Discipline: Architecture – text

Alexandra Quantrill

Discipline: Architecture – text
Region: Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell fellowships: 2023

Alexandra Quantrill is a historian whose scholarship concerns intersections between technology, environment, aesthetics, and political economy in the making of the built world. She received a Ph.D. in architecture history and theory from Columbia University, and a master of architecture degree from Princeton. She has taught courses on the history and theory of modern and contemporary architecture at Cornell, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Parsons/The New School, and the University of Texas at Austin.

She was awarded a 2022-2023 Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies for her current book project, Electric Women: Liberation, Constraint, and the Culture of Electrification in Modern Britain. Her book manuscript, Architecture of Enclosure: Environments of Labor and Global Capital, concerns technically constituted and managed environments in the architecture of bureaucracy, corporations, and finance.

Quantrill has received funding for her research from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Getty Research Institute. Her articles have been published in Architectural Theory Review, Grey Room, and the Journal for the Society of Architectural Historians.

At MacDowell she worked on her book project, Electric Women: Liberation, Constraint, and the Culture of Electrification in Modern Britain. The book traces how a group of women engineers consolidated an imaginary of female emancipation through electrification in order to engage in debates surrounding women’s technical and domestic labor, housing design, and the expansion of energy infrastructures.


Phi Beta

Alexandra Quantrill worked in the Phi Beta studio.

Funded by the Phi Beta Fraternity, a national professional fraternity of music and speech founded in 1912, Phi Beta Studio was built from 1929–1931 of granite quarried on the MacDowell grounds. The small studio is very simple in design, but displays a pleasing combination of materials with its granite walls and colorful slate roofing. Inside is a…

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