Blog / Trending Topics

Staff Picks: Top Reads for Architects, Engineers, and Tech Savvies in 2024


This year, to celebrate the spirit of World Book Day, we've asked our staff and Faculty at ZIGURAT Institute of Technology to share their top book recommendations. These are texts chosen to inspire, challenge, and expand the horizons of professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, and technology.

From groundbreaking strategies in design technology to profound insights into urban planning and sustainability, each book has been selected for its potential to significantly impact the way we think about and shape our environment.

Whether you're a seasoned professional looking to deepen your expertise or a newcomer eager to start on the right foot, these hand-picked titles promise to equip you with the knowledge and inspiration needed to thrive in today’s dynamic world.

Dive into our curated list of 2024’s must-reads and find the perfect companion for your professional journey. At ZIGURAT, we're excited to fuel your passion for reading and curiosity, so we're giving you a free ebook as a gift: BIM Glossary: 50 Essential BIM terms you need to know.

1. Superusers: Design Technology Specialists and the Future of Practice


Reveals a completely new world for people who code in the AECO industry, largely expanding their reach beyond traditional working methods. It is the perfect read for people wanting to join our post-graduate courses.


Rui de Klerk, Professor of Master's in BIM Management and Parametric Design Courses at ZIGURAT.

Randy Deutsch analyses how design technology is transforming architectural practice and the role of architects and related professionals. The book argues that 'superusers', design technology specialists, are key to staying current and thriving amidst constant technological innovations. It offers practical advice on how to identify, attract, and retain these superusers, as well as the career opportunities and challenges they face.

2. The Death and Life of Great American Cities


Jane Jacobs was perhaps the first to perceive cities as living organisms that depend on diversity and fostering interaction among people, as well as addressing gentrification in urban centres. I am struck by her saying: 'Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.'


Monalisa Martins, Architect and Institutional Engagement Manager at ZIGURAT.

Through lively prose, Jane Jacobs discusses street safety, the essence and role of neighbourhoods within cities, and the reasons for the poverty or regeneration of certain areas. She also highlights how elements such as funeral homes and tenement windows can have positive effects, warning against the risks of excessive investment and lack of diversity. Her work is considered an essential reference in the field of urban planning.

3. Factulness 


Because everything we do at work has and must have a meaning to improve the world beyond money.


Jordi Damià, Director of the Global MBA in Digital Transformation.

Hans, Ola, and Anna Rosling argue that our pessimistic perception of the world is distorted by ten instincts that affect how we view progress and consume information. Despite persistent problems, it presents data showing significant global improvements. This book seeks to change our view of the world and how we respond to future crises and opportunities.

4. How to Avoid a Climate Disaster


This sheds light on the enormous challenges facing humanity. It highlights the key barriers we face today, as well as future technological and social challenges, and outlines the dire consequences if we fail to alter our ways. It concludes by offering a unique action plan to combat climate change.


Pau F. Aldomà, CEO of ZIGURAT Institute of Technology.

Bill Gates presents a practical and accessible plan to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions and prevent a climate disaster. Based on a decade of research and contributions from experts, he explains how we must act to achieve net zero emissions. He emphasises the crucial role of technology and necessary innovations, proposing a concrete plan that includes government policies and individual actions, stressing that the goal is achievable with coordinated effort.

5. The Lean Builder: A Builder’s Guide to Applying Lean Tools In the Field


It's a great book for all those lovers and practitioners of Lean Construction, with an approach from the construction site, very useful for the technical and management team, with recommendations and situations that will be familiar to everyone who works on site.


Juan Felipe Pons, Director of the Master’s in Construction Project Management in Spanish.

Keyan Zandy and Joe Donarumo explain the challenges Sam Brook faces in his largest and most complicated project to date. His mentor, Alan Phillips, introduces him to Lean Construction techniques to improve project management. Together, they explore strategies that enhance communication, coordination, and resource management.

6. The BIM Manager


It focuses on the crucial role of the BIM Manager in construction projects: from implementation to data management and team coordination, it offers a practical guide for those looking to lead and optimise the use of BIM in their organisations.


Alessandro Ferrari,  Academic Director at ZIGURAT and Professor of the Master’s in Global BIM Management in Portuguese. 

Mark Baldwin provides comprehensive and practical knowledge on Building Information Modelling (BIM), aimed at construction industry professionals interested in integrating BIM into their processes. It includes guides for planning, implementing, and managing BIM effectively within an organisation. Additionally, it includes case studies and contributions from experts that enrich the perspective and applicability of the content in real situations.