Architecture & Design Film Festival: D.C. Returns to the National Building Museum on March 26

Categories: Articles, Press

Over 20 films screened in the newly renovated historic Great Hall

Still from Mario Botta. The Space Beyond.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Building Museum will again partner with the Architecture & Design Film Festival to produce the festival in Washington, D.C. (ADFF: D.C.), presented with the Revada Foundation of the Logan Family. Over the course of four days, the festival will screen films that explore design and its connection to a range of issues—including gender equity, income inequality, immigration, and religion—through the life and work of practitioners like Phyllis Lambert, Denise Scott Brown, Mario Botta, Bruce Goff, László Moholy-Nagy, Jørn Utzon, and Isamu Noguchi. ADFF: D.C. begins with an Opening Night celebration and D.C. premiere of City Dreamers on the evening of Thursday, March 26, 2020. The festival runs through Sunday, March 29, 2020. 

The National Building Museum will be the venue for all films and will host screenings in three separate theaters, including one in the Museum’s iconic Great Hall, which has undergone a recent renovation. Between films, attendees can enjoy food and drink for purchase and relax in one of two Film Festival Lounges, featuring furniture donated by Herman Miller Collection and Design Foundry, and view a selection of AIA Film Challenge shorts. ADFF: D.C. is the first public program offered as part of the Museum’s 40th anniversary celebration, a year of exhibitions and programming that inspire curiosity about the world we design and build.

Full schedules and ticketing information are available at Feature film highlights of ADFF: D.C. include:

City Dreamers
Director: Joseph Hillel
2018 / 80 min / Canada
Phyllis Lambert, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, and Denise Scott Brown are four trailblazing architects who each became accustomed to being the only woman in the room. Through original interviews, archival material, and stunning cinematography, documentary filmmaker Joseph Hillel uncovers how each of these strong, independent thinkers has shaped the cities in which we live and work. This presentation is sponsored by The Embassy of Canada.

Director: Fredrik Gertten
2019 / 90 min / Sweden
Housing prices are skyrocketing in cities around the world while incomes remain stagnant.
PUSH sheds light on the “faceless landlord”; increasingly unlivable cities, and an escalating inequality crisis that threatens all walks of life. The film follows Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, as she travels the globe, trying to understand who’s being pushed out of the city and why.

Director: Britni Harris
2018 / 91 min / USA
GOFF is the first retrospective film on the eccentric and extraordinary work of architect Bruce Goff. With no formal training, Goff started working for an architecture firm at the age of 12; by 21 he had designed his first major building. By the middle of his career, he had become one of the most respected educators in architecture, transforming the University of Oklahoma’s architecture school into one of the most sought after in the country. Yet his exploration of unprecedented forms often produced polarized perspectives of his work. 

Mario Botta. The Space Beyond
Directors: Loretta Dalpozzo & Michèle Volontè
2018 / 77 min / Switzerland
The Space Beyond is an in-depth artistic journey into the life and work of internationally acclaimed Swiss architect Mario Botta. One of a handful of architects who have built places of prayer for the three main monotheistic religions, Botta remains, at 76, tireless and passionate about his work today.

The New Bauhaus
Director: Alysa Nahmias
2019 / 85 min / USA
Fleeing from Germany as the Nazis invaded in the lead up to World War II, László Moholy-Nagy went to Chicago in 1937 to start the New Bauhaus. Despite some initial struggles, Moholy-Nagy and his New Bauhaus forever transformed design, photography, and arts education. The film offers an intimate, emotional journey through Moholy-Nagy’s life and his work as an artist, designer, visionary, and teacher. This film is sponsored by Room & Board.

Of Vineyards and Shoeboxes
Director: Günter Atteln
2019 / 58 mins / Germany
In recent years, numerous important concert halls have opened their doors to the public, drawing attention to an almost unknown guild: the acousticians. Without their precise calculations, architects would be lost, and prestigious buildings such as the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg or the new Zaryadye Concert Hall in Moscow would be ineffectual. Of Vineyards and Shoeboxes is a journey through the world of sound, accompanying world-class acousticians who work at the intersection of physics and art.

Escher: Journey Into Infinity
Director: Robin Lutz
2018 / 80 min / Netherlands
Based on more than 1,000 letters, diaries, and lectures, Journey Into Infinity is the story of the world-famous Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher. The film traces Escher’s inspirations through his own words, and features interviews with Escher’s sons and musician Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), who discusses Escher’s rediscovery in the 1970s. Viewers also see Escher’s continued influence on comic strips, advertising, movies, and art.

“This year’s films showcase the diverse perspectives from which one can explore the built environment,” said Kyle Bergman, ADFF founder. “We are thrilled to be back at the National Building Museum, where visitors have been experiencing stories like these for decades.”

The Architecture & Design Film Festival:D.C. is presented with the Revada Foundation of the Logan Family and our sponsors Eventscape, The American Institute of Architects, Arup, Bonstra | Haresign Architects, Theo & Partners TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. Film Festival Lounge sponsors include HermanMiller Collection, Design Foundry, and Fabrication Events.

Film stills and images from previous years of ADFF: D.C. are available at

Braulio Agnese,
Karen Baratz,, 301.404.6977. Press tickets available.

The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution dedicated to advancing the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, web content, and publications, the Museum has become a vital forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the world we build for ourselves. Public inquiries: (202) 272-2448 or visit Connect with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Founded in 2009, the Architecture & Design Film Festival celebrates the creative spirit that drives architecture and design. Through a curated selection of films, events, and panel discussions, ADFF creates an opportunity to educate, entertain, and engage all types of people who are excited about architecture and design. It has grown into the nation’s largest film festival devoted to the subject with an annual festival in New York and satellite events around the world. For more information, visit or @ADFILMFEST on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.