September 2023

CAA Board Member Tai Ziola of DIALOG recommends: Beyond Sticky Notes: Doing Co-design for Real


Co-design is a transformative, community-centred design method which is much discussed – yet rarely practised authentically. Beyond Sticky Notes teaches you what co-design is and how to do it. Packed full of useful tips, clear diagrams, and practical frameworks, this book will help you lead collaborative design work, and genuinely share power. A useful book for new and experienced practitioners alike, Beyond Sticky Notes is a guide to the mindsets, methods, and movements of co-design.

Visit this link to purchase! Beyond Sticky Notes: Co-design for Real


August 2023

CAA Board Member Lisa Kellerman of Rootstock Architecture Inc. recommends: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles


“The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield is a motivational guidebook for overcoming the obstacles that prevent individuals from realizing their creative potential. Pressfield introduces the concept of “Resistance,” which represents the internal force that blocks creativity and personal growth. The book identifies various forms of Resistance, such as procrastination, self-doubt, and fear of failure.

Pressfield provides practical advice and strategies to combat Resistance and ignite creative productivity. He emphasizes the importance of discipline, consistency, and professionalism in pursuing artistic endeavors. Through anecdotes and examples, he encourages readers to adopt a mindset of resilience and persistence, treating their creative pursuits like a professional occupation.

The book also delves into the concept of the “Muse” or inspiration, suggesting that true creativity arises when individuals commit to their work regardless of external factors. Pressfield encourages readers to establish a regular creative routine and confront their inner doubts head-on.

Overall, “The War of Art” offers a powerful message to artists, writers, and anyone striving to tap into their creative potential. It provides insights and tools to overcome the internal barriers that hinder personal and artistic growth, guiding readers towards a more fulfilling and productive creative journey.

Visit this link to purchase! The War of Art


July 2023

CAA Board Member Chris Kourouniotis of CK Design Licensed Interior Design Inc. recommends:  If Walls Could Speak by Moshie Safdie


One of the world’s greatest and most thoughtful architects recounts his extraordinary career and the iconic structures he has built—from Habitat in Montreal to Marina Bay Sands in Singapore—and offers a manifesto for the role architecture should play in society

Over more than five decades, legendary architect Moshe Safdie has built some of the world’s most influential and memorable structures—from the 1967 modular housing scheme in Montreal known as “Habitat” and the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel, to the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas and the Marina Bay Sands development and extraordinary Jewel Changi airport interior garden and waterfall in Singapore. For Safdie, the way a space functions is fundamental; he is deeply committed to architecture as a social force for good, believing that any challenge, including extreme population density and environmental distress, can be addressed with solutions that enhance community and uplift the human spirit. Safdie always refers to the “silent client” an architect must ultimately serve: the people who live in, work in, or experience a building.

If Walls Could Speak takes readers behind the veil of an essential yet mysterious profession to explain through Safdie’s own experiences how an architect thinks and works—“from the spark of imagination through the design process, the model-making, the politics, the engineering, the materials.” Relating memorable stories about what has inspired him—from childhoods in Israel and Montreal to the projects and personalities worldwide that have captured his imagination—Safdie reveals the complex interplay that underpins every project and his vision for the role architecture can and should play in society at large. Illustrated throughout with drawings, sketches, photographs, and documents from his firm’s voluminous archives that illuminate his stories, If Walls Could Speak ends with a chapter outlining seven projects Safdie would pursue around the world if resources and will were no issue and the choices were his to make.

A book like no other, If Walls Could Speak will forever change the way you look at and appreciate any built structure.

Visit this link to purchase! If Walls Could Speak


June 2023

CAA Board Member Lisa Kellerman of Rootstock Architecture Inc. recommends:  Scoreboard Your Practice: 7 Numbers to Understand Your Design Firm’s Financials


In the fast-paced and competitive world of design, creative professionals often find themselves struggling to strike a balance between their artistic vision and the financial realities of running a successful design firm. For many designers, the thought of delving into the world of numbers and financial management can be overwhelming and intimidating. However, the key to achieving long-term sustainability and growth lies in understanding the financial health of your design practice.

“Scoreboard Your Practice: 7 Numbers to Understand Your Design Firm’s Financials” is a comprehensive guide that aims to demystify the financial side of running a design firm. This book presents a practical and accessible framework for designers to gain a deeper understanding of their business’s financial performance and make informed decisions that drive profitability and success.

Authored by a team of seasoned design industry professionals and financial experts, “Scoreboard Your Practice” takes a unique approach to financial management by focusing on seven key numbers that serve as the financial scoreboard for your design firm. These numbers act as vital indicators, providing insights into the health, efficiency, and growth potential of your practice.

Through engaging narratives, real-life case studies, and step-by-step explanations, this book equips designers with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the financial landscape of their business confidently. Whether you’re a solo designer or a firm owner, “Scoreboard Your Practice” will empower you to make data-driven decisions that align with your creative vision while ensuring financial sustainability.

In this book, you will learn how to:

1. Define your financial goals and develop a comprehensive financial strategy for your design firm.
2. Understand the seven key financial numbers that are crucial to measuring the health of your practice.
3. Analyze and interpret financial statements to gain insights into your firm’s performance.
4. Optimize revenue streams and manage costs effectively to improve profitability.
5. Develop pricing strategies that accurately reflect the value of your design services.
6. Plan for growth and effectively allocate resources to expand your business.
7. Establish financial controls and systems to maintain financial stability and minimize risks.

Whether you’re a design professional looking to sharpen your financial acumen or an aspiring design firm owner seeking guidance, “Scoreboard Your Practice” is an indispensable resource that will transform the way you approach the financial management of your design firm. With this book as your guide, you’ll gain the confidence and knowledge to build a thriving, financially sound design practice in today’s competitive landscape.

Visit this link to purchase! Scoreboard Your Practice