Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

Amy Fusselman reviews The Design of Childhood

The author of one of my favorite books on playgrounds, Savage Park, reviews The Design of Childhood in Metropolis Magazine.

I particularly appreciated this bit:

Lange occasionally ventures into more personal territory, including anecdotes from her own childhood, and from her experiences as a mother of two. These asides are appealing in the way they round out her scholarly work, offering readers the acknowledgement that it’s nearly impossible to divorce one’s own childhood experiences, as well as one’s experience as a parent, from understanding design for children. In detailing the origins of the Tripp Trapp chair, for example—the well-known, and famously adjustable, Scandinavian wooden kid seat—she reveals that she had bought her older son one of these chairs when he was two, thinking he would hand it down to his sister four years later. “Nine years on,” she writes, “he is still using his (orange), and we had to buy a second for her (plum).” She then adds, in a wry bit of mental reframing surely familiar to many parents: “I had to consider them an investment.”