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My Favourite Architecture Books

In a previous post, I discussed essential architecture books one should possess. In this post, the connection with books persists. According to research from the University of Arizona, some individuals still prefer physical books over e-books. They feel a stronger connection with physical books, especially the sound of flipping pages and their distinctive scent. Personally, I own several physical architecture books. Similar to the findings of the mentioned research, there is a unique satisfaction in possessing physical books, particularly those with unique packaging and cool cover designs. For me, architecture books are collectible items, akin to someone collecting shoes or action figures. Among the architecture books in my collection, here are three of my favorites.

Architect + Entrepreneurs Vol.1 & 2

Written by Eric Reinholdt, these two books are, in my opinion, must-haves for architects, especially those planning to establish their own firm. The books comprehensively discuss how to set up and manage an architectural consulting firm, transforming it into a business that not only offers architectural services but also sells architectural products.

Volume 1 covers topics such as brand creation, legality, client acquisition, service marketing, financial aspects, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), and the necessary equipment when establishing an architecture firm. The language is easily understood, and Eric's provided guidance is readily applicable. The book is highly practical, with Eric adapting it to the current technological landscape, such as leveraging internet marketing for service promotion.

Architect Entrepreneurs, Buku Arsitektur
Architect + Entrepreneurs Vol 1 & 2. Image by Adityuwana

Volume 2 delves into how architects can sell not only services but also products. Eric introduces a new business model for generating passive income, challenging the traditional project-based approach of architectural firms. The book explores strategies for architects to sell products through avenues like affiliate marketing, e-books, or other digital products. The strategies presented are intriguing, up-to-date, and showcase various ways architects can generate income beyond service provision.

If you're an architect or an architecture graduate planning to start an architectural firm, I highly recommend these books.

Architect Entrepreneurs, Buku Arsitektur
Content of Architect + Entrepreneurs Vol 1. Image by Adityuwana

Fame, Fortune, Flirt

Released in 2013 by Aboday, an architectural consulting firm led by Ary Indra, Rafael David, and Johansen Yap, this monograph reflects their 8-year journey practicing architecture in Indonesia. The book, available in premium and softcover versions with a total of 550 pages, is a mix of English and Indonesian. Its casual language style and visually appealing graphic layout include images of their work on tracing paper. The book is divided into three parts: Fame, Fortune, and Flirt.

Fame Fortune Flirt, Buku Arsitektur
Fame Fortune Flirt. Image by Adityuwana

"Fame" narrates projects that brought recognition to Aboday. "Fortune" discusses the intertwining of money with the architectural profession, showcasing projects that contributed significantly to Aboday's growth. "Flirt" explores the role of humans in their work, featuring projects where client involvement slightly diminishes the architect's role.

Aboday shares not only their projects but also insights into managing an architectural firm, including challenges encountered during practice, presented through interviews and comics. The book showcases around 43 works, including Kubikahomy, Muted House, Museum Nasional Indonesia, Hotel Morrissey, and Villa Paya-Paya. This book is suitable for anyone in the field of architecture, especially students wanting a clear understanding of architectural practice within a firm.

Fame Fortune Flirt, Buku Arsitektur
Content of Fame Fortune Flirt. Image by Adityuwana

Yes is More

"Yes is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution" is a monograph featuring works by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), a renowned Danish architectural firm. This book, their first portfolio, presents their architectural applications in a comic format, a unique approach to monographs.

Yes is More, Buku Arsitektur
Yes is More. Image by Adityuwana

With 400 full-color pages on art paper, the book includes diagrams, dialogue balloons, 3D modeling, and photos. It starts with a brief introduction to 20th-century architectural theory and ends with an interview excerpt between Bjarke Ingels and Jeffrey Inaba. Unlike traditional monographs, reading this book feels like reading a comic. BIG provides a unique experience for readers to understand their works through the architects themselves. The comic format is advantageous for conveying stories through combined images and narratives, making it especially accessible for younger readers.

Yes is More, Buku Arsitektur
Isi buku Yes is More. Image by Adityuwana

The book features about 35 works listed in the table of contents with titles corresponding to their themes. Some well-known projects include The Danish Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010, VM Houses, Maritime Youth House, and The Mountain. Ingels effectively explains his concepts and thought processes in producing works that accommodate not only clients but also political and urban considerations.

If you're interested in collecting architecture books, I've compiled a list of recommended titles for your consideration. Goodbye!


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