Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic
June 15

Future Hudson: Where Does Hudson Gather?

A panel on the future of Hudson, New York’s public spaces, from the parks and open spaces, to the sidewalks, streets, buildings and spaces between them. Part of an event series organized by local urban planners, architects, and activists, inspiring creative conversations with and by forward-thinking people, projects and organizations.

Panelists include Carter Strickland, Trust for Pubic Land; Bram Gunther, Natural Areas Conservancy; Gail Wittwer-Laird, Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners; Kaya Weidman, Kite’s Nest; Christine Vanderlan, Columbia Land Conservancy, and Alexandra Lange.

4PM, Hudson Area Library, 51 North 5th Street, Hudson, New York.

May 9

Luncheon By Design: “Serious Play”

The Denver Art Museum’s 2019 Luncheon by Design will feature an exclusive presentation by Alexandra Lange, renowned architecture critic and author of The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids.

This year’s event marks an exciting year for design at the DAM, aligning with the exhibition “Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America” and looking ahead to the new galleries for the Architecture, Design & Graphics department.

11AM, Grand Ballroom, Four Seasons Denver.
Tickets are $150 for the luncheon, or $350 for both the luncheon and the May 8 Patron Party.
Information, Violet Mantell at or 720-913-0034.

May 7

Book Launch: “The Midcentury Kitchen”

A conversation about food, design, and the politics of the American kitchen with Sarah Archer, author of the new book The Midcentury Kitchen: America’s Favorite Room from Workspace to Dreamscape, 1940s-1970s, and Anastacia Marx de Salcedo, the author of Combat-Ready Kitchen, and Curbed architecture critic and The Design of Childhood author Alexandra Lange.

6PM, Rizzoli Bookstore, 1133 Broadway, Manhattan.

March 27

Me to We: WiA Equity Series

A thoughtful discussion about Collaborators in Architecture, how working together is viewed and valued, and why our perceptions may hinder both workplace efficiency and architectural progress. Sponsored by Women in Architecture, Houston.

Alexandra Lange, Architecture Critic and Author
Marianela D’Aprile, Architect and Author
Gabrielle Bullock, FAIA, Director of Global Diversity, Principal at Perkins+Will
Beth White, Houston Parks Board

Dean Patricia Oliver, FAIA

6PM, MATCH, 3400 Main, Houston.
Buy tickets here.

Nov 30, 2018

When Fake Is Better Than Real: Laminates and the Modern Interior

What is luxury? Is it rosewood and leather, silk and lacquer, marble and gold leaf? Or is it the freedom from the cost of installing, then maintaining those fine natural materials? Is luxury the off-limits living room and the war against fingerprints, or the anything-goes feeling of a house where wet feet, even wet bathing suits are fine. From its first adoption by American designers in the 1930s, Formica’s decorative plastic laminates were sold as inexpensive and hard-wearing but also fashionable and fun. Like vinyl, fiberglass and melamine, introduced to the home market during the same era, laminates offered modernity with an old-fashioned touch of class. Sequin, introduced in 1952, scattered irregular gold flecks across a colored ground. My grandmother’s countertops, installed in the early 1970s, were in one of the most popular colors: aqua.

This talk will survey the high points of the marriage of plastic laminates and design, from Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall in the 1930s; to Brooks Stevens’s iconic Boomerang pattern, seen on dinette sets across the United States; to a World’s Fair house of the future; to Ettore Sottsass’s totemic Superboxes, which suggested that all you need in your home is a bed and a laminate closet. Whether it looks realer than real wood, or as fake as supersize neon bacteria, laminate does not deserve its current reputation, beige and utilitarian, consigned to the kitchenettes of cheap motels. We do, however, have to contend with its environmental cost. Once upon a time, it meant glamor.

12:45PM, The Berlage Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design, Delft University of Technology.

Nov 13, 2018

Design Conversations: Playing Architect

Playing Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright liked to tell the story of how his interest in form was piqued by early encounters with wooden blocks. In this lecture, Alexandra Lange will discuss why kids play wooden blocks, what lessons they teach, and how designers and educators including Caroline Pratt, Anne Tyng, Isamu Noguchi and Charles and Ray Eames tried to improve upon them in concrete, plastic and cardboard.

4:45PM, University Gallery Level 2, Booth Hall 7A, Vignelli Center for Design Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY.

A link to this lecture can be found here.