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Alexandra Lange
Essays | Biography | Books | Contact

Archive: January 2010


The Mysteries of Retail

I don’t spend more than $100 easily and certainly not for something breakable, without function, or something for my kid that costs more than anything I own.


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Write What You Know

My handwriting should be a font. That’s what everyone has been saying since I was about 12, and while I agree it is true, it never seems like a compliment to me.


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More! Women! Architects!

A lot of attention — in Chicago, at least — has been given to the fact that Aqua is the tallest building in the world designed by a woman.


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Suburban Design

Lester Beall, was always my favorite of the cadre of mid-century corporate identity designers for the color, energy and sheer American-ness of his design.

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Pay No Attention to Me

In one of those strange topical coincidences, this Sunday’s Arts & Leisure section has a profile of Iwan Baan, a Dutch architectural photographer who, Fred A. Bernstein claims, is the post-Stoller-Shulman-Molitor savior of architectural photography.

Mr. Baan’s work, while still showing architecture in flattering lights and from carefully chosen angles, does away with the old feeling of chilly perfection. In its place he offers untidiness, of the kind that comes from real people moving though buildings and real cities massing around them

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Buildings That Aren't There

Photography needs to prove itself again as an interpretive medium for architecture somewhere this side of art.

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Hands-On: The Gropius Touch

I couldn’t believe no one else had noticed that Ati Gropius Johansen was coming to the MoMA, and it seemed like a piece of history.

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A Real Modern Monument

Peter Behrens’ AEG Turbine Hall is still in use and is still as striking as the day it was completed — so shouldn't that be the goal for every building?


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Love and Flatware

A scene from Sleepless In Seattle makes me wonder about the idea that shared taste = true love.

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Trip Down Memory Lane

In my ongoing project to give my son as much of a 1970s childhood as possible, we recently ran across all of the 1968 animated film, Yellow Submarine.

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Inappropriation

This Urchin Pouf is an expensive contemporary design object I truly adore, hence my shock at seeing an extremely cheap version in the new CB2 catalog.

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The Yuck Factor

Watch District 9 as a palate cleanser after the visual feast of Avatar.

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Snip Snip Snip

The Museum of Arts & Design’s Slash: Paper Under the Knife, is the must-see of the winter season.

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It's Not Just Me

Way back in the beginnings of blogging in July, I praised the French film Summer Hours.

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On DO: Skating on the Edge of Taste

The American Restaurant in Kansas City, designed by Warren Platner, is subject of a long essay on that architect and interior designer’s career.

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I Heart Huxtable

Ada Louise Huxtable is still the most knowledgeable, elegant, thoughtful critic out there.

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About A Boy

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is one of my favorite contemporary novels, but Manhood for Amateurs made me like him much less.


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Size M

Nicolai Ouroussoff, Paul Goldberger, and Ada Louise Huxtable may live here in New York, but in general they have become too big to pay attnetion to the small stuff.

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Annotated Avatar

Avatar is itself a hack, James Cameron is less auteur, more sci fi magpie.

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Recent Book



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


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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
Nancy Carlisle & Melinda Talbot Nasardinov

Guide to Easier Living
Mary & Russel Wright

A Pattern Language
Christopher Alexander

Exquisite Corpse
Michael Sorkin

The Spoils of Poynton
Henry James