The 2001 File

Harry Lange and the Design of the Landmark Science Fiction Film

The Holy Grail
Harry Lange's complete unseen archive


This stunning tome is a previously unseen look behind-the-scenes at the making of this most legendary of science fiction classics. It is an in-depth examination of the complete, largely unpublished archive of art director Harry Lange’s designs, concepts, roughs and photographs.

Lange’s strikingly realistic designs created an extraordinary vision of the future. By releasing this unpublished archive and explaining its significance, the book takes the reader/viewer on a journey deep into the visual thinking behind 2001, for the first time ever – visual thought that might actually work.

The book is about the process, as well as the finished product. It examines how Harry Lange’s experience with NASA fed into the innovations of the film. It includes rejected designs, concepts and roughs, as well as the finished works. It reveals how the design team was obsessed with things that actually might work. The book illustrates several innovations that were science fiction in the 1960s but have since become science fact, including a ‘newspad’ designed by IBM, which bears an uncanny resemblance to today’s iPad. The remarkable designs for 2001 created a credible vision of the future.

ISBN: 978-0-9572610-2-0
336pp; Hardback; 600+ illustrations
290 x 245mm / 11.4 x 10 in.


24 Oct 2016

Christopher Frayling on 2001 at the V & A


Director Stanley Kubrick chose as the designer of the space vehicles and interiors of his landmark 1968 science fiction epic a man who had no experience of film design, but a lot of experience of working at NASA - Harry Lange. Kubrick wanted the audience to suspend disbelief- and this was one way of achieving his aim. Join Christopher Frayling for an talk based on exclusive access to the Harry Lange archives as he follows the key designs for '2001: A Space Odyssey' from first thoughts right through to finished film.