Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic
Dec 8, 2016

New York’s Cultural Infrastructure: Branch Libraries

With the arrival of digital publishing and storage technologies, libraries have shifted away from being central sources of information to public meeting spaces and key cultural destinations. Explore why public libraries remain integral to New York City’s cultural infrastructure in a conversation between architectural photographer Elizabeth Felicella and architecture critic Alexandra Lange of Curbed.

Felicella’s eight-year project photographing all 210 NYC public library branches resulted in more than 2,000 photographs, and culminated in the Center for Architecture’s current exhibition Reading Room: A Catalog of New York City’s Branch Libraries.

6PM, The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, Manhattan.
Free for AIA members; $10 for non-members.

Sep 30, 2016

2016 Symposium: Foundations and Futures

Exhibit Columbus is an annual exploration of architecture, art, design, and community with programming that alternates between symposium and exhibition years. It seeks to celebrate Columbus’ design heritage, while making it relevant to new audiences.

The 2016 Symposium, “Foundations and Futures,” brings together presenters who are international experts in design, art, and architectural history, community members that built and maintain many of the landmarks around the city, and manufacturing and fabrication leaders. There will be discussions with all ten of the finalists in the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Competition.

I will be speaking at a morning session titled, “Modern Art + Life,” with scholars including Jochen Eisenbrand, Marleen Newman, Ron Henderson and Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen. My presentation is on modern design and modern schools; others will speak about the legacy of Alexander Girard, Harry Weese and Kevin Roche in Columbus.

September 30, 2016, 9AM, Columbus Area Visitors Center, Columbus, IN.
$35 / day, $10 students.

Feb 11, 2016

Culture of Modernism

While the Boston region was home to a number of large modernist projects, it was also an area that brought the zeitgeist of the movement to stores and museums. Kitchen utensils, fabrics, and furniture brought modern interiors to the average consumer and exhibitions and the cultural spaces made modernism part of the cutting edge scene.

A panel discussion with Alexandra Lange, Jane Thompson and Michael Kubo, part of a four-part series on Modernism. MHS is pleased to be working with our nonprofit partners, the Concord Museum and DoCoMoMo-New England, on this series.

February 11, 2016, 6PM, Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Rd, Concord, MA.

Oct 7, 2015

Public Natures

In Weiss/Manfredi’s new book, “Public Natures: Evolutionary Infrastructures” (Princeton Architectural Press, 2015), Weiss and Manfredi speculate that a new paradigm for infrastructure might erase the hard lines between landscape, architecture, engineering, and urbanism, suggesting a more synthetic definition of infrastructure that is entirely public in nature.

Rail lines, bridges, highways, waterways, and off-ramps—larger than life but part of it, infrastructural systems are the enduring forms of urban evolution, multiplying as cities grow and requiring expanding swaths of territory to accommodate more and more monofunctional requirements. What if the very hard line between landscape, architecture, engineering, and urbanism could find a more synthetic convergence?

Join Marion Weiss, Michael A. Manfredi, Alexandra Lange, Barry Bergdoll, Stan Allen, and David van der Leer in a discussion that explores the potential to shape a new public realm.

October 7, 2015, 6PM, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Auditorium, New York Public Library.

An audio recording of this event is available here

Sep 18, 2015

Symposium—Toys and Childhood: Playing with Design

This symposium is organized in conjunction with the exhibition Swedish Wooden Toys at the Bard Graduate Center (Sep. 18, 2015–Jan. 17, 2016). Five papers will extend the conversation about toys as designed objects and as cultural forms beyond the gallery to explore their relationship with notions of children and childhood. The speakers, who include historians and critics of art, design, and cultural history, will address a variety of toy-related subjects from the eighteenth century to the present across Europe and the US.

My talk, titled “After Wood: The Plastic and the Digital in Contemporary Toys,” is the last one of the day.

Sept. 18, 2015, 9:30AM – 5:00PM, 38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall.
Free. RSVP: 212.501.3019,

Video of this symposium is here
My talk begins at 2:29 in the video, and I recommend Colin Fanning’s history of Lego and advertising at 1:45.

Jun 23, 2015

Researching Modernism, Columbus and Beyond

Please join the Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives for a discussion with architecture critic Alexandra Lange.
Currently Lange is researching Alexander Girard’s Columbus projects including the Downtown Storefront Project, Irwin Management Co. offices at 301 Washington Street, and Cummins Headquarters at 432 Washington Street.

June 23, 2015, 6:30PM, to 7:30 pm, Columbus Area Visitors Center, 506 Fifth Street, Columbus, IN.