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Message - Architecture Gift Ideas

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Posted by  Kevin Matthews on December 05, 1998 at 15:48:05:

Dear Friends of Architecture,

...And friends of friends of architecture. Here we present to you some holiday gift ideas for the architectural aficionados in your life.

This is a modest list of things we would love to give and to get ourselves. As a long-lasting, uplifting, and ultimately universal art form, architecture makes a great subject of gifts for both the mind and spirit. We've collected a few of our favorite tools, inspirations, and references from years of teaching, designing, and talking about architectural and spatial design, across a range of prices to fit any budget.

We've chosen these suggestions for having some depth and lasting quality, so they will keep giving long after all the wrapping paper has been scrunched up and recycled. All these items are available for easy and secure online purchasing, either at or direct from Artifice. As crazy as things can get these days, there's never too much time for sharing beauty and love.

Best wishes for a cozy solstice,

Kevin Matthews
Artifice, Inc.


Architectural Gift Ideas - - - Free and Under

*** Draw your friend a dream house

Not the whole construction documents, 'cause we don't want to put all the architects out of business. But what about a friendly sketch, say for Mom and Dad, or for that especially significant other, that shows architecturally that you know and cherish who they are, where they could live, and how much you believe in them? Perspective, plan and/or elevation, whatever works for you will work for them, too.

Advanced - Build them a live 3D walkthrough model with DW Lite, and then give a guided tour.

*** DesignWorkshop Lite Download

How about downloading the free version of DesignWorkshop Lite to your friend's computer (and don't forget the Tutorial, too!), and then writing up a personal gift certificate to go with it. If you know DesignWorkshop already, throw in a couple of personal lessons, and give an experience of 3D realization which you can share forever.


Architectural Gift Ideas - - - $25 and Under

*** Book - Experiencing Architecture - $12.50

Experiencing Architecture, by Steen Eiler Rasmussen, is not your typical big architectural picture book. It's actually a regular little paperback, with adequate grayscale photographs. But the lack of color pictures is more than made up by Rasmussen's quietly vivid expression of architectural ideas. This is absolutely my number one must-read on what Architecture is, and why we love it, for aspiring architects and students, and it will be a real pleasure for anyone interested in the beauty and meaning of the built world.

*** CD-ROM - DesignWorkshop Lite - $20.00

For just $20.00, you can stuff a stocking or an intra-office gift package with the complete DesignWorkshop Lite CD-ROM, with its colorful award-winning architectural cover art, for both Windows 95/98/NT and Power Macintosh users. The CD includes fully working DesignWorkshop 3D modeling and rendering software, more than a dozen pre-built 3D walkthrough models of great buildings, tutorials, complete on-disc documentation, and more. Not just hours, but weeks and months of creative fun!

*** Book - Skyscrapers - $22.98

Skyscrapers by Judith Dupre, from Black Dog and Leventhal, is a fun and informative gift book in skyscraper format, 18" tall and 7.5" wide, with BIG perfect pictures, and key information on tallest buildings over the decades, up to the 1998 world's tallest Petronas Towers. Construction background, good history, and accurately scaled comparative elevation drawings give this book a good keel, too. There's also a Skyscrapers 1999 calendar ($10.95), available in bookstores.

*** Book - 50 Favorite Rooms by Frank Lloyd Wright - $17.98

50 Favorite Rooms by Frank Lloyd Wright by Diane Maddex is hot off the presses (October 1998) to catch the new wave of Wright interest in the wake of the great new PBS documentary. That's good, because it means this is still a pretty safe gift for the architect who has "everything". Seriously, it is also a wonderful book, which brings a long list of Wright masterpieces down to the intimate scale of the individual space. Not only do Wright's humanist and decorative geniuses beam through warmly, but at this scale, it is a lot easier to make the connect from timeless architectural master work all the way down to personally useful decorating ideas. A great new book, beautiful, with a wide appeal, which may not stay in print all that long (publishers - don't get me started!)


Architectural Gift Ideas - - - Over $25.00

*** Complete 3D Design and Rendering Software - $99

Speaking of Wright, three high schools will win copies of DesignWorkshop Classic in the PBS Frank Lloyd Wright design contest in February, but that shouldn't stop you from giving it this holiday season. DesignWorkshop Classic is a complete boxed software package, providing powerful architectural 3D modeling and rendering functions used by professional architects around the world, yet it is still easy enough for a teenager to master in a day. A great gift for empowering your friend's creative spirit, or as a friendly nudge to help your creative friend into the dawning era digital design.

*** More Architectural Books -

There are so many great architectural books. If you can find out one of your friend's favorite architects, a new book on that architect's work is pretty sure of success. For young friends, an architectural survey in an area of interest he spot. Many of our favorite books are listed at the Great Buildings web page on Architectural Books, where there's also a convenient search function. Books for individual architects and buildings are listed throughout the online collection.

*** CD-ROM Encyclopedia of Architecture - $149

Perhaps the ultimate gift for the Macintosh user who is serious about architecture, the Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM is the premiere multimedia encyclopedia of world architecture. With ten times more material than the award-winning Great Buildings Online web site, this CD-ROM contains an entire personal architecture library on one chock-full totally searchable Mac CD-ROM. Hopefully next year there will be Windows version, too.


To forward these Architectural Gift Ideas to a friend (like, by way of a hint!), copy the URL of this message board posting from the location Field in your web browser, then paste in to a email message, and send it on its way.

Happy Holidays from Everyone at Artifice!

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