9 Ways to Make Housing for People

David Baker Architects’ new book shares secrets of good design and design for good.

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — David Baker Architects has been designing multifamily housing for more than four decades. With offices in San Francisco, Oakland, and Birmingham, Alabama, the firm is a pioneer in urban housing, with an award-winning design portfolio of more than 15,000 homes — affordable and market rate — throughout the Bay Area and across the country.

Now this housing design expertise has been crystallized into an imaginative and pragmatic modern manual for urban housing. The new book, 9 Ways to Make Housing for People, is all about getting housing built and making it great.

Combining how-to with why-to, the authors — firm leaders David Baker, Amanda Loper, and Daniel Simons — lay out the core framework the firm uses to help communities develop places for people to thrive. Written in accessible language for design professionals and students as well as residents, developers, and city officials, 9 Ways to Make Housing for People engagingly explains principles and strategies to achieve quality and value in new housing. Replete with realized examples, the book is jargon-free and easy to use.

Here’s what others are saying —

“The incredibly talented DBA team demonstrate again and again, with every beautiful project they create, the power of elevating the human experience through thoughtful design and sculpted place. This book is sure to be a favorite reference for inspiration.” —Michelle Kaufmann, Director of R&D for the Built Environment, Google 

“As a developer and ‘housing nerd,’ I’m a true believer in the simple concept DBA presents so elegantly in this book: put people first, and everything flows from there. The proof is in the buildings where people thrive and communities are uplifted.” Brad Wiblin, Executive Vice President, BRIDGE Housing

“Driven to be a multiplier of good, DBA is at the top of their field. This book is a great story and a toolkit for anyone interested in the future of housing design and a better way of life for all of us.” —Angela Brooks, FAIA, Brooks + Scarpa

Quotes from the book —

“Especially with new housing, there’s a not-to-be-missed chance to ask, ‘What does this place need to stay vibrant or be brought back to life? How can this building anchor, repair, or support this neighborhood?'” —p. 25 [Reweave the Urban Fabric]

“Walkable urbanism happens where the sidewalk and the building touch and interact. We measure a building’s success by how vibrant and contributory the ground floor is to the neighborhood.” —p. 112 [Activate the Edges]

“Creating good housing is about much more than providing a place for people to live, sleep, and manage their daily tasks. It’s about maximizing human connections in ways that make life richer, easier, and more meaningful.” —p. 154 [Cultivate Connection]

“A building should feel like home to those who live there. A great way to welcome and grow a community is to ensure that people can see themselves in the new building.” —p. 222 [Get Personal]

Learn more and order the book at 9 Ways to Make Housing for People [9ways.info].


David Baker Architects is a collaborative architecture and urban design firm committed to leading with expertise, curiosity, tenacity, pragmatism, and joy. Based in San Francisco, Oakland, and Birmingham, Alabama, the firm creates acclaimed buildings in urban environments nationwide. DBA is known for exceptional housing, creative site strategies, designing for density, and integrating new construction into the public realm. With a deep understanding of the power of humane and respectful environments to transform neighborhoods and elevate the lives of individuals and families, DBA designs thoughtful places that serve as a “multiplier of good”—that enable and support engagement, connection, and other community benefits. The 9 Ways authors are firm principals David Baker, FAIA; Amanda Loper, AIA; and Daniel Simons.


ORO Editions publishes highly acclaimed award-winning illustrated books specializing in architecture, urban planning, landscape, art photography, academia and a growing list of culturally stimulating disciplines and topics. Creating and collaborating with a diverse range of talented authors and designers, from small projects to multi-title programs for global design practices, ORO has published 400+ titles over the last 12 years.

Kira Gould
Kira Gould CONNECT
(415) 690-0182

SOURCE David Baker Architects