Purchasing a gift for your boss—or any superior, for that matter—is a delicate art. Don't pander. Instead, offer up your tithes in the form of refined design, unique materials, and easy access to caffeine.


1. Cuboid, Established & Sons
Picked by: Brooks Atwood, founder and principal of Brooks Atwood Design 
First impressions also make lasting impressions. This doormat is "so amazing, so 2D, and so cool that you'll never believe that you could have existed without it," Atwood says. "Plus, who buys doormats for themselves? This doormat exists on its own; it doesn’t need your help!" $182; mattermatters.com



2. Coil Lamp, Craighton Berman Studio
Picked by: Adam Zimmerman, AIA, Zimmerman Workshop
This luminaire by Chicago-based Craighton Berman Studio will make a design statement on anyone's desk. It consists of just a single 100-foot extension cord wrapped around an acrylic armature. $69 (DIY kit), $199 (assembled); craightonberman.com



3. A:LOG Notebook, A:LOG
Picked by: Emily Putas, AIA, Stantec
"Some of the most beautiful or fantastic things sketched out never make it to construction," Putas says. "Capture all those tidbits into a fanciful reminder of one's own creativity" in something like A:LOG notebooks, which are designed by architects for architects. $25; projectalog.com



4. Manual Coffeemaker No. 1, Craighton Berman Studio
Picked by: Colin Brice, cofounder of Mapos
Every designer needs a caffeine fix close at hand. This coffee maker turns the act of preparing coffee into a craft. The Manual coffee maker by Craighton Berman Studio sits quietly on your countertop, providing you with complete control of the pour-over brewing process. "We all need a little boost sometime in the day," Brice says. Coming soon; studio.craightonberman.com

Back to the full list.