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Alexandra Lange

Getting creative at the mall

Since their invention in the 1950s, malls have loomed large as temples of commerce, the agora of the suburbs. Yet today, amid the aftershocks of financial crises and a global pandemic, as well as the rise of online retail, the dystopian husk of an abandoned shopping center has become one of the era’s defining images. Alexandra Lange reveals how the design of malls played an integral role in their cultural ascent, and how essential they have been to creating space for community in the suburbs. 

Her book Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall chronicles the rise, fall, and ongoing reinvention of the mall, from Kansas City’s own Country Club Plaza to the wave of 1990s teen movies, to American Dream in New Jersey, a mall whose most successful attractions have nothing to do with shopping.

04.24.24 | 5:30-7:30pm
  • 5:30pm | Registration
  • 6:00pm | Presentation
  • Light Snacks & Beverages Provided
$22 + fees in advance | $30 at door
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Alexandra Lange

Alexandra Lange is a design critic. Her essays, reviews and profiles have appeared in numerous design publications including ArchitectBloomberg CityLabCurbedHarvard Design Magazine, and Metropolis, as well as in The AtlanticNew York MagazineThe New Yorker, and the New York Times.

Her latest book, Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall, was published by Bloomsbury USA in June 2022. It received positive reviews in the New York Times, the Wall Street JournalThe AtlanticThe Economist, and The Nation, as well as coverage on NPR Marketplace, 99 Percent Invisible, Decoder Ring, and Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness.

In 2021, Alexandra became editorial advisor to the podcast New Angle: Voice, produced by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. The podcast showcases the work of pioneering women of American architecture; subjects of the ten episodes include Julia Morgan, Natalie de Blois, Helen Fong, Norma Sklarek and Ada Louise Huxtable.