I'm getting to the age where the best part about a museum is NOT just the gift shop. Don't get me wrong, I still love looking at things that are slightly useful and completely unnecessary, but I like the exhibits a little more now.
While I was at the National Building Museum, I sat in the gift shop for almost half an hour, finding and reading cool books. So, I'm starting a Hypothetical Library, where I list off the books I like and want. (Hint: My birthday is in October, if you need a gift idea!)
Modern North: Architecture on the Frozen Edge
My love affair with Scandinavian architecture began in my Environmental Building systems class. We were learning about daylighting, and designing a building so that it utilizes daylight well. We had one slide about how the countries in the far north have to design with extreme sun angles in mind, because they receive abundant amounts of daylight half the year and practically none for the other half.
This one little tidbit got me interested in sustainable and smart design, and it's part of the reason why I'm choosing Mount Rainier National Park as the location for my thesis this year. I want to explore the particular environmental situations of locations in the northern part of the world.
And the pictures in this book are great.
Organic Hobby Farming
I've grown a garden in my yard almost every year since I was 7. And I plan to continue this tradition for as long as I can bend over and pick weeds. And this book had a really cool "chapter by month" layout, where every month it told you what to plant, what to pick, which bugs to look out for, etc. Really neat!
Tiny House Living
This book is the reason I've been on my tiny house kick all week! I WANT IT. I want to start planning and designing and saving up for my tiny house like now. But I'm at least two years away from this project, so I need to cool my jets.
And finally, The Architecture of the Cocktail. Major cocktail drinks are drawn in the graphic standards of an architectural drawing, and the recipes are illustrated in section. It's a great funny gift for the designer/alcohol enthusiast in your life!