“Garches” one more time I might have screamed."/>

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Comments Posted 02.10.10 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Alexandra Lange

Beyond Bodoni & Corb


Jessica Hische’s Evolution of Type Taste poster (via Swiss Miss) made me laugh. As the daughter and granddaughter of graphic designers, I have always had a vague sense of what might be considered bad taste in type, and therefore an uneasy relationship to my own taste. I.e. I usually check with my mom before selecting anything. When she told me Bodoni was acceptable, and usually impeccable, I decided to go with that (forever). But I can see that Archer is the new(ish) Bodoni, and that, of course, was my type in the Pentagram What Type Are You? quiz.

All that is a parenthetical to my hope that Hische will come up with a template for an Evolution of [insert design field here] Taste chart so that I can work on my architecture version, about which I have much more confidence. My first house design, circa 1986, was heavily influenced by Richard Meier, with a big quarter-round curve of glass overlooking a sloped hill. (Come to think of it, maybe that’s the origin of my Bodoni love.) Then in high school I developed a thing for Memphis, and wrote perhaps the only 11th grade report on a post-modern Italian design group ever submitted in Durham, North Carolina. I seem to recall that I hand-drew the pattern of some Sottsass laminate for the cover.

In college, it was all about Le Corbusier, though by senior year, if I had to hear “Garches” one more time I might have screamed. Fell in love instead with Rem Koolhaas via the Madelon Vriesendorp illustrations in the first edition of Delirious New York. Early 20s, minimalism, John Pawson, et al. Late 20s, Renzo Piano, after a trip to the Menil Collection in Houston. Early 30s, dissertation, Saarinen, Bunshaft, Knoll, Noyes. And today? That’s what I am still trying to figure out.

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Alexandra Lange is an architecture and design critic, and author of Writing about Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities. (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in The Architect's Newspaper, Architectural Record, Dwell, Metropolis, Print, New York Magazine and The New York Times.
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BOOKS BY Alexandra Lange

Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities
Princeton Architectural Press, 2012

Design Research
Chronicle Books, 2010

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