Channel your inner child when selecting memorable gifts for the holidays or otherwise for the next generation of architects and engineers.
Set, MoMA Store | $15
Based on the 1965 original, this kit of interlocking gears has been used by generations of kids to draw elegant, mathematically inspired patterns over and over and over again. Packaged in a conveniently portable tin, the retro toy includes the signature rings and gears along with paper, pens, and a guidebook. momastore.org
Iggy Peck Architect, Andrea Beaty and David Roberts | $10.59
This illustrated children’s tale, first published in 2007, is actually a case study in using locally sourced materials—peaches, pancakes, and coconut pie, for example—as the building blocks of large-scale, community-oriented projects. Read along as the spirited Ignatius Peck, AIA, faces down the formidable Ms. Lila Greer, who one day declares that design has “no place in grade two.” Spoiler alert: Architecture saves the day. Listen to the entire book here
Star Wars Limited
Edition Notebook, Moleskine | From $20.95
Get that future architect on the Moleskine (or Moleskine-like) bandwagon early with this Star Wars–themed set of notebooks and planners—and complete the package with a black felt tip pen and a quick primer in architectural lettering. Toru Hasegawa, co-creator of design-apps maker Morpholio in New York, picked the notebooks for our 2015 gift guide: “We know that kids need help keeping track of all that homework,” he said. “Teaching good habits starts with good tools that make organization and planning feel creative, fun, and special.” store.moleskine.com
According to Pigeons, Phaidon | $19.95
Pigeons spend hours perched on buildings, so you can expect them to have opinions about the structures’ design and role in the urban landscape. In this colorful story from 2013, globe-trotting pigeon Speck Lee Tailfeather muses about his favorites. Travel with Tailfeather from the Golden Gate Bridge to La Sagrada Familia to the Burj Dubai and back. And prepare for his astute commentary on the obscurities of design: To us, it’s Frank Gehry, FAIA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall; from Tailfeather’s birds-eye perspective, it’s simply the Silver Squiggle. phaidon.com
Projects | $60
Consider giving readers of Phaidon’s Architecture According to Pigeons a cuddly companion with this plush bird hand-knit from Alpaca wool by craftsmen in Bolivia. Alex Mustonen, a principal at Brooklyn, N.Y.–based architecture firm Snarkitecture, recommended it for inclusion in our architects-choice gift guide “as a nice, fuzzy reminder of things both good and bad from the city.” projectno8.com
Haba | From $19.99
A gift guide for kids is not complete without a set of building blocks. Though not quite as refined as those of Froebel and Richter, this beech wood set comes in kits to construct the U.S. Capitol, the Coliseum, a St. Basil's-esque cathedral, and a few Greco Roman–inspired designs. See more architectural toys, past and present, here. habausa.com
For more year-end gifts, check out our 2015 architects-choice gift guide.