Architecture Week

11 Architecture-Themed Gifts for the Building Nerd in Your Life

published Oct 24, 2022
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product round up for architecture week
Credit: Photo: Moma Design Store, HAY, amazon

Do they geek out over good building design? Are they a walking architectural encyclopedia? Do they carry a Moleskine sketchbook everywhere they go?

If yes, then you’ve come to the right place — I rounded up a handful of the best gifts for architects, students, and enthusiasts alike. Think beyond the drawing board with everything from need-to-know books to iconic designer-inspired home accents and games. Basically, there’s something for every architecture aficionado to love (and even build, in some instances), so consider this your go-to gifting blueprint for holidays, birthdays, career accomplishments, and beyond.

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Game night, but make it Frank Lloyd Wright. This two-in-one, design-savvy board has all the pieces for playing Ludo, as well as a fun racing game called Wright Around the USA.

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You can’t go wrong with these Neoclassical column prints from Etsy, sold in three different sizes and ten different matted designs. Mix and match the black-and-white styles (or even play with different frames) for a timeless ode to elegant architecture.

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Essentially the ultimate American neighborhood handbook, Virginia Savage McAlester’s 1984 guide is a must-have for home history nerds and building buffs alike. This revised 2015 edition includes in-depth explainers, more than 1,600 line drawings and photos, and a look at more recent architecture styles that have developed since the original publishing.

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Burke Decor

This luxe-looking keepsake box includes 20 individual drawings, dedicated to well-known structures in major cities like New York, Paris, Rome, and more. Printed on high-quality paper, they’re perfect for framing and incorporating into any art collection.

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Burke Decor

When an architecture gift is made by actual architects, you know it’s spot on. Created by John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi, whose work has been exhibited through the Department of Architecture and Design, this high-end-looking set features eight cubes made from different natural materials. Think cork, granite, aluminum, and more, displayed on a simple black tray (hello, coffee table accent!) but designed to double as building blocks.

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Uncommon Goods

Playing with food? Yes. This quirky breakfast gift creates 14 individual edible “bricks,” which can stack on top of each other into any kind of formation — like, dare I say, a waffle house.

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Lex Pott’s structural pillar candles come in four different sizes — from small to extra large — each with their own vibrant color combos, so they’re just as fun styled together as they are individually.

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Crate & Barrel
was $79.95

For the architecture and hosting aficionados, this geometric serving board pays homage to Frank Lloyd Wright’s signature Prairie style, in collaboration with kitchen brand Epicurean. And despite resembling wood, it’s actually made from a material called Richlite, a form of resin-infused recycled paper. That means that, on top of leveling up their charcuterie game, the versatile design is crack-proof, dishwasher-friendly, and heat-resistant up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

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MoMA Design Store

There’s more than meets the eye with this paneled, multi-hued vase: it’s actually three designs in one. That’s right, the minimalist acrylic accent — which comes in your choice of primary or neon colorways — can rotate into three different alignments, vertically and horizontally, to accommodate their fave type of flowers. Never a dull decor moment here!

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Proof that you’re never too old for LEGOs, this 598-piece set brings the New York City skyline to life in a small-scale replica that’s fully display-worthy when assembled.

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Juliet Eldred

Artist and transit expert Juliet Eldred creates enamel pins inspired by common U.S. housing styles, each unique to specific geographic locales. On top of this tribute to rowhouses in D.C., you’ll also find a New Orleans-specific shotgun home design, or a mini decorative Chicago greystone accent, just to name a few. Either way, they're a conversation-starting addition to any baseball cap, jean jacket lapel, or tote bag.