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AN’s 2023 gift guide has architects covered this holiday season

’Tis the Season

AN’s 2023 gift guide has architects covered this holiday season

AN’s holiday gift guide features gifts and goodies for the architecture-inclined. (Courtesy AN)

The temperature is dropping, the floodgates announcing sales have opened, and the eggnog apologists 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 present for the architecture aficionados in your life (or yourself) that much smoother.

Featuring the best new offerings from the year, this roundup considers architecture in all its realms: transportation, urbanism, collectible design, materials, and craft. This year a special attention was paid to limited one-off collections and reissues, designed by architects themselves. Organized by price, the following offerings strive for balance, ranging from wallet-friendly to luxurious. Of course, a diversity of typology is present as well. Be it tech gifts, jewelry, or this latest designs in homeware and textiles, this resource has all types of architects covered.

$50 and Under

Box of Pasta—Parisian Landmarks

Season and Stir | $12.99

(Courtesy Season and Stir)

Whimsical and kitsch, these Paris landmark–shaped pastas make for a delightful surprise perfect for a feast of French architecture. From family-owned gourmet goods brand, Season and Stir, the pastas are available in miniature iterations of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and Arc de Triomphe.

BOSTON T MAP

New York Puzzle Company | $23

(Courtesy New York Puzzle Company)

Public transportation enthusiasts can test their knowledge of Boston’s MBTA while winding down for the night with New York Puzzle Company’s Boston T Map. Made by New York Puzzle Company, the 500-piece jigsaw makes for a relaxing activity and, once completed, a map for contemplating how to innovate the city’s infrastructure.

Goober Candle

Talbot & Yoon | $24

(Courtesy Talbot & Yoon/Areaware)

For Talbot & Yoon, a Brooklyn-based architecture and design firm helmed by Mark Talbot and Youngjin Yoon, playful forms and amorphous shapes are central to their inviting design language. Their Goober Candle is no exception. Made with unscented paraffin wax with varying blob-like forms, the candle is a fun addition to any interior.

Emerging Ecologies Exhibition Poster

MoMA Design Store | $30

(Courtesy MoMA Design Store)

On view until January 20 at MoMA, Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism is an ambitious exhibition that meditates on the past and thus future of green architecture. This poster, featuring a drawing from architectural illustrator James Wines, commemorates the show while serving as inspiration for the myriad ways people have designed sustainable solutions.

Topographic Ashtray

Caos Motē | $30

(Courtesy Caos Motē)

The depth and grooves of this cement ashtray mimic a topographic map. It’s made by designer Sam Molloy through his fashion and homeware project, Caos Motē, which meditates on Brutalism, infrastructure (hence the tray’s materials), upcycling, and interiors.

Brutalist Calendar 2024

Blue Crow Media | $32

(Courtesy Blue Crow Media)

Blue Crow Media’s annual brutalist calendar is back for a limited 2024 edition, featuring stunning photography of concrete heavyweights from Buenos Aires to Bulgaria. Printed with vegetable-based ink on FSC-certified recycled paper from a family-owned printer, the calendar makes the passing of time a little more enjoyable.

Kaleido Napkins

Josh Itiola X Areaware | $35

(Courtesy Areaware)

New York–based interior designer and writer Josh Itiola transformed his paintings, originally an exercise in child-like exploration, into geometric and abstract napkins. The rigid yet playful pattern draws from architecture, his work in the field, and his hometown of New York City.

3D Earrings

A.pair | $38

(Courtesy a.pair International)

Based on a lenticular multiview display system, these 3D earrings appear to shift as the light does, transforming its color and depth. Both an artwork, accessory, and result of innovative materials, the earrings by Korean brand A.pair are a unique, apt gift for the architecture enthused.

DOUG AITKEN X PARLEY #1

PARLEY | $50

(Courtesy PARLEY)

PARLEY, the global organization that works with creators and leaders to create fundraisers to protect the ocean, partnered with American artist and filmmaker Doug Aitken. His work, reprinted onto tote bags, honors both architecture and the environment: Each bag is created from five plastic bottles saved from the sea and removes 20 pounds of marine plastic debris.

Under $100

Blue cup X-shaped

Common Things x Edition CF | $60

(Courtesy Common Things)

Architect and designer Komal Kehar recently opened up a new retail outpost in New York’s East Village, Common Things, dedicated to curating and incubating designers and artisans. The space will change with the seasons but for its inaugural theme the store is Yves Klein blue. As such, Common Things worked with Edition CF to create this handmade, hourglass-shaped cup in a saturated hue. It’s an ode to, as the store’s name suggests, common things, and a celebration of craft.

Hellerware

Heller | $51-$69

(Courtesy Heller)

Lella and Massimo Vignelli’s iconic stackable, rainbow-colored dinnerware have withstood the test of time since their creation in 1964. Now, in 2023, they are trending once again, just as Heller has expanded its Hellerware line with Swell. The oscillating, multipurpose coat rack designed by Anna Dawson uses the peaks to hang jackets and its grooves to tuck away keys. Odds are if there’s a design-forward giftee in your life, they’ve been longing to get their hands on one (or both) of these additions.

The Little Toy

Eames Office | $63.20

(Courtesy Eames Office)

Designed in 1952 by Charles and Ray Eames, The Little Toy is the duo’s most rare and coveted toy design. Featuring a kit of squares, triangles, and wire frames, the activity reflects the Eames’s love for prefabricated architecture and hands-on learning. It’s a fun yet educational gift for kiddos—and any architecture-forward adults taking care of them.

Gehry Chrome Silver Hanukkah Menorah

Crate&Barrel | $69.95

(Courtest Crate&Barrel)

Inspired by Frank Gehry, this menorah from Crate&Barrel is all aluminum protrusions with a sleek chrome finish. At once sharp and curving, it’s a statement piece fit for the holidays.

Marguerita Mergentime x Food52 Garland Napkins, Set of 4

Food52 | $75

(Courtesy Ty Mecham/Food52)

American textile pioneer Marguerita Mergentime championed bold patterns with an eye for modernity and politically progressive stances (like socialism and abolition) that predated her contemporaries in the 1930s.  Form Portfolio and Food52 are reviving her historic linens, beginning with a holiday napkin set accordingly decorated with garlands.

Laser Measure Pro

HOTO | $85

(Courtesy Hoto)

High-tech home tool brand HOTO took the measuring tape and made it more efficient. In place of clunky steel, HOTO’s gadget uses a laser to measure distances up to 98 feet. Each measurement is logged and saved onto a corresponding app where it can quickly generate the square footage and realize a floorplan.

E Stewart Williams, Sinatra Estate “Twin Palms”, 1947

Studio Sander Patelski | $88.84

(Courtesy Studio Sander Patelski)

Amsterdam-based digital artist Sander Patelski realizes iconic and modern buildings as his medium. For this new, limited-edition print, Patelski tackles E. Stewart Williams’s midcentury style with nostalgic and bold color compositions. Its depth and texture are owed to the artist’s signature multilayer approach.

Under $500

Not So Mini Cinder Block

Concrete Cat | $160

(Courtesy Coming Soon New York)

Canadian atelier Concrete Cat explores the wacky and sculptural possibilities in its titular building material through objects, home goods, and architectural elements. Their Not So Mini Cinder Block, a mini, handmade block of varying hues, is both decorative and functional. Use two as bookends or one as a utensil holder or pen cup. Either way, its form and materiality make for a fitting yet unique gift for those working in the built environment.

Skylight Hoops

Maya Brenner | $168

(Courtesy Maya Brenner)

Available in sterling silver or gold vermeil, the Skylight Hoops stem from a collaboration between jeweler Maya Brenner and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The earrings are informed by Wright’s use of skylights and the way it brought the outside in. One might easily recall the pyrex skylights peeking through mushroom shaped columns of Wright’s Johnson Wax Administration Building in the circular cutouts of the earrings.

Bauhaus Ornaments

The Glass House | $195

(Courtesy The Glass House)

Handcrafted in the Black Forest with solid maple, these ornaments were designed by architect Johannes Gabriel in 1930 while working at the Bauhaus Dessau School. The re-edition reproduces the ornaments in the exact same scale and color so its geometric forms can continue to delight.

Ark Vases

Origin Made | €195

(Andy Liffner)

Informed by stairways, arches, and rhythm, the Ark Vases are a collaboration between Origin Made and Norm Architects. They consist of two semi-cylindrical volumes, each topped with a stepped pattern in inverted directions and a cutout in the middle to fit a glass insert. The vases are handmade by João Monteiro in Portugal.

Farnsworth House Model Kit

Art of Play | $228

(Courtesy Art of Play)

This architectural model kit recreates Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Edith Farnsworth’s iconic Farnsworth House, or as it’s now named, Edith Farnsworth House. Reproduced with an utmost attention to detail and sustainably sourced materials, the model reliably captures the essence of the modern, glass-wrapped residence.

Ribbon Dinner Plates

Sprezz | $240

(Courtesy Adam Charlap Hyman/Charlap Hyman & Herrero for Sprezz)

Tableware brand Sprezz collaborated with Adam Charlap Hyman of Charlap Hyman & Herrero (CHH) to design a series of whimsical plates. The Ribbon Dinner Plates, available in different colors as well as a dessert version, take after the ribbon featured in prints of citrus fruits made in the 17th and early 18th centuries. The plates look as if the wind blew the ribbon delicately into each one, courtesy of the textural detail of artist Pilar Almon.

Splurge-Worthy Items

American Modern Poster

Landmark Columbus Foundation | $1,000

(Iwan Baan/Matt Shaw/Landmark Columbus Foundation)

Forthcoming book American Modern: Architecture Community Columbus Indiana is the first in-depth exploration about Columbus, Indiana’s civic, cultural, and social forces. Written by Matt Shaw (former executive editor of AN), the book features imagery by Iwan Baan. To celebrate, Landmark Columbus produced an exhibit about the book with Columbus Area Visitor’s Center. To coincide with this they are offering silkscreen posters and a signed copy to support the book’s production. For those looking to support the foundation on a different budget, they also offer posters from this year’s Exhibit Columbus exposition Public by Design. 

LEBOND SIZA

Lebond Watches | €2,700

(Courtesy Lebond Watches)

The elegant, square-dialed Swiss timepiece is designed by Álvaro Siza for Lebond Watches and takes after his Leça swimming pools project. The dials shape references the rectilinear pool and the watch hands allude to the minimal bathroom signs used in his work. Sophisticated, luxurious, and suffused with details Siza himself specified, the LEBOND SIZA is the crème de la crème of architectural gifts.

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