Presented with The Revada Foundation
February 21–February 24, 2019
Join us for the second annual Architecture & Design Film Festival: D.C. (ADFF: D.C.), presented with the Revada Foundation. ADFF is the nation’s largest film festival devoted to the creative spirit that drives architecture and design.
Over the course of three days, the festival will screen films that explore issues of social justice, diversity, technology, and equity, through the life and work of practitioners like Frank Gehry, Mies van der Rohe, Leslie Robertson, Renzo Piano, and Diébédo Francis Kéré. ADFF D.C. begins with an Opening Night celebration and D.C. premiere of Frank Gehry: Building Justice on the evening of Thursday, February 21, 2018.
Director: Christian Bruno, Kurt Keppeler and Natalija Vekic
2018 / 15 min / USA / SONY Theater
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.
Director: Haruna Honcoop
2017 / 59 min / Czech Republic
Built to Last is a series of ten experimental short films exploring the fate of grand Soviet-style buildings and monuments erected during the Communist era (1945-89) in Central and Eastern Europe. Moving from Moscow to Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Bucharest, Belgrade, Pristina, Tirana, and Sofia, the film mixes and fuses the past and present conditions of administrative buildings, museums, monuments, homes, Communist Party headquarters, hotels, and panel housing projects. The series of vignettes examines the changes in public attitudes to these relics of our recent past, which were built with the intention that they would last forever.
Playing with Built to Last:
The Disappearance of Robin Hood
Director: Klearjos Eduardo Papanicolaou
2018 / 25 min / UK
Among the most daring and innovative of housing projects in 1970s London was the Robin Hood Gardens Estate. This documentary illustrates the campus’s innovative concept and character, contextualizing it within the housing crisis that lingers in London to this day.
Director: Greg Durrell
2017 / 76 min / Canada / D.C. Premiere
Through the lens of graphic design, Design Canada follows the transformation of a nation from a colonial outpost to a vibrant and multicultural society, and asks the question: What defines national identity? Is it an anthem? A flag? A logo or icon? How do these elements shape who we are? In the 1960s and 1970s, these issues were explored by an innovative group of Canadian designers, who used design to unify the nation.
Directors: Katerina Kliwadenko and Mario Novas
2017 / 84 min / Ecuador
Do More With Less shows how young architects are changing the industry by offering a new understanding of the way architecture interacts with society. The construction of real projects by students allows them the transformation from the theoretical to the practical. The film is a survey of many projects in South and Central America.
Also playing with Do More With Less:
Francis Kéré: An Architect Between
Director: Daniel Schwartz
2016 / 18 min / Germany & Switzerland / SONY Theater
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.
Director: Premjit Ramachandran
2009 / 74 min / India
In a career spanning almost 70 years, the work of architect Balkrishna Doshi, who received the Pritzker Prize in 2018, has mirrored the evolution of contemporary Indian architecture. Doshi’s first job under the French architect Le Corbusier (who designed the Indian city Chandigarh) had a profound impact on him but he has often sought to interpret Corbusier’s modernism through local conditions of site, climate, and available technology.
Also playing with Doshi:
Peter Bohlin: From Here to There – Hall of Fame 2017
Director: Jillian Buckley
2017 / 7 min / USA
The basic philosophy about “the making of a pleasant space” applies to all of architect Peter Bohlin’s work, especially his designs for early Apple stores. Interior Design Magazine’s Cindy Allen interviews Bohlin about the remarkable moments from his 50-year career designing architectural gems for the likes of the Girl Scouts, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates.
Director: Michelle Bauer Carpenter
2018 / 59 min / USA
This documentary explores the Danish non-profit INDEX: Design to Improve Life, an international design competition. It highlights the most innovative INDEX award winners, and shows how design can be used to plan and build affordable housing, prevent blindness, destroy landmines, deliver vaccines and blood to remote places, clean up oceans, prevent infant mortality, and much more.
Also playing with Enough White Teacups:
Directors: Marcus Fairs and Oliver Manzi
2018 / 18 min / United Kingdom / SONY Theater
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.
Director: Ultan Guilfoyle
2018 / 70 min / USA / D.C. Premiere
Frank Gehry: Building Justice follows architect Frank Gehry’s investigation into prison design in the United States. Gehry, at the invitation of George Soros and his Open Society Foundation, forms two “master studios” of the top architecture students in the country, from SCI-Arc in Los Angeles and Yale School of Architecture. In collaboration with Susan Burton of the New Way of Life Reentry Project in Compton, California, Gehry and his students explore all aspects of prison design, witnessing how design flaws negatively affect those incarcerated.
Playing with Frank Gehry: Building Justice:
ChildSafe: Designed to Heal
Directors: Isaiah Rendon and Leo Aguirre
2018 / 5 min / USA
ChildSafe is a nonprofit organization that helps restore dignity, hope, and trust to those children who have been traumatized by abuse and neglect. In 2016, ChildSafe was in a building that was too small to sustain their growing support programs and an increase in staff. They enlisted the help of San Antonio architecture firm Overland Partners to build a new, state-of-the-art campus. This facility would allow the organization to incorporate multiple government agencies such as health professionals, state agencies, law enforcement, and legal teams under one roof. Inspired by ChildSafe’s unique mission, Overland embraced the opportunity to create a building that could serve as a catalyst for human transformation.
Director: Jake Gorst
2018 / 65 min / USA / D.C. Premiere
Albert Frey, a Swiss-born mid-20th century architect, was a key figure in the introduction of Corbusian-influenced modernism to the United States. Through his innate curiosity of the American landscape, he developed an extraordinary design style, blending industrial techniques and a love of nature.
This film explores Frey’s formative years while working closely with Le Corbusier in Europe. It also shows his important transition to America, when he designed the famed Aluminaire House, the Canvas Weekend House, the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), as well as his Kocher-Samson Building in Palm Springs. The film reveals why Frey is such a significant force in the development of modernism in the United States.
This is the first of a two-part film series; the second film is anticipated in spring 2020.
Playing with Frey: Part 1:
Charlotte Perriand: Les Arcs
Director: Spirit of Space
2016 / 4 min / USA
This video about architect Charlotte Perriand’s Les Arcs Resort in the French Alps was created for the exhibition Past Forward: Architecture and Design at the Art Institute, currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Director: Anders Eklund
2016 / 73 min / Sweden
Can games change the world? Today public spaces and entire cities are being designed, planned, and played through the medium of games. The result of this “civic gamification” is that city architecture and urban planning is being democratized. Cities have become ground zero for digital innovation and the debate about how our cities evolve has suddenly gone viral.
Also playing with Gaming the Real World:
Operation Jane Walk
Directors: Leonhard Müllner and Robin Klengel
2018 / 20 min / Austria / SONY Theater
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.
Directors: Basia and Leonard Myszynski
2018 / 59 min / USA / D.C. Premiere
This is the story of Leslie Robertson, the lead structural engineer of the World Trade Center. Robertson oversaw the construction of the tallest building on the planet—and is haunted by its collapse and the events of September 11, 2001.
Driven by Robertson’s pacifism and activism, as well as a powerful collaboration with engineer SawTeen See, LEANING OUT showcases the innovation of the Twin Towers and takes a deeper look into the buildings that symbolize so much.
Also playing with Leaning Out:
Past/Presence: Saving the Spring
Director: Cheryl Hess
2018 / 4 min / USA
(AIA Short Film Challenge Winner)
The Spring Garden School No. 1 in North Philadelphia had been vacant and abandoned for nearly 30 years before the Philadelphia Housing Authority teamed with the non-profit Help USA to convert the property into affordable housing.
Directors: Morgan Capps and Jilann Spitzmiller
2018 / 90 min / United States
When a group of young DIY artists in Santa Fe can’t find a door into the art world, they blow open an entirely new portal with their grit, passion, and tenacity. Within just a few short years—and with a little help from George R.R. Martin—Meow Wolf ultimately hits a cultural nerve and garners massive, unexpected success with their exhibition House of Eternal Return.
Directors: Xavi Campreciós and Pep Martín
2018 / 57 min / Spain / D.C. Premiere
The Barcelona Pavilion, the masterpiece with which Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich staged their revolutionary ideas in 1929, changed the history of architecture forever. It only existed for eight months but paradoxically its image was always alive in the minds of generations of architects around the world, becoming one of their greatest influences.
The Pavilion is still surrounded by myths and mysteries. This documentary frames the building into a portrait in two acts of the Barcelona that made possible its construction in 1929 and its reconstruction in 1986.
Also playing with Mies on Scene:
Directors: Paul Raftery and Dan Lowe
2018 / 3 min / United Kingdom
Portland stone is a historic building material, used since Roman times, and reserved for the grandest buildings in London. STONE follows the journey of Portland stone from the cathedral-sized mine to the delicate, precision polish of a finished block.
Director: Gary Hustwit
2018 / 70 min / USA
For over 50 years, Dieter Rams has left an indelible mark on the field of product design and the world at large with his iconic work at Braun and Vitsoe. His iconic work at Braun and Vitsoe, among others, has influenced the way most of today’s consumer products look and function.
Director: John Moody
2018 / 20 min / USA / SONY Theater
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.
Director: Carlos Saura
2018 / 65 / Spain / D.C. Premiere
Celebrated Spanish director Carlos Saura captures the genius of one of the most famous Italian architects in the world: Renzo Piano, who’s designs include the Center Pompidou in Paris, France, the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, Italy, and The New York Times Building in New York City, New York. Saura follows Piano during the design of the Botín Center in Santander, Spain, examining his creative process.
Also playing with Renzo Piano: The Architect of Light:
Director: Paul Clemence and Aksel Stasny
2018 / 6 min / USA
Originally conceived as a video commission by the Art Museums of Switzerland, Two Pianos examines two landmark projects of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop: the Fondation Beyeler in Basel and the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern.
Directors: William Starling and Carlos Rojas-Felice
2018 / 13 min / USA / SONY Theater
Since the 1980s, Calvin Seibert has made more than 1000 artworks in his chosen medium: sand. The Train to Rockaway offers a glimpse into his routine of building sand castles on the beaches of New York City.
ADFF: D.C. is presented with the Revada Foundation of the Logan Family.