Winter weather is upon us: time to hibernate with a good book!  MYKD’s Jess Hamilton has some recommended reading for the design enthusiast:

  • Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawking. A clear and extensive breakdown of strategies for dealing with climate change.  Short chapters cover everything from energy systems and land use to family planning and food.
  • Geographies of Trash by Rania Ghosn and El Haid Jazairy.  Explores our problematic contemporary waste systems and proposes some novel conceptual approaches for rectifying them.
  • Local Code: 3,659 Proposals About Data, Design and The Nature of Cities by Nicholas De Monchaux.  Essays woven together with case studies present opportunities and challenges associated with data and cities. Topics range from Gordon Matta-Clark’s art and flood events to Jane Jacobs and supernovas.
  • Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post Wild World by Emma Marris. A quick read that takes a critical perspective on conventional thinking in regards to ecology and nature.
  • Sand: The Never-Ending Story by Michael Welland. A surprisingly interesting book about…sand. Touches on history, geology, physics, jewelry…


  • The Landscape Architecture of Richard Haag: From Modern Space to Urban Ecological Design by Thaisa Way.  Seattle history, politics, preservation, public space, design and toxicity – a great collection of Haag’s contributions to Seattle, the Pacific Northwest and the field of landscape architecture more broadly.
  • Keeping with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene by Donna J. Haraway. An interesting take on the future and Anthropocene through a feminist/sci-fi lens.
  • Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson. A relatively quick, fun, and interesting read. Chapters range from fashion to machine learning, including several chapters on architecture, parks, public space and urban planning.
  • The Race Underground and the Incredible Rivalry that Built America’s First Subway by Doug Most. Parallel (and sometimes intersecting) histories of Boston and NYC’s race to build the first subway.  Most weaves in an entertaining narrative and illuminates many key figures whose names are still prominent in major American institutions today.

Looking for more recommendations?  Check out our summer reading list: