Carl Baker Admits One of His Favorite Things To Collect

Carl Baker, West Coast Director at Ike Kligerman Barkley, grew up passionate about home design. After studying architectural history at Vassar College, he earned his Bachelor of Architecture from UC-Berkeley and his Master of Architecture from the University of Washington – Seattle. At UW – Seattle he received the Valle Scholarship, which allowed him to study sustainable design in Stockholm, Sweden. Before he started practicing architecture, however, Carl trained with a wooden boat builder in New York State. There he developed his own skills as a woodworker and saw finely crafted machines come together. He also honed his ability to work together, all of the experience that he brings to his architectural work today. In the past, Carl worked for the ROMA Design Group, where he was on the winning project team for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in the National Mall and for Melander Architects in San Francisco.

Today Carl is coming to us for Friday Five!

black headphones

1. Grado SR80e headphones
These are really well designed and comfortable, not that expensive and feel nice on the ears. These are really refreshing to hear after spending the day using earbuds. It feels like you are listening for pleasure rather than work.


2. Sheaffer Leather-Bound 7 × 10 Notebook
The perfect notebook for me that took about 20 years to discover. I can explain it in more detail: it has a thick but flexible leather cover that really protects it in all environments. At around 7×10 inches, it’s a great size, not so small that it’s lost but not so big that it’s difficult to carry. Inside the pages there is a grid of very bright dots – helpful for making a drawing or drawing something at a specific scale. Full background and you can completely ignore them. They don’t interfere with the drawing and just provide a loose structure for whatever you want to draw or write. The pages are perforated so you can tear out a sheet of paper.

Micron pens

3. Micron 005 pen
I taught myself to ONLY draw with this pen so I can minimize the number of things I have to carry around or keep track of. It’s so good that you can create very light outlines to create your sketch on, but shading allows you to add depth and darkness as needed.

old books with illustrations

4. Old design or illustrated books with hand-drawn graphics
A selection of my collection here, a 3rd edition of the Architectural Graphic Standards (1938), a series of camping and woodcraft books (1906 and 1916) that teach thoroughly how to be a successful nature lover, and the Blue Book of Birds of America (1931)).


5. Transport + passports
I collect these from everywhere I travel. The graphics and branding of the means of transport in different countries and states are not just memories of specific days (or trains, buses or trips), but also fascinate me, and I associate these places with their graphic representations. And yes, there is an old San Francisco monthly Muni pass in it – I loved these graphics and stuck to everyone I had from the mid-90s!

Work by Carl Baker:

Photo: Douglas Friedman

brick colored building

Photo: Douglas Friedman

brick colored building

Photo: Douglas Friedman

architectural representation of the tasting room

Tasting room rendering

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