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Favorite Reads From Inspiring Writer, Researcher & Architect

Discover which books lecturer, researcher and practicing architect, Ruth Lang, has found inspiring this winter.

Favorite Reads From Inspiring Writer, Researcher & Architect

architecture & interior design & fashion Escape visual culture

Alongside teaching as a senior lecturer, Ruth Lang works as a freelance writer, researcher, curator, as well as being a practicing architect. She is also the co-editor of Building for Change.

Building for Change collects the strategies of reuse together, demonstrating their power for change through groundbreaking projects from some of the world’s leading architects. From waste repurposed as construction materials, to buildings reworked with canny spatial interventions, and modular structures designed to be dismantled, this book discovers how the architecture of creative reuse is helping us build a better tomorrow. With a strong focus on sustainability and building a more conscious future, we are excited to share the titles Ruth has been inspired by this season. 

(Photo: Courtesy of Su Sheng Liang, Building for Change)

How To Make a Nation: A Monocle Guide: Like all of Monocle’s beautifully produced guides, this book provides some incredibly well-observed and often surprising insight into the aspects of our everyday lives we may otherwise take for granted. How To Make a Nation revels in the details of what constitutes national identity - from how the spaces in which we govern affect our political makeup, to the narratives our national soap operas portray, to the symbolism portrayed on our banknotes. The ideal gift for your family’s resident globetrotter, - or wannabe dictator.


Inside Utopia: This extensive global survey of some of the best examples of modernist housing is a real treat for any mid-century fanatic. With texts which situate the designs in the spirit of the era, and imagery which gives a tantalizing taste of what these homes might be like to inhabit, Inside Utopia celebrates this pivotal moment in design history, where aspects of architecture, graphic and product design aligned to set a new agenda for how we might live. 


Ricardo Bofill: Visions of Architecture: I couldn’t resist this celebration of the work of one of my favourite architects, who sadly died in 2022. Bofill’s work refused to adopt a singular identity, and this richly illustrated volume gives us a thorough insight to the full spectrum of the designs produced, and the influences that guided them. It elegantly captures Bofill’s novel sensitivity for detail, materiality, and creating joy and surprise, which will be greatly missed.


How can we build a sustainable future in a time of climate change and dwindling resources? Explore the stunning transformation of our existing urban fabric in Building for Change. Want to discover more gestalten titles? Take a look at our recommendations, featured in our gift guide collections - hand-picked for the Modern Explorer, Design Lover, or Food Connoisseurs out there.