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Critical Eye

Critic Alexandra Lange's incisive, observant, curious, human- and street-friendly architecture column for Curbed.

How Alexander Girard made America modern

To peg Girard solely as a textile designer (though there’s nothing wrong with being a textile designer) is to severely underestimate his accomplishments.

All About Frank

In which Curbed critic Alexandra Lange reviews a Frank Lloyd Wright archival exhibition at MoMA marking the architect’s 150th birthday

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The Second Avenue Subway is not a work of art 

The white-walled architecture of New York’s newest subway stations are saved from total dullness by Instagram-worthy art installations.

Netflix design docuseries is fast and fun, but lacks criticism

At its best, Abstract: The Art of Design is fast, funny, and informational; at its worst, it swamps the screen with imagery without criticism or context. It premieres February 10.

The forgotten history of Japanese-American designers’ World War II internment

Understanding how the Japanese-American experience of internment affected postwar design history, 75 years after FDR's executive order.

Year in review 2016: making architecture great again

For the seventh consecutive year, Curbed’s own Alexandra Lange and the critic Mark Lamster of the Dallas Morning News cover the ups and downs, triumphs, and tragedies of the year in design.

A journey to Isamu Noguchi's last work

Moerenuma Koen is Isamu Noguchi’s last work, a 400-acre public park, completed in 2005, that includes mountains, rivers, beaches, and forests of play equipment.

10 things I learned on a pilgrimage to the iconic Vanna Venturi House

On Thursday, November 10, the Vanna Venturi House in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, was added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, providing the 54-year-old house with its first preservation protection. We stopped by for a tour.

The other glass house: ‘30s Paris residence takes center stage in new exhibition

Diller Scofidio + Renfro creates a technology-forward exhibition about French architect Pierre Chareau’s seminal 1930s Maison de Verre.

Darkness and light: A bold new museum helps tell multifaceted African-American story

Our critic visits the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and examines its place on the National Mall and the ways the institution's architecture helps tell a complex, still-unfolding story.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro, on the edge

Is architecture’s most cutting-edge firm on the precipice of innovation or ubiquity? Our critic takes a look at the firm's body of work, from New York to Los Angeles and in between.

How one designer's vision of tech's future embraced the black and boxy

Apple, under the meticulous design direction of Jonathan Ive, continues to dominate the collective imagination with a singular vision the tech’s future. But what if the company's influential aesthetic wasn't cute, soft, and round?

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Stop calling the Lowline a park

Alexandra Lange explores the design behind the Lowline, a new public space being built in a disused subterranean trolley terminal and billed as the world's first underground park—but that's not exactly what it will be.

The problem with believing half the world’s population lives in cities

Alexandra Lange debunks the oft-cited statistic that 50 percent of the world's population lives in cities, and makes a case for why holding on to that number is harming our design discourse.

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Farewell to the Four Seasons

Curbed critic Alexandra Lange argues that Aby Rosen, the new owner of the Four Seasons, is discarding history, only to replace it with something newer, crasser, and more disposable.

Ray Eames and the art of entertaining

Curbed critic Alexandra Lange dives into The World of Charles and Ray Eames, a new book that reveals how the design duo lived, and examines how Ray turned house work and entertaining into performance art.

The puzzling, beautiful architecture of Manifold Garden

Curbed architecture critic Alexandra Lange talks with video game designer William Chyr about the beautiful, puzzling world he created in Manifold Garden, his first release, slated to be released in early 2017.

Inside the Renovation of Louis Kahn's Yale Center for British Art

How does one update buildings designed with nothing to hide? Tales from the renovation architects who know Louis Kahn best.

Alexandra Lange on the New SFMOMA Addition

Snøhetta’s $305 million, 235,000-square-foot expansion is a tasteful addition to SFMOMA's existing Mario Botta building—but what's with all the blonde wood stairs?

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Inside the Proposed Changes to the Landmarked Ford Foundation

On April 19, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is set to consider a proposed $190 million renovation to the Ford Foundation, the 1967 building by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates. Here's what those changes may mean for the building.

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Looking at Marcel Breuer's Bronx Community College Campus

A common reaction to Marcel Breuer and Associates’ 1959-61 Colston Hall at Bronx Community College, an arcing slab of concrete and steel hard by the Major Deegan Expressway and overlooking the Harlem River, is, What’s that?

Touring the Architecture of New Zealand

In New Zealand, the taste level is high and the landscape reliably stunning. The hills are jam-packed with houses that rival the indoor-outdoor appeal of California midcentury modern, and new urban development is clean and contemporary.

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Alexandra Lange on the New Met Breuer

Our critic loves the restoration, but misses the vanguard identity

Aldo van Eyck, from playground to orphanage

A look at Aldo van Eyck and his vanguard architecture for children.

Introducing the World's First Architecture Emoji

A batch of design-focused emoji icons, culled from Curbed architecture critic Alexandra Lange and the vocal members of #architecture Twitter.

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Imminent demolition feared for United Nations Plaza Hotel's iconic Postmodern interior

If Roche Dinkeloo’s Ambassador Grill does not rise to the level of an interior landmark, then what would meet the standard?

2016 Pritzker Prize Goes to Alejandro Aravena, Chilean Architect Behind Innovative Affordable Housing

Detroit Distilled

How the city's modern past could inspire its future

David Adjaye is having a moment: Will it redefine architecture?

Our critic, Alexandra Lange, examines the British architect's recent body of work

Frank Gehry's Los Angeles: A Retrospective in Buildings

LA's Broad Museum: A Downtown Destination Fit for the Instagram Age

LA’s Broad Museum: a downtown destination fit for the Instagram Age

But can it be more than a cultural institution for our digital era?

Clark Art Institute: Contemporary Haven, But No Masterpiece

Touring the Modern Architecture of Fire Island's Pines

A Buffalo Case Study: Can Architecture Bring a City Back?

The Brooklyn Bridge Deserves a Scenic View District of Its Own

Spotting Real-World Architecture in Monument Valley

Overwrought Shell Conceals Porous, Visitor-Friendly Design in Renzo Piano's New Whitney Museum

Barry Diller-Funded Pier55 Plan: Pocket Gadget, Meme-tecture, or Something More Nefarious?