The annual Architecture and Design Film Festival, now in its eighth year, is upon us. Held from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2 at New York's Cinépolis Chelsea, it coincides with the start of AIA New York’s month-long Archtober and will showcase more than 30 feature-length and short films curated by festival director Kyle Bergman, along with panel discussions and Q&As with the filmmakers. Attendees can even earn continuing education credits for attending some of the showings. Tickets go on sale on Aug. 31.
In the meantime, check out a few of this year’s highlights below.
Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future (2016)
The festival’s opening flick from director Peter Rosen continues the father-son tradition of the Saarinen family, this time exploring the life and work of the Finnish-American modernist through the lens of his photographer son Eric. The young Saarinen used 6K and drone technology to capture his father’s body of work, including the St. Louis Gateway Arch and the General Motors Technical Center, in Michigan, in an unprecedented manner. The documentary will formally premier in December 2016 as a part of PBS’s "American Masters" series.
Amare Gio Ponti (2015)
What explains our obsession with Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti, and why did he shirk the spotlight during his lifetime? So asks this retrospective from Italian filmmaker Francesco Molteni, which seeks to understand why the work of the late Ponti—a tireless innovator whose projects ranged from small details to large planning concepts—has been revived and re-examined as a marker of European and international architecture.
Making its world premiere at this year’s festival, Workplace looks into the modern office’s past, explores its present form, and considers what its future might hold. Gary Hustwit, the filmmaker responsible for other design documentaries such as Helvetica (2007), Objectified (2009), and Urbanized (2011) takes viewers inside the design and construction process for Foster + Partners’ headquarters for R/GA, in New York, where the firm and client were required to marry the digital and the physical work environments.
The Happy Film (2016)
What happens when a designer takes on the ultimate project: himself? This playful, if very personal, film tells the story of Stefan Sagmeister, an Austrian graphic designer who, in the pursuit of happiness, decides to use a mix of meditation, therapy, and, yes, drugs to “re-design” his personality. How his experiment stands up to the rigors of real life turns out to be the biggest test of them all.
Located at the Tippet Rise Art Center, in Fishtail, Mont., Pioneer is a permanent yellow cedar installation by artist Stephen Talasnick. This documentary follows the project, which is informed by the visionary architecture of the 20th century, from conception to execution, and now to its existence amid nature.