How to Buy a Gift for an Architect

March 27, 2014    |    By +
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Architects are notoriously fussy about the things that they want, use, display and otherwise select to be part of their lives. And I have first-hand experience with this unique animal because I’m married to one! So, how are we normal laypeople supposed to crack the code and maybe even cause them to crack a smile with the gifts we give? I went straight to the experts at, the world’s most visited architecture website, for some answers. I spoke with Karissa Rosenfield, U.S. editor at the publication, who said, “Gifts that stand out to an architect are those that are beautiful, unique, inspire creativity, educate and streamline any overly complex aspect of daily life.”

And how exactly can we hone in on that even more? Here are a few tips from Rosenfield:

  • Be observant
  • Stalk their Pinterest boards
  • Be sure to follow exact instructions when they admit to admiring a specific item
  • You can never go wrong with something mid-century modern.

And, if you’re in a pinch, Rosenfield suggests scooping up something that they can use to perfect their craft, like a pocket size sketch pad for moments of inspiration. In general, architects like things done with intention and merit, so a finely prepared meal or cocktail will also impress them. You can give them a gift certificate to a restaurant with creative cuisine or a mixology guide book for them to experiment with at home.

No matter what you give an architect, make sure that it is simple, well designed and useful if you want it to be appreciated.

See our modern gift ideas for more inspiration.

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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.