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The Dot-Com City: Silicon Valley Urbanism [Kindle Edition]

Alexandra Lange
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Monocultures have always been part of the appeal of the suburban headquarters, and it is especially true for the tech companies that dominate Silicon Valley. On their bland campuses, the likes of Apple, Google and Facebook dominate the world, removed from the mess and the prying eyes of the real city. But while their products are discussed endlessly, their urbanism has rarely been. So what does it look like? To date, the Silicon Valley campus has served as a backdrop to many a sun-kissed founder photoshoot, but there is little understanding of the distinctive urban personality that separates the village of Facebook from the town of Google or the truly urban Twitter (which recently decided to move to San Francisco’s notoriously un-gentrifiable Tenderloin). This investigation of the private towns of Silicon Valley examines the tech campus as a typology and seeks to discover what it says about the companies we think we know.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1018 KB
  • Print Length: 27 pages
  • Publisher: Strelka Press; 1 edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085K6UDS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #817,453 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sharp and insightful overview September 15, 2012
By Spotty
Format:Kindle Edition
I highly enjoyed this short read for the limited time I could - by that I mean it's excellently-written, but only takes an hour or so to finish! Lange surveys the usual Silicon-valley superstars' workspaces (sometimes with their permission, other times not!) and their immediate surroundings in great detail. Clearly written by an architect, it places the cunningly-crafted bubble-world of the silicon valley campus within the wider context of how they sit in the real world - that is, to say, not at all! Then, these self-exiled companies, nestled away from the city or townscapes in which they grew up, begin to try and re-create the urban environment within their own campuses - with intriguing results.

I would like to read a more in-depth study one day, but given this book cost next to nothing I can't complain!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Confusingly typeset (Kindle version) January 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Alexandra Lange is one of my favorite writers. However in this Kindle version essay, the punctuation is rather confusing. Block quotes (where she quotes other writers at length) have no styling (or quotation marks), leaving you wondering where the quote ends and AL's writing takes back up. Also, some paragraphs begin with three periods like an ellipsis... Why? Some of these paragraphs are clearly not part of a block quote.
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2.0 out of 5 stars It's been said before June 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A predictable visit to Silicon Valley office campuses of famous firms. Lange attempts to set them in the "real world" but doesn't look beyond the parking lots to the larger Silicon Valley context. Her "urban" blinders don't allow her to consider this environment in an open-minded way, leading to superficial critique and conclusions that have been made before. Journalism and pre-formed opinion instead of analysis.
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More About the Author

Alexandra Lange is an architecture and design critic, journalist and historian. Her work has appeared in The Architect's Newspaper, Design Observer, Metropolis, New York Magazine and The New York Times, and she teaches architecture criticism at New York University and the School of Visual Arts.

She blogs weekly at about design in the real world, and can be found on Twitter @LangeAlexandra.

She is co-author, with Jane Thompson, of "Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes" (Chronicle, 2010) and sole author of "Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities" (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012).

She contributed several essays to "Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future" (Yale University Press, 2006), and her PhD dissertation, "There's No Place Like Work," discussed the integration of modern architecture, design and landscape at CBS, Connecticut General, Deere & Co. and IBM in the 1950s and 1960s.

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