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2020 Books

Updated: Jan 13, 2021

It feels funny to point out any highlights from a year like 2020. But in a time we'd all like to forget, I was lucky enough to create a handful of books that I'm quite proud of, collaborating with exceptionally talented people. The first to be released, in March, was Gathering, with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. As the book's writer, I spent more than a year meeting with firm leaders and visiting projects (before the pandemic), getting an intimate look at why BCJ is so outstanding. Their passion, clear focus, and (somewhat obsessive!) attention to detail continue to be an inspiration for me.

The second book to hit the shelves was Jewel Changi Airport, a collaboration with Safdie Architects documenting the creation of their exceptional new space inside Singapore's renowned transportation hub. Focused around a massive central waterfall, the glass roofed space features five stories of climbing gardens edged by a bustling ring of retail. It's absolutely one of the world's new built wonders. The book is filled with essays from Jewel's brilliant architects and engineers, not to mention some fantastic photos and critiques. As the book's editor, I got to visit Jewel back in 2019, and I'm yearning to return to that kind of mind-blowing travel. (Someday!)

This October brought the release of another passion project: Life Meets Art, a book I wrote for Phaidon exploring the homes of exceptional artists, both now and through history. This was an ambitious undertaking, to say the least, including more than 250 homes of artists, architects, musicians, writers, and more, from Da Vinci to Alvar Aalto to David Bowie. The best part was visiting these spaces (again before the Pandemic!), soaking up their atmosphere and creative spirit. But equally thrilling was getting to know these exceptional people. Each story could fill a book by itself. It was one of the most transporting experiences I've had as an author.

The final book I released this year was Where Dreams Are Born: nonzero architecture.

I worked on this project, about the firm of talented architect Peter Grueneisen, a few years ago; and I was thrilled to see it finally emerge. Nonzero is best known for its meticulous, energetic work on homes, offices, and recording spaces for those in the film and music industry. It's fascinating to see Grueneisen apply his knowledge of highly technical entertainment spaces at a much wider, and inspired, scale.

I'm very excited about 2021's upcoming books, which include projects for Rockwell Group, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and, (hopefully) Phaidon and Monacelli Press. Stay tuned!

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