Courtesy Monacelli, Lars Muller, and Princeton Architectural Press

9 Books Worth Adding to Your Winter Reading List 

Metropolis editors have selected a variety of new and forthcoming titles to get you through the season. 

Two Hundred and Fifty Things An Architect Should Know

By Michael Sorkin, Princeton Architectural Press, 144 p.p., $19.95 

Interior of the book Two Hundred and Fifty Things an Architect should know
Courtesy Princeton Architectural Press

In the first posthumous collection of Michael Sorkin’s work, Two Hundred and Fifty Things an Architect Should Know expands on the late architect and critic’s famous list, interspersed with 100 photographs, illustrations, and archival images. 
 

Bjarne Mastenbroek. Dig it! Building Bound to the Ground 

By Bjarne Mastenbroek and Iwan Baan, Taschen, 1,390 p.p., $125 

interior of a book
Courtesy Taschen

How does architecture act in harmony with the earth’s surface? Bjarne Mastenbroek’s Dig It! aims to find out. With nearly 1,400 pages, 500 analytical drawings by SeARCH, and photography by Iwan Baan, the monolithic volume explores architecture’s relationship between site and nature.  

Russell and Mary Wright: Dragon Rock at Manitoga 

By Jennifer Golub, Princeton Architectural Press, 208 p.p., $60 

In her new volume, author Jennifer Golub convincingly argues that Russell and Mary Wright’s Dragon Rock home should be included in the pantheon of iconic midcentury houses. Mining the archives of the Wright family estate, the Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW), Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center, and the Russel Wright Papers at Syracuse University the book brings together stunning images of Wright’s industrial designs, photographs of Dragon Rock, and biographical details of the owners’ lives.  

African Artists: From 1882 to Now 

By Phaidon Editors with an introduction by Chika Okeke-Agulu and glossary by Joseph L Underwood, Phaidon, 353 p.p., $69.95 

exterior of book called African Artists
Courtesy Phaidon

In this comprehensive A to Z survey, Phaidon highlights the work of over 300 modern and contemporary artists born or based in Africa including El Anatsui, Marlene Dumas, David Goldblatt, Lubaina Himid, William Kentridge, Julie Mehretu, Wangechi Mutu, and Robin Rhode.  

Between Memory and Invention: My Journey in Architecture 

By Robert A.M. Stern, Monacelli, 520 p.p., $60 

front of book called BEtween memory and invention: my journey in architecture
Courtesy Monacelli

Blending autobiography, history, and criticism, Robert A.M. Stern’s Between Memory and Invention: My Journey in Architecture provides candid reflections on the architect’s life and work while incorporating behind-the-scenes anecdotes of friends, students, and mentors (from Philip Johnson to Paul Rudolph to Barbara Streisand).  

The New Grammar of Ornament 

By Thomas Weil, Lars Mueller, 336 p.p., $39 

Interior of a book called New Grammar of Ornament
Courtesy Lars Mueller

More than 160 years after Owen Jones’ publication, Thomas Weil’s New Grammar of Ornament compares current ornamental objects with archaeological research, categorizing a variety of ornamental forms that can be found globally on buildings, textiles, ceramics, and wallpaper.  

Out in the World with Gaetano Pesce 

Essay by Sophie Haigney, new portraits by Duane Michals, Museum Books/Literal Matter, 120 p.p., $58 

Interior of book with Gaetano pesce chair
Courtesy Literal Matter

Published this past spring, Out in the World with Gaetano Pesce, highlights new and never-before-seen work by the 81-year-old radical Italian designer and architect Gaetano Pesce. With photography captured by nearly two dozen photographers around the world, the book includes an interview with Pesce by critic Sophie Haigney and new portraits by Duane Michaels, in addition to four commissioned photographic series.  

Jens Risom: A Seat at the Table 

By Vicky Lowry, Phaidon, 264 p.p., $125 

Interior of book
Courtesy Phaidon

Now available for pre-order and available in February 2022, Jens Rison: A Seat at the Table is the first and only monograph on the life and work of the Danish-American designer Jens Risom, “an unsung hero of Midcentury Modern design.”  

Architecture and Anarchism: Building Without Authority 

By Paul Dobraszczyk, Paul Holberton Publishing, 248 p.p., $22 

Interior of a book with chapter heading called "Speculation"
Courtesy Paul Holberton Publishing

Through over 60 projects, Paul Dobraszczyk’s new book Architecture and Anarchism examines the ethos of “self-organized ways of building”—from Slab City to Occupy Wall Street. A teaching fellow at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, Dobraszczyk is the author of numerous books including Future Cities: Architecture & the Imagination (2019); The Dead City: Urban Ruins & the Spectacle of Decay (2017); and Iron, Ornament & Architecture in Victorian Britain.  

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