Design Matters | June Book Report

Over the years, we've acquired and read a pretty large pile of books on architecture and design. These are a few that we think you should check out yourself. The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton is a facinating look at how our built environment can affect us. Botton, a non-architect, is a great writer about subjects that range from Proust, Religion, and Travel. This is a must-read for anyone interested in changing/improving their environment.

Eichler: Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream chronicles the work of Joseph Eichler, a developer that defied conventional wisdom by hiring progressive architects to design houses for the growing mid-century middle class. Fifty years later, Eichler's homes are much sought after and many features that were first seen in Eichler homes are common. This is a beautiful book for anyone interested in  design, and can serve as a good "ideabook" for one's own home.

How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built describes in fascinating detail the lifeline of buildings. This book starts out with the point that architects and builders spend much more time modifying and extending existing buildings than creating new ones.Good buildings can be changed gracefully; bad ones resist change. Brand shows us many examples of each. In many cases, "vernacular" architecture -- rather plain structures that wouldn't earn a place in an architect's resume -- prove the most suited to change.

Arcadian Architecture: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson-12 Houses is an inspiring look at 12 houses from one of the nations best architecture firms. If you like buildings that are rustic, contemporary, and integrated with their landscape. Best known for designing the Seattle home of Bill Gates, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson have designed houses nationwide in their refined style.