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Writing about Architecture

Writing about Architecture

Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities

Alexandra Lange


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Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities, the latest addition to the Architecture Briefs series, is a handbook on how to write effectively and critically about the contemporary city. The book offers works by some of the best architecture critics of the twentieth century—including Ada Louise Huxtable, Lewis Mumford, Herbert Muschamp, Michael Sorkin, Charles Moore, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Jane Jacobs—to explains some of the most successful methods with which to approach architectural criticism. Each chapter opens with a reprint of a historically significant essay (and organized by typology—such as the skyscraper, the museum, and parks) discussing a specific building or urban project. The author, Alexandra Lange, then offers a close reading of that essay, as well as her own analysis through contemporary examples, to further enlighten the reader about how to write an effective piece of architectural criticism.

This book, based on lessons learned from the author’s courses at New York University and the School of Visual Arts, could serve as the primary text for a course on criticism for undergraduates or architecture and design majors.

Architects covered include Marcel Breuer, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Field Operations, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Frederick Law Olmsted, SOM, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

More Details

Publication: February 2012
ISBN: 9781616890537
ISBN10: 1616890533
Alexandra Lange is an architecture and design critic, journalist, and historian based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the Architect’s Newspaper, Dwell, Icon, Metropolis, New York Magazine, and the New York Times. She teaches at New York University and the School of Visual Arts. She is co-author, with Jane Thompson, of the book Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes (Chronicle, 2010). She blogs weekly in the Observers Room at Design Observer on all things visual.