Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe

Alexander Girard was one of the most important modern textile artists and interior designers of the 20th century. He combined Pop and Folk art influences to create a colorfully opulent aesthetic language whose impact continues to be felt today. This richly illustrated catalogue draws on the vast holdings in Girard’s private estate, which were exhaustively investigated for the first time at the Vitra Design Museum. The book presents the oeuvre of the multitalented designer in all its facets, while offering the first scholarly, critical examination of his work. Six essays address Girard’s textile and graphic design for the furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, interior design projects such as the Irwin Miller House in Columbus, Indiana (1953), and the restaurant La Fonda del Sol in New York (1960), his activities as a pioneering exhibition organizer and curator, his roots in Italy and his passion for folk art, which resulted in a collection of more than 100,000 objects and served as one of the most important sources of inspiration for his own work. In addition to extensive portfolios with never-before-shown archive materials, the publication also provides a biography and a complete list of works, plus articles by Susan Brown, Jochen Eisenbrand, Barbara Hauss, Alexandra Lange, Monica Obniski and Jonathan Olivares.

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See more: Artbook

Listening: Bohlin, Cywinski, Jackson: Houses 2009-2015

This exquisitely designed monograph showcases the latest residential designs by one of the world’s leading architectural firms. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is acclaimed for their sensual, humane designs that celebrate the subtleties of place and the rich possibilities of materials. In this new monograph—published to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the firm’s founding—twelve of the firm’s virtuoso residential projects from the last six years are showcased in great detail and depth. Known for their exquisitely crafted houses and inventive use of natural materials, the firm excels at architecture that is refined, yet evokes the sensibility of the surrounding landscape. The striking beauty of each house’s natural setting is captured through stunning photography, and detailed renderings offer greater insight into each project. With essays by Peter Bohlin, Michael Cadwell, Rick Joy and Alexandra Lange.

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See more: Rizzoli USA

Thirty Years of Emerging Voices: Form, Idea, Resonance

The prestigious Emerging Voices award was created in 1982 by The Architectural League of New York to showcase the work of early- to mid-career North American architects. Each year, through an invited competition, a jury selects practitioners or firms with a significant body of realized work that represents the best of its kind and has the potential to shape the future of architecture and landscape design. Thirty Years of Emerging Voices documents and critically assesses the first three decades of the League’s Emerging Voices program. Essays by Reed Kroloff, Ashley Schafer, and Karen Stein and concise commentaries by Alan G. Brake, Henry N. Cobb, Alexandra Lange, Thomas de Monchaux, Paul Makovsky, and Suzanne Stephens complement the presentation of work from the nearly 250 individuals and firms that have been selected for the program.

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SQM: The Quantified Home

The way we live is rapidly changing under pressure from multiple forces—financial, environmental, technological, geopolitical. What we used to call home may not even exist anymore, having transmuted into a financial commodity of which the square meter is the basic unit. Yet, domesticity and the domestic space ceased long ago to be present in the architectural agenda. SQM, produced for the 2014 Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk, Belgium, charts the scale of this change using data, fiction, and a critical selection of homes and their interiors—from Osama bin Laden’s compound to apartment living in the age of Airbnb.

With original texts by: Rahel Aima, Aristide Antonas, Gabrielle Brainard and Jacob Reidel, Keller Easterling, Ignacio González Galán, Joseph Grima, Hilde Heynen, Dan Hill, Sam Jacob, Alexandra Lange, Justin McGuirk, Joanne McNeil, Alessandro Mendini, Jonathan Olivares, Marina Otero Verzier, Beatriz Preciado, Anna Puigjaner, Catharine Rossi, Andreas Ruby, Malkit Shoshan, Bruce Sterling.

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Formica Forever

Formica® is 100 years old! To celebrate this centennial, Formica Corporation has published Formica Forever. The book takes us on a lively, information-packed walk through the life of this much-loved material: from its humble beginnings as electrical insulation; to its initial adoption by designers including Donald Deskey in the 1930s; to a golden age ushered in by the post–World War II housing boom; through global expansion in the second half of the twentieth century; to the laminate’s inventive uses by designers, artists and architects such as Jasper Morrison, Daniel Buren, Frank Gehry, Laurinda Spear and Zaha Hadid; through to the present, which finds the Formica Group working with young designers to push the limits of this pioneering material. The book’s designer, Abbott Miller, has brought together an exuberant array of archival illustrations of original product samples, advertisements and other ephemera. These are anchored by three essays by Phil Patton on the history of Formica Corporation; by Alexandra Lange on Formica Materials and the design world; and by Peter York on the “wipe-clean world” made possible by Formica laminates.

See more: Artbook

Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future

From the swooping concrete vaults of the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport to the 630-foot-tall Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the iconic designs of Eero Saarinen (1910–1961) captured the aspirations and values of mid-20th-century America. Potent expressions of national power, these and other Saarinen-designed structures—including the GM Technical Center, Dulles International Airport, and John Deere headquarters—helped create the international image of the United States in the decades following World War II.

Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future offers a new and wide-ranging look at the entire scope of Saarinen’s career. This is the first book on Saarinen to incorporate significant research and materials from the newly available archives of his office, and includes the most complete portfolio of Saarinen’s projects to date—a chronological survey of more than 100 built and unbuilt works, previously unpublished photographs, plans, and working drawings.

Edited by Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen and Donald Albrecht; With contributions by Mark Coir, Sandy Isenstadt, Alexandra Lange, Reinhold Martin, Will Miller, and Vincent Scully.