Tis the season to Read

Temperature is slowly dropping and leaves are changing colours. Yes, it is now officially fall, the season of reading. Of course, season is irrelevant if you are a regular reader unlike myself, a picky reader. In the era of digitisation, we are often constantly exposed to information without holding a book (e.g. by social media and blogs), so let’s keep our creative juices flowing here.


As already said, I’m a selective reader since childhood and only like to read what interests me (yes, textbooks were my nightmares, mostly). But interestingly, one genre of book that I cannot let go is the architectural/design theory (my favourite is Superstudio: Life without Objects). A theory may not reflect our current world, but illustrates any potential and beyond. For this blog, I’d like to share my another two favourite architectural/design theory books, both also online for your convenience!


1) BLDGBLOG / Geoff Manaugh

Image source: BLDGBLOG

Possibly one of the most read architectural theory books and originally an online blog by Geoff Manaugh the former editor at Dwell, Gizmodo and Wired, BLDGBLOG speculates the future of architecture, built environment and landscape while exploring their current stage in our period of time. Regardless of medium, his awe-inspiring vision attempts to resolve and explain architectural complexity and phenomena.

forestrings6Image source: BLDGBLOG

One of my favourite articles is the Rings, interconnecting the relationship between geometric effects and existing landscape that we as humans perceive.


2) Invalid Format / Triple Canopy

Image source: Triple Canopy

Originally an online journal, Invalid Format: An Anthology of Triple Canopy exhibits the translation between two mediums, interestingly from digital media (e.g. video) to print/book. In the digital era, this conversion a) questions the relationship among form (i.e. medium), function, and interaction with viewers, which not just simply illustrates contents but must perform its function to convey the right message, and b) reconfigures the way we perceive each medium and its specialisation, which will definitely reshape itself again in the future.


Aside from the conversion between media, the book manifests some of best works from its own online journal, showcasing the ideas where architectural space, built environment and design acts as tools that shape our perceptions. Most of its articles relate architecture with not simply design but social or political matters that we may find the interrelationship in-between (One of my favourite reads was Secrecy Exhibition).


We often perceive theory and philosophy as irrelevant to our present – which is true, because not many of us wants to spend our days daydreaming and thinking about potential solutions that might not work. But thinking from different perspective, our world now was built upon countless theories, ideas and attempts after iterations, to improve after each step. Do you have your own daily source of architectural/design inspiration? I’d love to hear from you!

6 thoughts

  1. These are great resources! Thanks for the recommendations! 🙂 One of my go-to design books is “A Pattern Language” by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikaawa, and Murray Silverstein!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your feedback and sharing your own inspiration, Crystal! I will make sure to check out the book — sounds like an interesting, essential topic in design!


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