This blogpost is part of the Monthsary release of GBA. If you want to read about other 13 for 13, you can check out 13 Songs for the Girlbosses and 13 Reasons Why Choose Architecture. Since it’s already the holiday season, here are 13 gift ideas for the architecture student:
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13 Gift Ideas for the Architecture Student
It’s almost Christmas so I figured to release some gift guides for those who know an architecture student. I, myself find it hard to think about what gifts to give to other people. With the list that I’m sharing, however, is more focused on functionality as, as an architecture student, I’d wanna be given something I can actually use. (The course is actually expensive to sustain!) The list covers three parts: the tools, digital/tech, and random stuff.
Drawing Pads (tracing paper pads, sketchbook, etc.) and Pencil Sets
The need for these will never run out! Throughout 5 years in architecture school, we draw manually. Yes, we do digital plans but before everything is done in a computer, we do things manual first – the sketches, the conceptualization and such. The same goes for actual architects. The only reason I could think of why anyone would stop using pen and paper as an architecture student is if they had an iPad (or any other tablet) with an Apple Pencil/stylus. Even if I’m not particularly great at drawing, trust me, I still draw manually.
Now, I won’t tell you to get the architecture student you know, a laptop because that’s way expensive. (But I’m also not stopping you!) Every architecture student I know has a laptop or needs one and therefore this gift suggestion is really helpful if that person you know doesn’t have any.
If ever you still decide to get a laptop, I have a link for U.S. student viewers, from Student Beans. You can get an extra 10% student discount + free shipping at Acer! The offer expires at Jan 1, 2025. Check it out if interested.
Each architecture book is extremely expensive for me but still, I am blessed with people who give them to me as gifts. I’m not exactly a “magazine reader type” meaning I don’t read for pictures, but there are other architecture books that aren’t completely about design. Whether they’re about theories or standards, there’s a ton to choose from.
The architecture books I know (and used at least once) are:
- Architecture Form, Space, and Order by Francis D.K. Ching
- Architecture Graphics Standards (there’s a lot of edition for this one) by Charles George Ramsey and Harold Sleeper
- Building Construction Illustrated by Francis D.K. Ching
- The Ten Books on Architecture by Vitruvius (this is commonly mentioned in lectures/topics)
- A Visual Dictionary of Architecture by Francis D.K. Ching
- Time Saver Standards for Architectural Design
- Time Saver Standards for Building Types
- Time Saver Standards for Interior Design and Space Planning
- Time Saver Standards for Urban Design
- The Architect’s Handbook
There are hundreds and hundreds of architectural books out there. These are those that I’m familiar with.
When I was in my first year at uni, I realized how hard it was to draft on my drafting table without any lights above my work. Either the room lights are not enough or my shadow’s covering it or both. People I know also use and realized how helpful it is to have the architect’s lamp – one where you can pin it on the table (since drafting tables are sloping) or one you can put under or directly over the table.
This one particularly is something I didn’t use much throughout my uni days BUT only because I failed to realize how helpful they could have been in the conceptualization stage. And since we don’t run out of plates (yes, even on vacation), just like the pen and paper, this would be really helpful.
I don’t know how people I know survived without it but I do know they survived through borrowing. Okay, that sentence was against itself but the point is, this was actually a thing we needed since we had a course wherein we only need to use markers for rendering everything. It also serves as an additional option in plate-making.
I cannot stress this enough, especially now that I’ve literally lost storage on my laptop (and I’m particularly using my mom’s now if you’re wondering). Storage matters! I’ve mentioned how every architecture student I know has a laptop, well it’s not only the specs that matter – the storage too. We not only have lots of documents for handouts, ebooks, and such especially during thesis year, we also have HUGE files. From CAD to modeling, to rendering, the file size is no joke. Large storage goes a long way.
People use much tech now, not every place has an outlet. I think this one doesn’t need to be explained. Additional tip tho, if the person uses a Macbook Pro, he/she can charge it using a power bank with a type C!
If you’re interested in other tech, I have a discount code for U.S. student viewers from Student Beans, for Samsung. You can get up to 20% Student Discount at Samsung! Offer expires January 1, 2025. Check it out if interested.
The things I’ve mentioned above might be really costly so here are other suggestions for a more normal college student gift-giving guide.
Stack of Food Boxes
We always think, we always study, we always go out, and therefore we always need energy. I’ve never met anyone who hates to be given food.
Common but you can never go wrong with a sweater unless it’s sized too small. Architecture students, for the most part of our stay at uni, are probably working on our plates most of the time so the comfiness actually helps, for me anyway. Wherever I go, I’d like a good sweater with me, even if I get lazy to bring them.
Architecture Building Sets
I’ve never had any of these but seeing them around reminds me of my field. It’s kinda cute, a scale model that’s already cut for you – wherein you don’t need to measure stuff anymore.
Architect’s Glasses / Watch
Not everyone’s eyes are blurry but glasses that are coated with blue-light can be of help to students who are mostly on their laptops doing CAD, modelling, and rendering. The watch probably doesn’t need to be explained. We all need to pass when it’s due, don’t we?
Architect Coffee Mugs
Another common thing but coffee and tea can be helpful for all-nighters (although not ideal). A specific coffee mug could work.
Here are functional gift ideas for the architecture student:
1) Drawing pads (tracing paper pads, sketchbook, etc.) and pencil sets
2) Laptop Bag
3) Architecture Books
4) Architect’s Lamp
5) Air-dry clays
6) Brush pens
7) External Hardrive
9) Stack of Food Boxes
10) Comfortable Sweaters
11) Architecture Building Sets
12) Architect’s Glasses / Watch
13) Architect Coffee Mugs
If you’re interested to see more if 13 for 13, be sure to check out 13 Reasons Why Choose Architecture to hopefully help you if you’re wondering about pursuing Architecture next year, and 13 Songs for the Girl Bosses to help boost motivation.