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"Jane Jacobs gave me a new perspective" says designer Alex Gordon

Designer Alex Gordon shares 3 books that have influenced his life in architecture.
"Jane Jacobs gave me a new perspective" says designer Alex Gordon

by GoArchitect Staff

A year ago

GoArchitect is starting a blog series about the books that influenced today's architects and designers. Each week we ask one designer with one question: What 3 books have impacted your life in architecture and why? 

The 3 books may be from childhood or just last week, the important element is that they helped define their personal or professional life. If you would like to be considered for a future interview, please fill this out.

Alex Gordon

Designer, DLR Group

Alex is a young designer currently focused in the educational realm of the architectural profession. Having studied at at California Baptist University he has an interest in socially dynamic design that is driven by the user.

What 3 books have impacted your life in architecture and why?

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Jane Jacobs, 1961

Jane Jacobs gave me a new perspective on the sociological aspects of urban planning and design. Its feisty and cantankerous mood makes it a joy to read as it advocates for lively streets, sidewalks, diversity, and cultured neighborhoods that begin to piece together early ideas of Localism.

A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America

Vishaan Chakrabarti, 2013

An evaluation of our crumbling cities at a seemingly perpetual halt instigated Vishaan to write this book as a call to arms for urban designers and architects. From this book I found the perils of suburban sprawl and the benefits of hyperdense, but ultimately biophilic environments. Many concrete design solutions are clearly articulated making this a sublime road map for architects of our cities' futures.

A Spatial Agency: Other Ways of Doing Architecture

Jeremy Till, Nishat Awan, and Tatjana Schneider, 2011

This book taught me to be an agent within the social and political structures that bind architectural designers. It finds new ways to expand design solutions and practice outside of the lines of current Architectural production. I learned to think not architecturally but spatially and to consider the continually evolving nature of social space.

Have any of these books influenced your life or career in architecture? Leave a comment below and tell us how.

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