Recommended Reading

Every Friday we share a book to our email list that we think would be of interest to you.  Here are all the books we think might help you in your quest to become the best architect you can.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

In Grit, Duckworth takes us into the field to visit cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers—from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.

You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams. He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life, such as creating “baseball cards” for all employees that distill their strengths and weaknesses, and employing computerized decision-making systems to make believability-weighted decisions. While the book brims with novel ideas for organizations and institutions, Principles also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision-making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter what they’re seeking to achieve.

Art’s Principles by Arthur Gensler

Art’s Principles reveals the blueprint behind one of the most successful professional services firms, giving career-minded individuals the tools they need to excel in business. The book covers the essentials of leadership, talent acquisition and operations, while outlining the creative strategies that propelled a small business into one of the largest and most admired in its industry. This guidebook is full of well-tested ideas that are applicable to someone running a small, medium or large professional firm — or running any project where people, profit and customers matter.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

What’s being widely regarded as “one of the most life changing books ever written” may be the simplest approach to achieving everything you’ve ever wanted, and faster than you ever thought possible.  What if you could wake up tomorrow and any—or EVERY—area of your life was beginning to transform? What would you change? The Miracle Morning is already transforming the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world by showing them how to wake up each day with more ENERGY, MOTIVATION, and FOCUS to take your life to the next level. It’s been right here in front of us all along, but this book has finally brought it to life.

Experiencing Architecture by Steen Eiler Rasmussen

Widely regarded as a classic in the field, Experiencing Architecture explores the history and promise of good design. Generously illustrated with historical examples of designing excellenceranging from teacups, riding boots, and golf balls to the villas of Palladio and the fish-feeding pavilion of Beijing’s Winter Palace―Rasmussen’s accessible guide invites us to appreciate architecture not only as a profession but as an art that shapes everyday experience.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you:

-Six ways to make people like you

-Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking

-Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

And much more! Achieve your maximum potential.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones By James Clear

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there’s a better way.

 

In DEEP WORK, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul.

What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do?

Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?

Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.

The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline.

Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself.

Whether an artist, writer or business person, this simple, personal, and no-nonsense book will inspire you to seize the potential of your life.

Ego is The Enemy  by Ryan Holiday

Many of us insist the main impediment to a full, successful life is the outside world. In fact, the most common enemy lies within: our ego. Early in our careers, it impedes learning and the cultivation of talent. With success, it can blind us to our faults and sow future problems. In failure, it magnifies each blow and makes recovery more difficult. At every stage, ego holds us back.

Ego Is the Enemy draws on a vast array of stories and examples, from literature to philosophy to his­tory. We meet fascinating figures such as George Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Katharine Graham, Bill Belichick, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who all reached the highest levels of power and success by con­quering their own egos. Their strategies and tactics can be ours as well.

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss

From the author:

“For the last two years, I’ve interviewed more than 200 world-class performers for my podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. The guests range from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) and athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.) to legendary Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists. For most of my guests, it’s the first time they’ve agreed to a two-to-three-hour interview. This unusual depth has helped make The Tim Ferriss Show the first business/interview podcast to pass 100 million downloads.

“This book contains the distilled tools, tactics, and ‘inside baseball’ you won’t find anywhere else. It also includes new tips from past guests, and life lessons from new ‘guests’ you haven’t met.

“What makes the show different is a relentless focus on actionable details. This is reflected in the questions. For example: What do these people do in the first sixty minutes of each morning? What do their workout routines look like, and why? What books have they gifted most to other people? What are the biggest wastes of time for novices in their field? What supplements do they take on a daily basis?

“I don’t view myself as an interviewer. I view myself as an experimenter. If I can’t test something and replicate results in the messy reality of everyday life, I’m not interested.

“Everything within these pages has been vetted, explored, and applied to my own life in some fashion. I’ve used dozens of the tactics and philosophies in high-stakes negotiations, high-risk environments, or large business dealings. The lessons have made me millions of dollars and saved me years of wasted effort and frustration.

“I created this book, my ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools, for myself. It’s changed my life, and I hope the same for you.”

How to Start and Operate Your Own Design Firm: A Guide for Interior Designers and Architects by Albert W. Rubeiling Jr.

It is the goal for many of us to start our own practice, to take the leap out on our own and have control over what we work on.  If you are ready to take the plunge, still considering, or already in the midst of running your own office, this book is a good overall guide to the ins and outs of running your own practice.

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

YOU WANT LESS. You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what’s the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller paychecks, fewer promotions–and lots of stress. AND YOU WANT MORE. You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends. NOW YOU CAN HAVE BOTH–LESS AND MORE. In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to * cut through the clutter * achieve better results in less time * build momentum toward your goal* dial down the stress * overcome that overwhelmed feeling * revive your energy * stay on track * master what matters to you The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life–work, personal, family, and spiritual. WHAT’S YOUR ONE THING?

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

No gimmicks. No Hyperbole. No Magic Bullet. The Compound Effect is a distillation of the fundamental principles that have guided the most phenomenal achievements in business, relationships, and beyond. This easy-to-use, step-by-step operating system allows you to multiply your success, chart your progress, and achieve any desire. If you’re serious about living an extraordinary life, use the power of The Compound Effect to create the success you want. You will find strategies including:

  • How to win–every time! The No. 1 strategy to achieve any goal and triumph over any competitor, even if they’re smarter, more talented or more experienced.
  • Eradicating your bad habits (some you might be unaware of!) that are derailing your progress.
  • The real, lasting keys to motivation–how to get yourself to do things you don’t feel like doing.
  • Capturing the elusive, awesome force of momentum. Catch this, and you’ll be unstoppable.
  • The acceleration secrets of superachievers.

The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard

Since its initial publication in 1958, The Poetics of Space has been a muse to philosophers, architects, writers, psychologists, critics, and readers alike. The rare work of irresistibly inviting philosophy, Bachelard’s seminal work brims with quiet revelations and stirring, mysterious imagery. This lyrical journey takes as its premise the emergence of the poetic image and finds an ideal metaphor in the intimate spaces of our homes. Guiding us through a stream of meditations on poetry, art, and the blooming of consciousness itself, Bachelard examines the domestic places that shape and hold our dreams and memories. Houses and rooms; cellars and attics; drawers, chests, and wardrobes; nests and shells; nooks and corners: No space is too vast or too small to be filled by our thoughts and our reveries. In Bachelard’s enchanting spaces, “We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.”

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

Humorous, surprising and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.
What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world’s wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith and human nature, while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its readers.

Architect and Entrepreneur: A How-To Guide for Innovating Practice Tactics, Models, & Case Studies in Passive Income by Eric Reinholdt

Should the practice of architecture be constrained to one set model: a singular creative process between architect and client? Practice is evolving; the current tired models serve only a select few – wealthy individuals, big corporations, and big government. Architect + Entrepreneur Volume 2 challenges the foundations of traditional practice and asks: In what ways can we hack our craft to serve both our personal lifestyle and our professional goals? What if design practice capitalized on the architect’s drive to be creative and consumer buying culture in equal measure?  How can we turn our services into products? How can young professionals compete in today’s marketplace leveraging the power of the Internet? Eric Reinholdt, founder of 30X40 Design Workshop describes in detail how his business model has evolved to leverage passive income producing products and offers a new paradigm for practice. It’s a manual of high-level strategies, field-tested tactics, and case studies showing how architects are reinventing practice in the 21st century. In this step-by-step manual, you’ll discover:  How to develop multiple passive income streams for your business + How to work with only the clients best suited to your brand.  Templates for innovative business models leveraging active and passive income streams.  Case studies describing how founders and architects built six-figure incomes by developing products.  How to leverage the Internet to convert visitors into customers (and clients).  Methodology for selling custom plans repeatedly.  Why writing a book isn’t as difficult as you might think.  The precise formula to earn your first $100 in passive income.  How much you can earn from affiliate relationships, advertising, and digital product development.   This manual provides a framework for young professionals to build passive revenue streams even before setting out on their own. Doing this builds wealth, professional freedom and increases the chances of success for nascent architecture businesses. It’s essential reading for any Architect + Entrepreneur.

Architect and Entrepreneur: A Field Guide to Building, Branding, and Marketing Your Startup Design Business by Eric Reinholdt

Part narrative, part business book; Architect + Entrepreneur is filled with contemporary, relevant, fresh tips and advice, from a seasoned professional architect building a new business. The guide advocates novel strategies and tools that merge entrepreneurship with the practice of architecture and interior design. The Problem: Embarking on a new business venture is intimidating; you have questions. But many of the resources available to help entrepreneur architects and interior designers start their design business lack timeliness and relevance. Most are geared toward building colossal firms like SOM and Gensler using outdated methods and old business models. If you’re an individual or small team contemplating starting a design business, this is your field guide; crafted to inspire action. The Solution: Using the lean startup methodology to create a minimum viable product, the handbook encourages successive small wins that support a broader vision enabling one to, “think big, start small, and learn fast.” It’s a unique take on design practice viewed through the lens of entrepreneurship and is designed to answer the questions all new business owners face, from the rote to the existential.

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

The book draws its inspiration from stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Ryan Holiday shows us how some of the most successful people in history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations. Their embrace of these principles ultimately mattered more than their natural intelligence, talents, or luck.

If you’re feeling frustrated, demoralized, or stuck in a rut, this book can help you turn your problems into your biggest advantages. And along the way it will inspire you with dozens of true stories of the greats from every age and era.

Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

Do you have a hobby you wish you could indulge in all day? An obsession that keeps you up at night? Now is the perfect time to take that passion and make a living doing what you love. In Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses. Gary spent years building his family business from a local wine shop into a national industry leader. Then one day he turned on a video camera, and by using the secrets revealed here, transformed his entire life and earning potential by building his personal brand. By the end of this book, readers will have learned how to harness the power of the Internet to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true. Step by step, Crush It! is the ultimate driver’s manual for modern business.

Architect & Developer: A Guide to Self-Initiating Projects by James Petty AIA

The traditional role of the architect is far too passive and uncertain. The profession has positioned itself to sit by the phone until we are called upon and commissioned to do work. Architects have long been charged with creating a better-built environment, but it is the developers who dictate what is actually built in our cities. The decisions made by developers before architects are engaged in a project dictate later success. When all of the initial programming, market studies, and cost estimates are based on market averages, it is unsurprising when the final products in our cities are nothing more than average. In the end, architects have devalued their role to the pencil of the developer’s vision.
By combining Architect & Developer, you can command a greater sense of control, faster decision making, an efficient process, and the potential for a much better profit. The largest hurdle to becoming an architect as developer is that first project. An entrepreneurial mindset and willingness to take risk is required. What developers do is not difficult, you need only have an appetite for risk.
James sat down with over a dozen separate architects who are self-initiating their work. Some were doing this as a side hustle while holding down a nine-to-five job, some were small studios that were dipping their toes into the development game, and some were full-blown Architects & Developers. I wanted to absorb what they have learned throughout the process and consolidate the information into a digestible format.

The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus

Epictetus was born into slavery about 55 ce in the eastern outreaches of the Roman Empire. Once freed, he established an influential school of Stoic philosophy, stressing that human beings cannot control life, only their responses to it. By putting into practice the ninety-three witty, wise, and razor-sharp instructions that make up The Art of Living, readers learn to meet the challenges of everyday life successfully and to face life’s inevitable losses and disappointments with grace.

The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin

In Seth Godin’s most inspiring book, he challenges readers to find the courage to treat their work as a form of art

Everyone knows that Icarus’s father made him wings and told him not to fly too close to the sun; he ignored the warning and plunged to his doom. The lesson: Play it safe. Listen to the experts. It was the perfect propaganda for the industrial economy. What boss wouldn’t want employees to believe that obedience and conformity are the keys to success?

But we tend to forget that Icarus was also warned not to fly too low, because seawater would ruin the lift in his wings. Flying too low is even more dangerous than flying too high, because it feels deceptively safe.

The safety zone has moved. Conformity no longer leads to comfort. But the good news is that creativity is scarce and more valuable than ever. So is choosing to do something unpredictable and brave: Make art. Being an artist isn’t a genetic disposition or a specific talent. It’s an attitude we can all adopt. It’s a hunger to seize new ground, make connections, and work without a map. If you do those things you’re an artist, no matter what it says on your business card.

Godin shows us how it’s possible and convinces us why it’s essential.

Historic Preservation for Designers by Peter B. Dedek

Historic Preservation for Designers offers a comprehensive overview of historic preservation with a focus on historic interiors, historic building materials, and the adaptive reuse of interiors. This text includes a brief history of preservation in the United States, criteria to determine whether a building is historic, a discussion of preservation law, and how to document historic buildings with a focus on design and understanding functional and aesthetic requirements.

The text explores issues including building restoration and rehabilitation standards, adaptive reuse principles,and codes and accessibility requirements. Designers will discover timely information on inspecting historic buildings to determine their age and condition as well as the growing relationship between historic preservation, green design, and the environment.