August has always been a dream heavy month. Its a time to recharge, revamp and rediscover why I’m on this planet, basically. So I find I like to turn to the more abstract reads, the ones that broadly inspire and encourage new ways of looking at the world. Enter: The Hand of the Architect.
I love all aspects of architecture, but I think my favorite aspect (really of anything made or manufactured) is the design process. The spit ball idea phase always held this fascinating magic for me, I guess because this is the point where there is the most possibility. This beginning point, where the architect let’s their mind go wherever it pleases, unconstrained (as yet) by the limitations of budget, materials or location is the part where the mind soars highest, where no compromises are needed because nothing is real quite yet.
This gorgeously bound and beautifully designed book is full of the rough sketches of architects across the world. Drawn on everything from notebook pages and graph paper to napkins, these are the rough first inklings, the most broad of first ideas to come out of the brains of some of the most innovative architectural firms in dozens of countries. Many are mostly just shapes (these happen to be my favorite), with ablong blocks, globes, domes and abstract patterns serving as structures. I found these often to be the most fascinating, as it revealed how humble the origins are of many of these massive buildings that come to dominate cityscapes and urban centers. It shows how simple the design palette for architects is, and yet, from these most basic of shapes, mind blowingly beautiful design is created.