The eighth edition of the Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF), will take place in NYC from September 28 to October 2 at Cinépolis Chelsea (formerly Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas). With a line-up of over 30 feature-length and short films, the New York festival will kick off with Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future, a film that examines the life of the eponymous modernist architect.
In addition to films about design, architecture, urbanism and craft, ADFF will host interactive programming including panel discussions and filmmaker Q&As as well as CEU credits for select programming.
According to ADFF Founder and Director Kyle Bergman, “The festival has become an annual destination for all types of people excited about design – from films about famous figures and forgotten postmodern buildings to complex urban issues and the search for meaning. There’s something for everyone!”
Film highlights of the 2016 Architecture and Design Film Festival include:
Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future (Opening Night Film)
Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future explores the life and work of Finnish-American architectural giant Eero Saarinen. Directed by Peter Rosen, the film follows director of photography Eric Saarinen on a cathartic journey as he visits his father’s visionary buildings from the St. Louis Gateway Arch to the TWA Flight Center. Shot in 6K with the latest drone technology, the film showcases Saarinen’s influential body of work that stands apart from the clutter of contemporary design and continues to inspire architects today.
Workplace (World Premiere)
Workplace is a documentary film about the past, present, and future of the office – a place where hundreds of millions of human beings spend billions of hours every day. Directed by Gary Hustwit (the acclaimed filmmaker behind Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized), it follows the design and construction of the New York headquarters of R/GA, where the company and architects Foster + Partners explore the intersection of digital and physical space. It also looks at the thinking and experimentation involved in trying to create the next evolution of what the office could be.
Where Architects Live (US Premiere)
Where Architects Live, directed by Francesca Molteni, is an exploration into the private spaces of eight protagonists of world architecture: Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Studio Mumbai.
The Happy Film
The Happy Film is a feature-length documentary in which famed graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister undergoes a series of self-experiments outlined by popular psychology to test once and for all if it’s possible for a person to have a meaningful impact on their own happiness. The film is directed by Stefan Sagmeister, Ben Nabors, and Hillman Curtis.
The Architects: A Story of Loss, Memory and Real Estate (World Premiere)
This film is about the competition to rebuild the World Trade Center site after 9/11, focused on the unrealized design proposal from United Architects. Directed by Tom Jennings, it sheds light on the importance of this public competition, delicately considering the site’s history, symbolism, and future. United Architects was a collaboration between Alejandro Zaera-Polo & Farshid Moussavi of Foreign Office Architects, Greg Lynn of Greg Lynn FORM, Kevin Kennon of Kevin Kennon Architects, Jesse Reiser & Nanako Umemoto of Reiser + Umemoto Architects, and Ben van Berkel of UNStudio.
In the weeks leading up to the festival, ADFF will host a number of events in NYC providing exclusive access to some of the films. Together with WNYC’s The Takeaway, ADFF will present three film festival sneak previews at The Greene Space (44 Charlton Street): The Happy Film (September 7 at 7 PM), The Architects: A Story of Loss, Memory and Real Estate (September 15 at 7 PM), and two short films 14+ Foundation and Designed to Heal (September 22 at 7 PM). After each screening, a discussion will be moderated by the show’s host, John Hockenberry, with special guests Stefan Sagmeister, Ben Nabors, Tom Jennings, Kevin Kennon, Susan T. Rodriguez, and Alan Ricks.
Following the success of its first two years, the Short Films Walk (SFW) will return to the SoHo Design District on September 21 from 6-9 PM. Designers and design lovers are invited to pop in and out of SoHo’s top design showrooms where festive libations and a curated program of short films will take place throughout the night. Showrooms on the SFW circuit include Aqua Creations, Artemide, BlackBody, Design Within Reach, Flou, FontanaArte, Foscarini, Gandia Blasco, Ingo Maurer, Luceplan/Modular, Molteni&C, Moroso, TechnoGym and USM.
Additionally, ADFF announced that the winning films from AIA’s second annual I Look Up Film Challenge will make their world premieres at this year’s festival. The competition’s theme, Architecture as a Solution, encourages architects and filmmakers alike to collaborate and produce short documentaries. The films will show the world just how impactful architectural solutions can be for people and their communities at all scales.