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Architecture books to read this year.

We always talk about how important breaks are in our lives, especially when we are students or when we have a 9-5 job, or both. Taking a break is essential. There are different types of breaks, like watching a movie, playing a video game or maybe just staying home and read a nice book. But how can we define a good book? How can you define it? You can start by asking yourself some questions when reading a book.

  • What am I getting out from this book?
  • How do I feel when reading this book?
  • Is this book contributing something to my actual career?

Reading a book is a way of just zoning out from the real world to a one where you can be part of the book. If you want this year to be different and not just being stuck in a computer, read a book! Or even better read an architecture book. These 5 architecture books are great for students who want another perspective on architecture other from their professors or classmates, or just for someone who finished school and wants to stay updated in their feild. 

1. Practiceopolis: Stories from the Architectural Profession by Yasser Megahed, 2020.

In this graphic novel about the contemporary architectural profession, in which it acts as the protagonist in the form of an imaginary city called Practiceopolis. It  narrates quasi-realistic stories that exaggerate the architectural everyday and the tacit, in order to make them prominent and tangible. They depict and dramatise the value conflicts between the different cultures of practising architecture and between the architectural profession and other members of the building industry as political conflicts around the future of Practiceopolis.

Read more about the book here.

2. The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design, Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt, 2020.

Roman and Kurt had a podcast about small-seeming things, revealing stories baked into the buildings we inhabit, the streets we drive, and the sidewalks we traverse. Now in their book they zoom in on the various elements that make our cities work, exploring the origins and other fascinating stories behind everything from power grids and fire escapes to drinking fountains and street signs. With deeply researched entries and beautiful line drawings throughout. The book will captivate devoted fans of the show and anyone curious about design, urban environments, and the unsung marvels of the world around them.

Read more about the book here.

3. In Search of African American Space: Redressing Racism Sara Caples, 2020.

This book is richly illustrated with vintage adverts, maps, posters and architectural plans, and organized thematically, this anthology, the anthology is organized thematically, presenting African American space in a broad cultural context. The authors present the everyday practices of “vernacular citizenship,” as characterized by Pratt Institute scholar Ann Holder, that emerged among the enslaved, the formerly enslaved and their allies in the years before and after Emancipation to cast a light on responses to the inevitable African American experience of hypervigilance. 

Read more about the book here.

4. The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health, and Happiness, Emily Anthes, 2020.

Emily Anthes takes us on an adventure into the buildings in which we spend our days, exploring the profound, and sometimes unexpected, ways that they shape our lives, she probes the pain-killing power of a well-placed window and examines how the right office layout can expand our social networks. This books helps you understand how room temperature regulates our cognitive performance, how the microbes hiding in our homes influence our immune systems, and how cafeteria design affects what―and how much―we eat. 

Read more about the book here.

5. The New York Times: Right at Home: How to Buy, Decorate, Organize and Maintain Your Space, Ronda Kaysen and Michelle Higgins, 2020.

Kaysen and Higgins have spent more than two decades interviewing experts and demystifying all aspects of home buying and care. This guide, drawn from their work, will be with you at every turn, whether you’re unpacking the kitchen for the first time, moving in with your significant other, or figuring out what to do with all those baby bottles and sippy cups now that the last child is out of diapers and the cabinets are bursting. Including pro tips from experts.

Read more about the book here.

What books do you recommend to start off this 2021?

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