Gaines Group Architects
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Creative gift ideas for your favorite architect (future and current)

It is that time of year again when you all start thinking – what should I get my favorite architect for the holidays. Of course, the main gift every architect wants is a happy client! Next on the list is probably that next cool project so we can make that next client. However, not everyone is ready to start that next design project and not everyone just finished up a cool project with their favorite architect, but they still yearn (I know this must happen) to tell their favorite architect how much they mean to them in a very materialistic way (gift cards, cash, and checks are all accepted). However, what do you get someone who has it all – at least that dreams about it all? Here is a list of creative gift ideas for your favorite architect, both future and current.

LEGO is a timeless solution for a perfect gift for your favorite architect. There are standard architectural creations like LEGO Architectural Studio and the Guggenheim Museum. If you are not looking to invest so much money in a LEGO gift, there are many other cool creations like this City Demolition Set. Don’t limit yourself to building related, I cannot imagine there is not an architect out there that does not want to build the Death Star.

lego constructionGuggenheim Museum

If LEGO is not right for your architect, remember architects love to measure things. They also like to be in charge, which can leave them alone a lot…. So why not allow them alone time measuring things with a Laser Measure tool like this one.

laser measure

Well made custom wood products are always high on the list of architects. Check out what Unlimited Creations is doing and pick just about anything he does.

Unlimited Creationscoat hanger coat hanger

I cannot think of a reason why an architect would not need a high quality hatchet. This seems like an obvious tool that would be used on a regular basis. Randy’s Hardware stocks Hults Bruk for instance.


Along with measuring things they have to add things up, so why not give them a feet & inches fraction calculator to make that process a little easier?

feet and inches calculator

Architects always seem to appreciate good art – music and other. So why not look for some cool vinyl that comes in cool artwork by a cool band like Steel Wheels – CooCoo Bird?

coo coo bird

I cannot think of a reason why an architect would not want a 3-D printer, so I will add that to the list of great solutions to this list – in fact, it seems 2 or 3 printers would solve a lot of problems faster than just one printer could ever solve.

3d printer

Colored pencils, good colored pencils, the kind that make designs look better, blend well, and helps get the next job are a must for all architects. However, if you have a daughter that is an artist, those pencils get taken and you no longer have them – so a gift of new pencils would probably fill a void…

colored pencils

Fine writing products are always popular for sketching, drawing, and writing. Check out this Nomad notebook and pen (of course one in each color available is a must) from Randy’s Hardware.


Cool socks – lots of cool socks with Unicorns and other cool things warms the heart of an architect alone measuring spaces with their new laser measuring tool.

unicorn socks

Architects like cool things for their desk like this Reclaimed Oak Desk Caddy from Lineage.

Oak Desk Caddy

Every architect should have a Stainless Steel Straw so we can all reduce our consumption of plastics. Bring Your Own in Harrisonburg has these available along with a lot of other well designed durable products.

stainless straw

A lot of architects drink stuff, so why not a motivational coffee mug? One of these seem to fit me pretty good!

coffee mugcoffee mug architect

Architects carry a lot of stuff. I always have at least one bag full of pens, computer, mouse, chargers, and even sometimes paper. If I had a cool vintage bag I would be even happier.

leather bag

Mike at Water Street Vintage & Bohemian has all kinds of cool stuff that architect’s love. Check out his stickers, mid-century modern artifacts, and he even has a replica of me (hair is not right, but the form is there).

big boystickersmid-century modern

Finally, for all those future architect, there is a good chance they will want a cool architectural firm’s t-shirt. Stop by our place on first Friday, December 7 from 5 – 6:30 and see if we still have any available. They are free as long as you agree to wear it out and love our firm.

Gaines Group Architect Shirts

My wish for you: I hope you get the most important gift that anyone can receive – love and appreciation from others and for yourself. Please accept this wish for a warm, safe, and comfortable holiday season for you all. I am so appreciative of all those that read my blog posts, support me in my career and life in general. Thank you for allowing me into your circle. With my family and friends surrounding me, I honestly need for nothing this holiday season. Life is good and getting better. Happy Holidays.






How to Love an Architect.

Architects are a different breed. They find romance in restoration, poetry in a portico, and harmony in a historic district. A romantic dinner date is filled with observations about the exposed beams, glazing patterns, and a long list of how to redesign the space to make it flow better. A quick getaway is planned around the significant architectural treasures that need to be observed, critiqued  and documented. Dreams are filled with a blank canvas, unlimited design budget, and exemption from the laws of physics. So when it comes to Valentine’s Day how can you show the architect in your life that you care and potentially divert his attention away from that wall section for a couple of hours?

The AIA Store suggests everything from a Mondrian Mug to Architect Stick Figures. Could this be the answer?

architectural stick figures

Or perhaps an architectural place mat from Spot Cool Stuff Design,   It would bring focus to the table rather than the building – as conversation would focus on why he /she should have gotten the design commission to create it and how the proportions are all wrong.


Or perhaps a LEGO Architecture Creation to remind us that one day LEGO is going to call to ask to feature one of our buildings.


No, at the end of the day, Architects have simple needs. Your appreciation for our work, acknowledgement that not just anyone with plan software can actually design, and a signed proposal for that next big project. Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Love an architect

Love an architect