Architecture & Design Film Festival presents over two dozen films in National Building Museum’s historic home

Categories: Press

ADFF: D.C. schedule includes panel discussions with architects, influencers, and filmmakers

Photo: Film still from Leaning Out.


WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Building Museum once again partners with the Architecture & Design Film Festival to bring the festival to the nation’s capital (ADFF: D.C.), presented with the Revada Foundation of the Logan Family. In addition to screening over two dozen films over four days, ADFF: D.C. will present a series of discussions and presentations with prominent architects and filmmakers. ADFF: D.C. opens with a reception and the D.C. premiere of Frank Gehry: Building Justice on Thursday, February 21, and runs through Sunday, February 24.

In addition to the films, programming highlights include:

  • Thursday, February 21
    • Following the 7:15 pm screening of Frank Gehry: Building Justice, hear a conversation between the film’s director Ultan Guilfoyle and Susan Burton, formerly incarcerated herself, and founder of New Way of Life Reentry Project in Compton, California
  • Friday, February 22
    • Following the 6 pm screening of Mies on Scene. Barcelona in Two Acts, hear a conversation between Dietrich Neumann, professor, Brown University, and Susan Piedmont-Palladino, curator, National Building Museum.
    • After the 6:15 pm screening of Frey: Part 1 — The Architectural Envoy, hear from Joseph Rosa, executive director and CEO, Frye Art Museum, and author of Albert Frey, Architect.
      This film screening and panel discussion is supported in part by the Embassy of Switzerland.
  • Saturday, February 23
    • After the 2:45 Rams screening, Bill Green, professor, Virginia Tech, and curator of the Virginia Tech Library of Material Culture, a teaching collection of examples of outstanding design, and Susan Piedmont-Palladino, curator, National Building Museum, discuss Rams’ lasting influence on product design. Generously sponsored by Vitra.
    • Following the 5 pm screening of Meow Wolf: Origin Story, hear from Anthony Guida, design director for the new Meow Wolf location in the Fort Totten neighborhood of Washington, DC.
    • Following the 7 pm Leaning Out screening, hear a conversation between Leslie E Robertson, design director for the Robert Bird Group, and Saw Teen See, led by National Building Museum executive director Chase W. Rynd.

Three theaters—two specially outfitted by Sony Electronics just for this festival, including the Museum’s iconic Great Hall—provide the backdrop for the programs and screenings.

New for 2019, participants can enjoy intimate screenings of six short films in the Sony Home Theater, a fourteen seat venue featuring a Sony home projection system. Screenings are free but require a ticket, which are available on-site on a first come first served basis. These films will be shown throughout the festival, every 30 minutes, beginning at 5 pm on Friday, February 22:

Barbara Stauffacher Solomon: Visions Not Previously Seen
Director: Christian Bruno, Kurt Keppeler and Natalija Vekic
2018 / 15 min / USA
This short documentary portrait highlights Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, a groundbreaking designer who fused Swiss modernism with an iconic and bold California pop aesthetic to create the design phenomena known as Supergraphics.

Redemption Square
Director: John Moody
2018 / 20 min / USA
Narrated by dozens of native Los Angelenos, the story takes viewers into one public space at the heart of Los Angeles during five eras of its transformation—from its creation in 1866 through its impending redesign today—and offers an alternative vision for LA’s public life based on the diverse perceptions, memories, and identities that come together in this one place every day.

A Train to Rockaway
Directors: William Starling and Carlos Rojas-Felice
2018 / 13 min / USA
Since the 1980s, Calvin Seibert has made more than 1000 artworks in his chosen medium: sand. A Train to Rockaway offers a glimpse into his routine of building sand castles on the beaches of New York City.

Francis Kéré: An Architect Between
Director: Daniel Schwartz
2016 / 18 min / Germany & Switzerland
All over the world, people are turning to designers to address intractable problems from poverty to climate change. Francis Kéré seeks to do just this, using a mix of low-tech and high design and working in partnership with the communities for whom he builds. This film documents several projects Kéré has built or begun in the past 15 years, and shows the architect in action between his native Burkina Faso and Germany, where he is attempting to build a community performance center for Syrian refugees.

Directors: Marcus Fairs and Oliver Manzi
2018 / 18 min / United Kingdom
Elevation, produced by Dezeen, explores how drones will transform cities. “Aerial highways” will relieve pressure on roads as deliveries and human transportation take to the skies. Architecture will change dramatically as the ground floor entrance is replaced by rooftop landing. This utopian vision is set out in the film, which features interviews with architects and industry experts including Norman Foster, Paul Priestman, Liam Young, and Anab Jain.

Operation Jane Walk
Directors: Leonhard Müllner and Robin Klengel
2018 / 20 min / Austria
Operation Jane Walk is based on the dystopian multiplayer shooter in Tom Clancy’s The Division. As a player explores the game’s post-apocalyptic city, issues such as architecture history, urbanism, and the game developer’s interventions into the urban fabric are discussed.

Between films, attendees can relax in the Film Festival Lounge, with furniture from the Herman Miller showroom and Vitra.

The full film schedule is available at; a downloadable PDF is available here. Tickets are $12 for Museum members, $5 for students, and $15 for non-members. An all access pass that includes Opening Night is $135.

ADFF: D.C. is presented with the Revada Foundation of the Logan Family, with support from Sony Home Theater Projectors, HermanMiller Collection, Room & Board, The American Institute of Architects, Vitra, Boffi, Bonstra | Haresign Architects, Pella Mid-Atlantic, Landscape Architecture Bureau and Rockwell Group.

Press passes are available; please contact Emma Filar at Images are available at

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.

The National Building Museum inspires curiosity about the world we design and build. We believe that understanding the history and impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, construction, and design is important for all ages. Through exhibitions and educational programs, we show how the built world has power to shape our lives, communities, and futures. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.