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Alexandra Lange
Essays | Biography | Books | Contact

Archive: June 2010


Bag Ladies

John Ptak explores the history of the handbag after seeing a photo of 1920 woman, who couldn’t seem to put one down.

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THE Bite THATS Rite

Just gorgeous. Photograph by John Szarkowski from Looking After Louis Sullivan at the Art Institute. Reviewed by Blair Kamin here. Always hoping to find the 1956 edition of this book in a second hand shop.



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Where Have All the Windchimes Gone?

What is a beach rental coming to when the dishes are without fish? Sure, there’s a painting of a marina with a grizzled sailor on the dock above the fireplace, and I had to clear a number of rowboats and metal frog sculptures off the bureau before I could put anything down, but still, only one seahorse windchime?

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A Return to Modern Roots

I finally got a chance to see the new North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, by Thomas Phifer & Partners, which opened this spring.

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Diana Center & Architectural Bull----

Though rave reviews (Architect, Metropolis, previously New York) are rolling in for Weiss/Manfredi’s Diana Center at Barnard College, every review has praised two things that I quickly dismissed as the most basic architectural bullshit: the copper glass and the street-level transparency.

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In Metropolis: Blue Sky Thinking

What’s really happening at Inland Steel? An ambitious LEED Platinum master plan by SOM, the 1958 building’s original architects, attracted the press, but the economy and landmarks regulations created a more modest reality.

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Make Me A Mini Monograph

In my many encounters with publishing last year, when I was trying to sell a book on Alexander Girard (Todd Oldham got there first) and architecture criticism (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011), the thing I found most depressing was the sense I got that one could only write a book about designers that were already famous.

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“We Can’t Really Pay”

All of you print people who scorned bloggers but have moved into blogging and helm publications that “blog,” earth to you: You don’t pay.

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Op Art Eye Candy

I’m lucky that I get to live with a Julian Stanczak painting, bought by my father-in-law in 1968, when Op Art was really something.

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Pomo Time Machine

I’m writing more about Warren Platner, my favorite terribly wonderful or wonderfully terrible architect, so I have been on the hunt for other critics who share my alternating appreciation and dismay.

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Girl Power?

I saw this photo in the New York Times this morning and thought, That’s Carly Fiorina’s campaign poster? That seems kind of … girly. Lightweight, lowercase, sans serif type. Two tones of red or pink (I can’t really tell on screen) on white? Is she trying for a little iCarly crossover? I’m surprised no type geeks have weighed in on this yet, but if any of you are out there, please comment. The graphic design establishment got all excited over Obama’s typography, but has been quiet since.

When I showed this to my husband he said it seemed very Virginia Slims, and I had to agree

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AIA Guide, Family Style

Page 627, upper right corner, of the new AIA Guide mentions my husband, Mark Dixon.

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Marigold, Goldenrod, Egg Yolk

I think of this color yellow as being so 1960, like Kodak Carousel boxes, made famous all over again by Mad Men.

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My .02 on the Whitney

It seems like everyone had taken their shot at outrage, pleasure and conspiracy theory regarding the Whitney's move from their Marcel Breuer building on the Upper East Side to a Renzo Piano building at the base of the High Line.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Bloggers in the Archive

Geoff Manaugh’s announcement, on BLDGBLOG, that he would be blogging from the CCA this summer irritated me, partly because the idea is not brand new.

READ MORE | COMMENTS



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
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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
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