Discipline: Architecture – text

Alexandra Quantrill

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

Alexandra Quantrill is a historian of architecture and the environment. Her scholarship concerns intersections between technology, aesthetics, energy, and political economy in the making of the built world. She has published in Architectural Theory Review, Grey Room, and the Journal for the Society of Architectural Historians. She has taught courses on the history and theory of modern and contemporary architecture at Cornell University, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Parsons, and the University of Texas at Austin. Quantrill has received funding for her research from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Getty Research Institute.

At MacDowell she worked on her current book project, which traces how a group of women engineers, activists, designers, and housewives consolidated an imaginary of female emancipation through electrification in interwar Britain. The book examines the manifold means by which these women worked to foster a culture of electricity, analyzing how they engaged in debates surrounding women’s technical and domestic labor, housing and interior design, the expansion of electrical infrastructures, and energy economy. Quantrill was awarded a 2022-2023 Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies for this research.


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 between 1929–1931 of granite quarried on the MacDowell grounds. The small studio is a simple in design, but displays a pleasing combination of materials with its granite walls and colorful slate roofing. Inside is…

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