Design Observer

About
Books
Job Board
Newsletters
Archive
Contact



Observatory

About
Resources
Submissions
Contact


Featured Writers

Michael Bierut
William Drenttel
John Foster
Jessica Helfand
Alexandra Lange
Mark Lamster
Paul Polak
Rick Poynor
John Thackara
Rob Walker


Departments

Advertisement
Audio
Books
Collections
Dear Bonnie
Dialogues
Essays
Events
Foster Column
From Our Archive
Gallery
Interviews
Miscellaneous
New Ideas
Opinions
Partner News
Photos
Poetry
Primary Sources
Projects
Report
Reviews
Slideshows
The Academy
Today Column
Unusual Suspects


Topics

Accidental Mysteries
Advertising
Architecture
Art
Books
Branding
Business + Industry
Cities + Places
Community
Craft
Culture
Dear Bonnie
Design History
Design Practice
Development
Disaster Relief
Ecology
Economy
Education
Energy
Environment
Fashion
Film + Video
Food
Geography
Global + Local
Graphic Design
Health + Safety
History
Housing
Hunter | Gatherer
Ideas
Illustration
India
Industry
Information Design
Infrastructure
Interaction Design
Internet
Journalism
Landscape
Literature
Magazines
Media
Motion Design
Museums
Music
Nature
Obituaries
Other
Peace
Philanthropy
Photography
Planning
Poetry
Politics + Policy
Popular Culture
Poverty
Preservation
Product Design
Public + Private
Public Art
Publishing
Religion
Reputations
Science
Shelter
Social Enterprise
Sports
Sustainability
Technology
Theory + Criticism
Transportation
TV + Radio
Typography
Urbanism
Water


Alexandra Lange
Essays | Biography | Books | Contact

Archive: March 2010


Texts Without Context

I keep thinking about Michiko Kakutani’s piece, Texts Without Context, that begins the discussion of what is being lost to culture by the supremacy of the web.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Reciting Modernist Architects

She hated it when Daddy made her recite modernist architects.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

On DO: Design Blogs: The Vacuum of Enthusiasm

As part of my new strategy of writing the conversations that go on in my head, I critique design (and architecture, to some extent) blogs today on Design Observer.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Design Blogs: The Vacuum of Enthusiasm

When the grid of 1,000 lampshades descended on the Oscar stage, minutes before the uncomfortable-making Best Actor appreciations (I had to mute), I thought, Yes! This is a fuggable design moment. I struggled to think of something funny to tweet about lampshades, decorators, Alec Baldwin after the show but @marklisanti beat me to it.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (38)

My Favorite SANAA

It is thrilling that SANAA has won the 2010 Pritzker Prize for many reasons: the second woman, the second partnership, and most of all their beautiful work.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

The World's Foremost Female Architect

Not to belabor the point, but Martin Filler takes up the discussion of female architects and puts Denise Scott-Brown in her rightful place.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Scarano's School for Scandal

There’s a piece in New York Magazine this week about the buyers in defrocked architect Robert Scarano’s buildings, worried about shoddy construction and their resale values. It almost entirely misses the larger point. What was so terrible about Scarano’s practice is what is terrible about Scarano’s practice.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Times Op-Ed: Hole Earth Catalog

On the New York Times Op-Ed page today, my suggestion for an adopt-a-pothole program for New York City. If we are teaching our children about botony in the schoolyards, why not teach them about the ecology of the urban environment?

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Doing Addition

When I tweeted yesterday on the rumored short list for the San Francisco MoMA expansion competition, Curbed SF called me sour!

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Things of Beauty

Saul Bass matchbook covers are about the most beautiful things I have seen in some time.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Playground Apps

All the articles I have read about foursquare convinced me that it would never be of benefit to me, since they stress its after-hours usefulness, and I hardly go out. But I wonder if the young, male inventors haven’t missed a big market: moms.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Tearing Down

At the end of a session at the Architectural League's On Criticism reading group, the non-journalists in attendance began to ask the journalists whether architecture critics had any power. No one wanted to say, I don’t know, or, Not likely.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Critical Mass

Not to be overly self-referential, but I have to highlight this paragraph of Places editor Nancy Levinson’s response to the comments on her response to my Nicolai Ouroussoff piece.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

House Upon House

There’s now much more to drool over online regarding Herzog & de Meuron’s 12 gabled VitraHaus in Weil am Rhein.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Not A Learning Experience

The Privileges finally gives a real satire of almost-present day New York City, in which money is discussed and no one has to learn their lesson.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Bluestockings Unite!

My new favorite word, from Virginia Heffernan’s NYT Magazine column this weekend: marmish. She and Urban Dictionary both consider it a bad thing, but I have actually felt liberated by embracing my marmishness in recent years.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Mad Swatches

One of the aspects of Alexander Girard’s career that is most newsworthy, is the restoration and reopening of the J. Irwin and Xenia Miller House.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

The (Architectural) Anthologist

After some digressions weird and wonderful, the Nicholson Baker I loved from The Mezzanine and U and I and Room Temperature seems to be back, cranky and at sea and procrastinating.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

On DO: Why Ouroussoff Is Not Good Enough

Well, it took me about six month to work up to this, but here goes: If the death of the architecture critic is nigh, we really need better ones than Ouroussoff occupying the top spots.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Welcome to Fort Brooklyn

Let us sincerely hope that the Atlantic Terminal Entrance in Brooklyn, a gateway to the LIRR and the hub’s many subways, marks the end of empty transport monumentality. Sure, we still mourn the death of Penn Station, but every attempt to revive the grand entrance hall ends up being just another mall.

READ MORE | COMMENTS
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
More >>


Design Observer Archive


2014
March
February
January
2013
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2012
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2011
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2010
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2009
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
March
January

2008
November
October
April

2007
July
May

2005
October

2003
May

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





DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS




TWITTER BY @langealexandra


Please wait while tweets load.
Follow Alexandra on Twitter

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