little Marcel Breuer butterfly-roof box, one much like the 1948 House in the Museum Garden."/>

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Comments Posted 05.24.10 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Alexandra Lange

Modernism on the Range


Thinking about The Incredibles and design after reading this piece by Jessica Helfand, I was remembering how amused I was that the Incredibles lived in a little Marcel Breuer butterfly-roof box (great screenshots at The Mid-Century Modernist), one much like the 1948 House in the Museum Garden.

Then, messing around on YouTube in search of things to show my son that aren’t attached to a line of merchandise (see under, Cars, Thomas), I found this gem from 1956: A Cowboy Needs a Horse, complete with atomic ranch. Pay close attention to the house at the beginning and end. Every time I watch it I try to figure out its hidden meaning. In The Incredibles, the message was mixed, because the bad guy lived in Lautner, the butterfly-roof modern house was a symbol of suburban conformity, and yet Edna Mode invented from a mini-Bunshaft or Saarinen.

But here, when the ranch was young, it seems like the animators are playing with the overlap of modern architecture, western domestication, and the architecture of the mesa. Is the boy trying to escape to the past, or is his environment allowing him to dream?

Meanwhile, I am still trying to figure out how to explain the braves to a 21st century child.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS









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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