Publication

  • Wonderland: The Design of Childhood, from Lego to the Metropolis
    Alexandra Lange
    Author
    Bloomsbury, 2018
  • GRANTEE
    Alexandra Lange
    GRANT YEAR
    2016

Opus/Boffa Miskell, Margaret Mahy Family Playground, 2015, Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: Alexandra Lange.

Parents obsess over their children's food, their kindergarten curriculum, their sports prowess, their texting habits, drilling down on daily rituals as if one worksheet or one piano lesson might make all the difference. But the playrooms, classrooms, playgrounds and transit systems in which kids eat, learn, run and chat have as much impact as the activities they frame. Since the late-nineteenth century, designers, educators, sociologists, and planners have made radical proposals about the materials, colors, dimensions, and locations of children's lives. Those ideas still circulate today, in parallel with contemporary schemes for wired classrooms, digital building blocks, and cities made for families. This book offers a guided tour through the primary-colored landscape of childhood, from baby's first toy to the place of families in the urban environment.

Alexandra Lange is the architecture critic for Curbed. Her work has appeared in Architect, Dirty Furniture, Dwell, Icon, MAS Context, Metropolis, New York Magazine, the New Yorker, and the New York Times. She had a weekly blog at Design Observer from 2010 to 2014, and has been an Opinion columnist for Dezeen since January 2014. Lange is the author of Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012) and the e-book The Dot-Com City: Silicon Valley Urbanism (Strelka Press, 2012), as well as coauthor of Design Research: The Store that Brought Modern Living to American Homes (Chronicle Books, 2010). Lange received her PhD in twentieth-century architecture history from the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU in 2005. She has taught in the Design Criticism Program at the School of Visual Arts and the Urban Design and Architecture Studies Program at New York University. She was a 2014 Loeb Fellow at  Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.