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Alexandra Lange
Essays | Biography | Books | Contact

Archive: October 2009


Tableaux Vivants

If someone asked me to write a profile of Wes Anderson, I would start with corduroy. His stovepipe corduroy suits, I think, are the key to his personal mythology, one that’s a little bit country earl, a little bit little kid and a whole lot self conscious.

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D/R Love

There is much online excitement about the D/R exhibition, opening tomorrow.

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More Hell (Beige Edition)

I thought the Kelly Wearstler fan-fest was over last month, when both Vogue and the New Yorker treated her to long profiles.

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Small Wonder: 41 Cooper Square

41 Cooper Square might as well be set in the middle of a parking lot in Mayne’s native L.A.

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Petting Zoo

On Thursday I took my class on a field trip to One Bryant Park, the sustainable skyscraper that is almost complete at the northwest corner of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue.

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Love & Architecture

When Aline met Eero in January 1953, she was the associate art editor and critic for the New York Times, recently divorced, and on a trip to Detroit to meet the young architect whose General Motors Technical Center had proved to be such a smashing success. She was to write a profile of Saarinen for the New York Times Magazine, eventually published on April 23 as “Now Saarinen the Son” with the byline Aline B. Louchheim. A little over a year later she would become Aline B. Saarinen.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (8)

Houses of the Future

Excellent article on the various single-family housing initiatives going on now in New Orleans.

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Buy It Now

I watched two episodes of the Sundance Channel’s new advertisement for Anthropologie, Man Shops Globe, and failed to be caught up in the drama.

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Love Among the Figurines

I finally got my hands on Important Artifacts by Leanne Shapton.

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Architecture in Transit

An SVA student of mine from last year, Frederico Duarte, alerted me to the New York NOW exhibition, which opened October 7 in the West 4th Street subway station. Designed by Rumors Studio, the exhibit replaces the usual slapped-up future-bomb movie posters with images of work being done by AIA member architects in New York City right now.

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The Sound of Waves

There’s a lovely confluence of modern architecture and waterfalls on the east side of Manhattan, and we managed to hit three excellent examples of the type during Open House New York.

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Small Wonder: 41 Cooper Square

I never thought I would say this about a work by Thom Mayne of Morphosis, but I think 41 Cooper Square is too small. Cooper Union’s new, sustainable academic building on Third Avenue is nine stories, 175,000 square feet, takes up an entire city block, and yet, with all the other wonderful and terrible architecture happening on the Bowery and its side streets (the Cooper Square Hotel’s tower version of Frank Gehry’s IAC Building, Herzog and de Meuron’s disco-visionary 40 Bond, Foster + Partners’ Sperone Westwater Gallery) it blends right in.

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Unhappy Homes

In Revolutionary Road and Away We Go, the characters lack believable emotion because they fail to convince us that they are in a house, rather than a set.

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The Wall Vanishes

Just another contemporary house in the East Village.

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Home Range

I write about three contemporary houses by up-and-coming New York firms for The Architect’s Newspaper: one by Christoff:Finio, one by Morris Sato Studio, and another by OBRA Architects.

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The Ladies' Paradise

In “Souvenir,” Mad Men welcomes back Joan, looking lovely.

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(Women and) Children First

Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park is one more way New York City is attempting to be child-friendly.

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White Knight

With the opening of Less and More, the new exhibition of Dieter Rams' work, I'm reminded of how frustrating it is that his past work is not in production.

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Cutting Remarks

I'm not so sure that Lonny, the online-only magazine from the former editors of Domino, is such a good thing.

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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.


Recent Book



Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities
Alexandra Lange
Princeton Architectural Press, 2012
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Design Matters Interview


Alexandra Lange and Jane Thompson

In this podcast interview with Debbie Millman, Alexandra Lange and Jane Thompson discuss their new book, the store Design Research, creating the power of imagination, Marimekko, Sir Lady Jane and Benjamin Thompson.

Other Essays


"We need more museums that let us relax into knowledge"
dezeen, March 27, 2014

Critics roundtable on Shigeru Ban, 2014 Pritzker winner
Architect, March 25, 2014

Designing 'Catching Fire'
The Atlantic, December 3, 2013

Review: Dave Eggers's 'The Circle'
Medium, November 13, 2013

The Demolition of Prentice Hospital and Penn Station
Architect, October 31, 2013

Kickstarter Urbanism: Why Building A Park Takes More Than Crowdfunding
Gizmodo, September 16, 2013

Architecture's Lean In Moment
Metropolis, July 2013

Is Cake Art?
Medium, July 1, 2013

Light and Space and Curves
Architect, June 26, 2013

Le Corbusier at MoMA
New Yorker blog, June 18, 2013

Why Wooden Toys?
New Yorker blog, May 30, 2013

Donald Judd's House
New Yorker blog, May 13, 2013

Dreams Built and Broken: On Ada Louise Huxtable
The Nation, May 6, 2013

Just Sew It
Medium, May 1, 2013

Questions for a Teenage Furniture Dealer
New York Times, April 18, 2013

How To Make A Great Kids' App
The New Yorker blog, April 4, 2013

Passive Voice
Dwell, April 2013

MetaMuseum Tumblr
Launched March 5, 2013

Plain or Fancy?
New Yorker blog, March 4, 2013

It's Toasted: Modernity and 'Downton Abbey'
New Yorker blog, January 21, 2013

Consider the Fork, Very Carefully
New Yorker blog, November 29, 2012

'Wreck-It Ralph' Is a Sweet, Animated Tale About ... Urban Planning?
The Atlantic blog, November 27, 2012

A Wide-Angle Lens on the Midcentury American Home
New York Times, November 15, 2012

The Woman Who Invented the Kitchen
Slate, October 25, 2012

Cornell's Silicon Island
New Yorker blog, October 15, 2012

Fear of Fun: A History of Modernist Design for Children
Los Angeles Review of Books, October 6, 2012

Home Sweet Architectural Masterpiece
New York Times, October 4, 2012

What Comes Second: The Lesson of the Barclays Center
The New Yorker blog, September 19, 2012

DIY Magazines
Domus, September 2012

AD Innovator: Johnston Marklee
Architectural Digest, September 2012

Don't Put A Bird On It: Saving "Craft" from Cuteness
The New Yorker blog, August 1, 2012

A Chair for All Seasons
Domus, July/August 2012

Serious Play | Century of the Child
T Magazine, July 2012

A Playground That Parents Won't Come to Despise
The New Yorker blog, July 6, 2012

Girl Talk: On Architect Barbie
Dwell, July/August 2012

Pinterest: Fear of the "Female Ghetto"
The New Yorker blog, June 13, 2012

The Dot-Com City: Silicon Valley Urbanism
Strelka Press, June 2012

Living In LEGO City
Print, June 2012

Edith Wharton's Houses
The New Yorker blog, May 23, 2012

An Interview with Murray Moss
Disegno No. 2, Spring/Summer 2012

Book Review: 'Piecing Together Los Angeles: An Esther McCoy Reader'
Architectural Record, May 2012

Pedro E. Guerrero on Being Inspired by the Masters
The New York Times, April 4, 2012

Designing 'The Hunger Games'
The Atlantic, April 2, 2012

An Anatomy of Uncriticism
Print, February 2012

I Hate My Coffemaker
GourmetLive, November 30, 2011

A Serving of Style
GourmetLive, November 16, 2011

Table Dressing
T Magazine, November 6, 2011

Paper Tiger
Architect's Newspaper, November 2, 2011

Commentary: The World of Online Interiors
Architectural Record, October 2011

Elegant Solution
Metropolis Magazine, September 2011

The Search for the Perfect Fork
GourmetLive, Augustt 31, 2011

“Why’s This So Good?” No. 9: Herbert Muschamp builds a metaphor
Nieman Storyboard, Augustt 23, 2011

Dieter Rams: Less But Better
Architect's Newspaper, July 6, 2011

Going Back Outside (Again)
Metropolis Magazine, June 2011

Why Are Car Seats So Poorly Designed?
GOOD, May 27, 2011

High Fiber
T: The New York Times Design Magazine, May 1, 2011

Lake Effect
Architectural Digest, April 2011

A House Grows in Brooklyn 2011
Dwell, March 2011

Whatever Happened to the Dinner Party?
GourmetLive, February 10, 2011

The Moms Aren't Wrong
GOOD, February 1, 2011

What Next?: Criticism
Architectural Record, January 2011

Sidewalk Sale
New City Reader, November 2010

The Opulent Modernism of Warren Platner
Dwell, November 2010

The Architecture of Food
GourmetLive, October 28, 2010

Harry Weese's Pieces
Architect's Newspaper, October 22, 2010

People in Glass Houses
Financial Times Weekend, October 15, 2010

Hands Off the Icons
Dwell, October 2010

The Zootopian
T Magazine, September 30, 2010

If These Walls Could Talk
New York Times Opinionator, September 13, 2010

What's Cooking in Kitchen Design
New York Times Opinionator, August 27, 2010

Easier Living, By Design
New York Times Opinionator, July 23, 2010

Blue Sky Thinking
Metropolis Magazine, June 16, 2010

The Visceralist
Metropolis Magazine, May 12, 2010

Hole Earth Catalog
NYT Op-Ed, March 21, 2010

As the Tide Turns
Architect's Newspaper, February 4, 2010

Hands-On: The Gropius Touch
The Moment, January 20, 2010

Original Gossip Girls
New York Magazine, November 1, 2009

Fantasy Island
New York Magazine, May 28, 2007

The Next White
New York Magazine, May 13, 2007

Extending the Legacy
Metropolis Magazine, November 8, 2006

Once a Teardown, a Modernist Gem Is Reborn
The New York Times, November 2, 2006

Family Comes First
Metropolis Magazine, July 17, 2006

Building the (New) New York
New York Magazine, May 28, 2006

No Laughing Matter
Metropolis, January 2006

Brand Central Station
Metropolis, November 2005

This New House
New York Magazine, May 21, 2005

The Manhattanization of Brooklyn
New York Magazine, May 23, 2004





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ALEXANDRA LANGE: RECOMMENDED BOOKS


Above the Pavement — the Farm!
Amale Andraos & Dan Wood

America's Kitchens
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Guide to Easier Living
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A Pattern Language
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Exquisite Corpse
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The Spoils of Poynton
Henry James