The relationship between the human body and architecture has always been a key element in architectural design and practice, however, the connection between the two wasn't documented or even accepted until the rise of ergonomics some years ago. Nowadays, the question is how is the body perceived in modern times? How does this perception influence the way we design the buildings and spaces that we inhabit? Too often, ergonomics is seen as a discipline that emphasizes the separation between body and object; however, not only is it the connection between them, it is also the pre-established blueprint that maximizes and synchronizes their productivity. At its most basic level, it's a technical discourse on the increasingly mechanized human dwelling.
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Architecture, while a profession that is very visibly and tangibly realized, has deep wells of research, thought, and theory that are unseen on the surface of a structure. What urges architects to design the way they do? What are their motivations, their affiliations, their interests? For practitioners and students alike, books on architecture offer invaluable context to the profession, be it practical, inspirational, academic, or otherwise. So, for those of you looking to expand your bookshelf (or confirm your own tastes), we have gathered a broad list of 116 architectural books that we consider of interest to those in the field.
In compiling this list, we sought out titles from different backgrounds with the aim of revealing divergent cultural contexts. From essays to monographs, urban theory to graphic novels, each of the following either engage directly with or flirt on the edges of architecture.
The books on this list were chosen by each of our editors, and are categorized loosely by type. Within their categorization, they are organized alphabetically. Read on to see the books we consider valuable to anyone interested in architecture.