February 22, 2011
by Jessica Sheridan Assoc. AIA LEED AP

A new website, Designers & Books, is devoted to publishing lists of books recommended by “esteemed members of the design community.” Contributors include architects and interior designers, in addition to fashion designers, graphic designers, and product designers, each having been asked to submit a list of books that everyone in their field should read. Currently, there are 54 designers who have recommended 726 books. Needless to say, one could get lost clicking through the links and discovering or remembering important and meaningful books.

Designers in the architecture field range from Denise Scott Brown to Calvin Tsao, FAIA, Billie Tsien, AIA, to Andrés Duany, FAIA. Some recommendations are to be expected (Peter Eisenman, FAIA, suggests Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology), while others are less predictable (Richard Meier, FAIA, FRIBA, recommends Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom). And who knew so many architects were into Vladimir Nabokov and James Joyce?

I imagine that Designers & Books will grow as more designers participate. I look forward to seeing recommendations from a younger group of architects. Hopefully, it will also develop into a more interactive website. There is potential as links such as a blog and a way to save books to a reading list already exist. However, like many social networking sites, its success will depend on updating information regularly.

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