8 Thoughtful Gifts For Engineers And Architects

It’s that time of year again.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday seemed to creep up on us from behind…

…making us feel guilty that we’ve barely polished off our kid’s Halloween candy…

…let alone put even one brain cell into buying holiday gifts.

And for me, it’s time to share what has turned into a yearly holiday-themed blog post and email. In years past, I covered blast holiday emails and how I’ve sent customized holiday emails

But today, I want to talk about giving. Each year, there are more ads, yet fewer great gift ideas. And if you work for, with, or are related to, engineers and architects…

…it’s just that much harder.

So, this year I want to tackle giving gifts, specifically gifts for engineers and architects. I came up with some suggestions so you can spend that precious brain energy elsewhere. Plus, I have two special gifts for you way down at the bottom of this.

Should You Give Gifts At Work?

Let’s tackle the big question first. Isn’t giving gifts, especially to your boss, going to make you look like a kiss up?

Here’s my take. You may work 48 weeks a year, slaving away, trying to meet the demands of engineers and architects. There may be times when you want to throw them off a bridge. You may have rolled your eyes at, raised your voice to, “been short” with, or even avoided them on occasion.

But when it comes down to it, your current livelihood depends on them. And it’s easy to lose sight of that. So, one day a year, why not show them they are appreciated…

…that you actually care about them?

Ultimately, you probably spend more time with engineers and architects than you spend with mom and dad. Think about that. These people are like your family…

…your hard-to-please, detail obsessed, family. But family none the less.

The least you can do is get them a gift during the holidays.

Finding The Best Gift

We know from social psychology that the best gifts:

  1. Are unexpected
  2. Have perceived value to the recipient
  3. Are personalized (i.e. Reflects something about them)

So, the tough part is finding the right gift. But I’m here to help.

8 Thoughtful Gifts For Engineers And Architects

Here’s my list of thoughtful gifts for engineers, architects, etc. You can get them on Amazon. They are expensive enough to stand out, yet cheap enough not to raise lots of eyebrows.

Lego Architecture

architecture set

Deep down, you know they love Legos. Who doesn’t?

Lego has sets that let you build some of the world’s most iconic buildings. My boss has Frank Loyd Wright’s Falling Water in his office.

Here’s a reasonably-price option:


Lego Space Needle

If you think they’d like a more free-form experience (architects in particular), there is a full architecture set available. This might be a good gift for a group to give to an architect.

Desktop Tranquility Fountain

Tabletop Sculpture

Desktop Tranquility Fountain

It’s funny how many senior engineers I know have these in their office. Anything you can do to make an architect or engineer’s life more calming and tranquil will actually help your life.

If that doesn’t work, Amazon also sells tranquilizer guns.

Elon Musk Book

Elon Musk book

Elon Musk Book

What looks cooler on an engineer’s desk than a book about Elon Musk? Your engineer might just go all hyper loopy when they see you’ve got this for them.




Engineers, in particular, tend to be into music. There is a strong math-music connection. Deep down, every engineer wishes they could be a rock star – even if for just a moment.

You’re not going to buy them Kurt Cobain’s guitar, but this ukulele has a few less strings and is a little easier to pick up.

Deluxe Woodcarving Set

Woodcarving set

Deluxe Woodcarving Set

Another trend I’m seeing with engineers is that they sometimes gravitate towards wood working as they get older. Can I explain it? No.

But here’s the thing, don’t buy them the set without the proper protection. I also know engineers that are missing fingers due to this hobby.

Blue Print Cufflinks


Blueprint Cufflinks

I wear cufflinks. That’s because there was an engineer I knew from Korea who wore them. And I thought it looked sophisticated and different.

He would have loved these blueprint cufflinks (which I own a pair of).

Plaid Bow Tie, Pocket Square, and Lapel Pin Box Set

Bow Tie set

Plaid Bow Tie, Pocket Square, and Lapel Pin Box Set

Of course, we can’t leave out the “bow-tie” architect crowd. Here’s a bow tie, pocket square, and lapel pin set.


My “go to” gift to engineers is some music I think they would like. Remember, engineers tend to gravitate towards music.

Here’s a good one that you may not even knew existed. Past Masters is the Beatles’ one and only rarities compilation. It contains one of my favorite Beatles’ songs…”Rain.”

past masters

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you that it is OK to give gifts to engineers and architects (or other people you work with). And now you have a few ideas to get started.

Oh, Here’s My Gift To You

In the last year, we’ve had 1,140 people join the Help Everybody Army. To welcome these new subscribers and thank everybody for the continued success of HelpEverybodyEveryDay.com, I’m making the Kindle versions of Proposal Development Secrets and The Magic Of Winning Proposals free from December 6th (today, my birthday) to December 10th. So, click the book titles to grab your free copy.

Finally, let me give a shout out to Lindsay Diven who posted her list of Gifts for Your Favorite AEC Marketer. Check out her tumbler for marketing coordinators at the link.

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