8 Outstanding Design Books – Holiday Gift Ideas

Glenn Gissler - Blog - 2014 - shutterstock_2275897961-640x568

I LOVE books, especially inspiring books on design and design history!

And I love to give books to friends, clients, family and my staff in the holiday season.

My own library was started in earnest over 30 years ago – and now includes many books in my office, my apartment in Brooklyn Heights and at my still-pretty-new-very-old house in Connecticut.

I looked through my library to find eight books – new, not-so-new, and old – that I think are true gems that would make excellent gifts!


‘Holidays On Ice’ at Bergdorf-Goodman

Glenn Gissler - Blog - Bergdorf

When I was young Christmas was a very magical time!

Even to gullible children, the idea of Santa Claus was kind of freaky, but hey, the guy brought gifts – a lot of gifts!  What’s not to like?! And then overlay the birth of the baby Jesus, born to the Virgin Mary (what is a virgin anyway?!), the Three Kings, the shining North Star; all put together it was pretty confusing – but then there were the lights, the decorations, Christmas cookies, time off from school and presents! It was wonderful!

Christmas takes on a very different meaning, and becomes a very different experience as an adult. We have figured out who Santa is, and are likely still confounded by the Virgin Mary.

Then there are obligations, expenses, incredible expectations, and unfulfilled hopes, wishes and desires. Being around children with their unabashed exuberance is one joyful way to re-experience the magic of Christmas, but there is another way; witness the wonder and unbridled fantasy of the season’s Fifth Avenue windows at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.  The theme this year?, ‘Holidays On Ice’ – a curiously surreal mash-up of some of the years red-letter-days, as seen though the lens of a winter-wonderland. Fantastic!

. (more…)

The Season of Giving – and a Girl Named Dasani

Glenn Gissler - Blog - 2013 - Poverty - 5 - Article

 Photo Credit The New York Times

In an effort to help my daughter appreciate the opportunities in her life, I am forever seeking ways to educate her about the challenges that so many people, especially children, experience outside of her own privileged existence.

Last week Andrea Elliott gave me and many other New Yorkers a reality check with a five-part series of articles in the New York Times entitled  “The Invisible Child”. It drove home the importance of philanthropy and helping others.

So this past weekend my daughter and I decided together, in this season of giving, how we should allocate funds to a short list of charities focusing on children and their families.