometimes the architect's ego gets the best of them. The films below have deep dialogues about the future of the city and society or they look into the ego of an architect. Many of these films are shown in architecture schools and they should be part of any architect's movie library.

In no particular order, we present our top five movies that every architect should own.

Towering Inferno

Gift for Architect Review | Amazon DVD Page | Amazon Blu-ray Page

Towering Inferno is an Oscar winning movie about an architect and his new skyscraper, which catches fire and can't be extinguished. The movie stars Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway, and Fred Astaire.

Metropolis

Gift for Architect Review | Amazon DVD Page | Amazon Blu-ray Page

Fritz Lang's 1927 classic Metropolis takes place in an urban utopia and focuses on societal class issues.

Brazil

Gift for Architect Review | Amazon DVD Page | Amazon Blu-ray Page

Brazil, an Oscar nominated film by director Terry Gilliam, is the story of a futuristic society struggling with technology and an over-reaching government. The movie stars Robert De Niro.

Blade Runner

Gift for Architect Review | Amazon DVD Page | Amazon Blu-ray Page

Blade Runner is a cyber-punk thriller based in 2019 L.A. that gives both a vision of and a warning about the future. The movie stars Harrison Ford.

The Fountainhead

Gift for Architect Review | Amazon DVD Page

The Fountainhead is a 1949 classic movie based on Ayn Rand's well-known novel about the egotistical Howard Roark. The movie stars Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal.

Thanks for stopping by Gift for Architect, the newest website designed by Arch Media Group, LLC.

The site came about after we realized that our fellow architects are very challenging people to shop for. Architects love high design, great functionality, solid construction, and - most importantly - a beautiful product. Modern, "design-y" gifts are hard to select and many non-designers are unsure what to buy. We can help!

We will strive to provide an architect's loved ones a place to go to find awesome gift ideas that will make your shopping experience a little bit easier. Now you don't have to revert to that Frank Llyod Wright calendar or T-Shirt. There are plenty of great products out there and they don't have to cost a fortune - you just have to know where to look. We know where to look and what to look for so let us give you a hand.

We would love it if you bookmark us or subscribe to our news feed. We promise not to overdo the updates, but we will also make sure there are always enough fresh ideas - amazing gifts for an architect or other design professional.