Architect-y Christmas Gift Guide 2013


Admittedly, there are a tremendous amount of posts out in the internet world with recommendations for awesome gifts to give architects or design professionals for Christmas, so I am by no means the first to venture these grounds. But, considering everyone has different styles and different tastes, I figured I (too) would join the ranks and put together a list of gift ideas for that extra special designer friend of yours. Satisfaction, guaranteed … maybe.

So, without further adieu: The Architect’s Companion Architect-y Christmas Gift Guide, 2013.

Chesapeake Bay 3-Dimensional Map (others available)

Available through Below the Boat, these maps are hand-crafted from laser-cut layers of Baltic birch and hand colored, making each unique in their own right. The layers are carefully assembled together, giving the map powerful visual depth. Sea levels and other labels are etched onto the Baltic birch and it is framed in a custom, solid wood frame with a protective, ultra-transparent sheet of plexiglas. Designers from all fields will easily fall in love with the character these maps bring to any room. However, with a relatively steep price tag, you might want to hold out on purchasing this for your extra special, Gehry-look-a-like friend.

chesapeake bay_below the boat


Coin might just be the end-all be-all to finding the perfect organization you’ve always wanted for your wallet (or purse). Coin allows its users to scan all the cards typically used for day-to-day purchases into one single device (cleverly shaped and sized like an average credit card), effectively eliminating the need to carry multiple cards at any given time. The device stores the information gathered from the individual cards, and the user can toggle between their preferred card of choice when making purchases. Coin even offers a mobile app, allowing you to manage your collection of cards. Be careful when using Coin, however; you might be tempted to purchase (even) more of those alluring architecture coffee table books*.


Silo Mesh Card

If Coin is a bit too high-tech for your tastes …  actually, who am I kidding? Architects love high-tech. But, an alternative to Coin is the Silo Mesh Card. Silo mesh card is an ultra-sleek, titanium pocket organizer that doubles as a smartphone stand and bottle opener. Its modern mesh design is made for both form and function. If you are keeping track, these are all the essential ingredients to make an architect happy for the holiday season.

silo_mesh card

VuPoint iPhone Printer

We all know architects absolutely love their iPhones. So much so, that our significant others are beginning to worry. The VuPoint Photo Cube is a compact, portable printer that easily connects to Apple devices to produce high-quality photo prints in the blink of an eye. The printer requires no external software, and is controlled from the user’s device via downloadable mobile app. The Photo Cube also eliminates the need for ink cartridges, instead relying on thermal paper cartridges for its prints. As an added bonus, the Photo Cube charges your device while printing, and can even print panoramic shots. Pretty cool.

vupoint_iphone printer

LEGO® Farnsworth House (others available)

This absolutely had to make the list. The Farnsworth House is one in a series of architecture-inspired sets LEGO® has released since 2008. The series includes other architectural icons such as Villa Savoye, the Sydney Opera House, and Fallingwater – to name a few. These sets will be sure to occupy the most proficient of Revit modelers for at least a few hours, and might even rekindle a nostalgia of late-night studio model building. They make great gifts for architects, and are probably one of the few things that can succeed in dragging them away from their computer screens.

lego_farnsworth house

Fireye Mini Headphone Amp

If you are anything like me, you absolutely love listening to music while working. It gets the creative juices flowing, and provides the necessary fuel for any productive work session. The Fireye Mini Headphone Amp gives a little extra boost to your off-the-shelf, standard headphone set. It quickly connects between your device’s headphone jack and the headphones themselves. The amp is rechargeable via USB cable, and provides up to 24hrs of continuous juice. Perfect for those all-nighters (or last minute deadline stretches).

fireye_mini amp

Kikkerland Branch Headphone Splitter

The Kikkerland Branch Headphone Splitter makes a great, inexpensive stocking stuffer. Ever wanted to listen to music with your friends while in studio without bothering your disgruntled upper-classmates? This is the answer to all your problems. The simple, nature inspired design splits a single headphone jack into three, and includes a keychain attachment so you always know where it is. A great addition to anyone’s audio collection.

kikkerland_headphone splitter

So, there you have it – what I believe are some pretty neat holiday gift ideas for your friends with a taste for the finer things in life. Now, there will be no excuse for giving “generic” Visa gift cards this Christmas.

Enjoy, and have a great design-filled holiday season.

*Architects will never, EVER tire of architecture coffee table books.

*Non-architect Santa Image courtesy of ABN

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