2019 Holiday Gift Guide

What do architects want for the holidays?

The Food à porter lunch box in transit. (Luca De Santis)

Putting together your wish list? Feeling the call of consumption? Stuffing a stocking for that special someone? We’ve crafted a list of some seriously covetable objects to help you out, including an Alessi lunch box and ceramic tiles designed by Gio Ponti. This compilation of curiosities will measure up to any architect’s standards.

Sacred Ground: The Cemeteries of New Orleans
By Robert S. Brantley
Princeton Architectural Press
papress.com | $40

Cover of a black-and-white book with the words Sacred Ground on the front

(Courtesy Princeton Architectural Press)

Architectural photographer Robert S. Brantley has surveyed New Orleans’s most notorious cemeteries for more than 40 years. Sacred Ground presents his sublime duotone photographs of the gravesites of 20 notable individuals (comprehensively detailed in each chapter index), organized by cemetery.

Dana Butterfly rug
Classic Rug Collection
classicrug.com | $249

A rug with a spread out green "butterfly" pattern

(Courtesy Classic Rug Collection)

Many of Frank Lloyd Wright’s rugs were designed specifically for each project or to pair with his furniture designs—but few were actually produced. This winter, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation collaborated with Classic Rug Collection on a series of rugs, including an art glass–inspired textile that references the 1902 Dana-Thomas House.

Food à porter lunch box
Alessi
alessi.com | $78

A green bento box broken into different sections

(Courtesy Alessi)

Japanese-born, Milan-based designer Sakura Adachi teamed up with Alessi on this thermoplastic lunch box inspired by bento boxes and lacquerware. The box is organized into three compartments hermetically sealed by two interior dividers and held together by plastic, handbag-like straps.

Portagioie – Oggetti collection
Dimorestudio
dimorestudio.eu | $2,000

A jewel box against a white background

(Courtesy Simone Fiorini)

For this holiday season, Milan-based design firm Dimorestudio created a collection of festive tabletop accessories, including this sumptuous jewel box. The Art Deco-inspired case is fashioned in a glossy lacquered wood featuring brass, satin steel, and Pietra Paesina marble inlays.

Scale Bar Scarf
Sam Jacob Studio
samjacob.com | £30 ($38)

A black and white scarf

(Courtesy Sam Jacob Studio)

This scarf can be used in the field as a measuring tool. At two meters long, the scarf has black and white scale divisions that make it easy to size things up.

Palace tableware
Seletti
seletti.it | $150–$700

A series of white plates and bowls

(Courtesy Seletti)

Pilasters and pediments adorn this Italian Renaissance-inspired series of plates, bowls, and trays. The series is shaped like four iconic mansions from the era, including the della Signoria, Palazzo Borghese, and Palazzo del Governo.

Gio Ponti Ceramic Tiles
Fattobene, exclusively at MoMA Design Store
store.moma.org | $25 each

A blue and white tile with a leaf on it

(Courtesy the MoMA Design Store)

These ceramic tiles were originally designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti in 1960 for a hotel project. They are now available as single pieces for the first time ever, as part of a special selection of Italian-made design at the MoMA Fattobene pop-up.

Breaking Ground: Architecture by Women
By Jane Hall
Phaidon
phaidon.com | $49.95

The cover of a red book with the words Breaking Ground on it

(Courtesy Phaidon)

Breaking Ground celebrates women in architecture from the early 20th century through the present day with a detailed account of over 200 masterpieces around the world. Quotes from the likes of Eileen Gray and Elizabeth Diller provide inspiration from women of the past, present, and future.

Glass House Snow Globe
The Glass House Design Store
designstore.theglasshouse.org | $75

A snowglobe with the glass house inside

(Courtesy the Glass House Design Store)

Frozen in time inside a snow globe lies a miniature version of Philip Johnson’s Glass House, the most iconic of all of his works. Shake it gently to see snow float gently over its flat roof.

Daniel Libeskind Eternal Star Hanging Frosted Ornament
Atelier Swarovski
atelierswarovski.com | $89

Swarovski crystals

The ornaments are available in three different sizes, with different hanging mediums. (Courtesy Atelier Swarovski)

This bright and beautiful ornament designed by Daniel Libeskind features a laser-inscribed star. When it catches the light, the star sparkles like a glimmering night sky.

A-Pack by Leon Ransmeier
Maharam
maharam.com | $385

A canvas-colored bag with black straps

(Courtesy Maharam)

New York-based industrial designer Leon Ransmeier was asked by textile purveyor Maharam to design a bag that he would use himself. With both utility and beauty in mind, Ransmeier chose a waxed cotton canvas sourced in Scotland to compose a sloped apex backpack with a handle directly on the center of gravity—which ensures the shape will not slump when it is worn or handled.

Hudson Yards “The Vessel” Novelty Plug
Wolfgang & Hite
wolfgang-hite.com | $75

A collection of pink sex toys shaped like towers in a Hudson Yards model

(Courtesy Wolfgang & Hite)

Last but certainly not least, design firm Wolfgang & Hite has produced a limited edition run of their butt plugs modeled after Thomas Heatherwick’s massive contribution to Hudson Yards. “Made of medical-grade silicone, this simulacrum of the original Vessel will take you to dizzying heights,” reads Wolfgang & Hite’s product description. Only 50 were made for this holiday season, so act fast.

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