Vibia’s Summer Reading List: 2021 Edition

August 9, 2021

Summer is the season for relaxing, and what better way to unwind and enjoy these long, lazy days than perusing a good design book. We asked a group of international architects and designers to share what’s on their radar for inspiration and ideas this summer. Read on to learn their top picks.

A project manager at Equiterra Regenerative Design in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Simon De Aguero looks to nature to guide him in his work. He admires Architecture is a Verb by Sarah Robinson, which “invites us to imagine anew our actions, perspectives, and architectural decisions,” he says.

Vibia The Edit - Summer Reading List - Simon De Aguero

“invites us to imagine anew our actions, perspectives, and architectural decisions,”

De Aguero also chose Manuel Lima’s The Book of Trees for “perspective and inspiration on how to visualize the dynamic and interrelated elements of my projects.”

The rituals of everyday family life has led him to rediscover the joy of reading children’s books. “One of my current favorites is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin and John Archambault,” he says. “It inspires reflection on the letters and fonts we share.”

Tal Goldsmith Fish is principal of her namesake architecture and design studio in Tel-Aviv with projects that span residential, showroom, office, and commercial spaces.

She picked Thinking Architecture by Peter Zumthor, which explores “how we see and feel materials, memories, places, and nature and how we translate them into sensual spaces and magical architecture,” she says. “A must-read book for any architecture lover.”

“how we see and feel materials, memories, places, and nature and how we translate them into sensual spaces and magical architecture,”

Vibia The Edit - Summer Reading List -

Isern Serra, the founder of the Isern Serra Studio in Barcelona, is known for his interior, industrial, and art design projects. He selected The Modern Architecture of Cadaques 1955-71 edited by Apartamento. “It brings together period photographs from different projects in Cadaques as a great example of traditional Mediterranean architecture,” he explains.

Vibia The Edit - Summer Reading List -

“It brings together period photographs from different projects in Cadaques as a great example of traditional Mediterranean architecture,”

In addition, Serra chose Lloyd Kahn’s Shelter, which he describes as “a journey to the origin of construction. It’s a compilation of architecture in different cultures, countries, and materials and a book that has now inspired me a lot in my projects.”

Miguel Milá’s The Essential and Other Things in Life is another favorite. “Milá’s designs are already classics on an international level and I think it’s a book that helps you understand the person and the designer,” Serra says.

Fiona Drago
Architect

Fiona Drago is a Melbourne-based architect who works on both commercial and residential projects. Among her favorite books is Bill Gammage’s The Biggest Estate on Earth, which “dismantles the myth of pre-settlement Australia as an uncultivated wilderness,” she says. “It reveals some of the complex systems of knowledge and land management used by the traditional owners to care for country.”

“It reveals some of the complex systems of knowledge and land management used by the traditional owners to care for country.”

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Drago also cites Kenneth Frampton’s essay Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance that “charts a path between generic modernism and hollow decorative styles.”

Finally, she admires Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino for how it “conjures dream-like places and evocative scenes.”

Elouie Gaspar is an interior designer at Gensler NYC and specializes in creating sustainable, experiential, and functional technology workspaces. He named three books as his favorites: The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton, and The Interior Design Handbook by Frida Ramstedt.

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“These are all great examples of how the spaces that we surround ourselves with help form our behavior and a healthy lifestyle,”

“These are all great examples of how the spaces that we surround ourselves with help form our behavior and a healthy lifestyle,” Gaspar says. “They gave me a different perspective on how to look at interior design and be a better creative problem solver.”