The Architecture & Design Film Festival returns to Los Angeles this Spring, from March 14 to 18, 2018, at the historic Los Angeles Theatre Center, providing the film capital of the world a unique lens to explore architecture and design. ADFF: LA will bring a selection of 30+ compelling short length and feature films. The screenings will explore the life and work of revered architects and designers such as desert modernist Albert Frey, contemporary starchitect Bjarke Ingels, and fashion designer Dries van Noten. Films will also cover timely topics such as the power of design to instill positive change and the building of a model city to solve urban problems.
Kicking off with the Short Films Walk (SFW: LA) on March 10, design aficionados are invited to explore the Helms Bakery District, where six showrooms including Arcana Books, Harbour Outdoor, H.D. Buttercup, Scandinavian Designs, Room & Board and Vitra will open their doors and screen over 24 short film documentaries throughout the day from 10am-7pm. The event will conclude with a public screening of Building Hope: The Maggie’s Centres, a beautifully shot film by award-winning director Sarah Howitt that tells the story of Maggie’s, their approach to cancer care, and the role that great design plays in the cancer support they offer. The film will be followed by a talk with Frances Anderton, host of KCRW’s DnA.
ADFF: LA opens on Thursday, March 14 with BIG TIME, a documentary by Kaspar Astrup Schröder that follows Bjarke Ingels during the course of seven years while he struggles to finish his biggest project yet, letting viewers into his creative process and compromises along the way. The following evening, Liam Young of SCI-Arc’s M.A. in Fiction and Entertainment program will curate a selection of experimental films.
Other film highlights include:
Albert Frey: Part 1 – The Architectural Envoy, directed by Jake Gorst, is about the unpretentious Swiss-born mid-20th century architect. The first of a two-part film series produced by Design Onscreen, this film explores Albert’s early life and work in Europe to his New York architectural accomplishments in the 1930s, including the famed Aluminaire House, the Canvas Weekend House, features of the New York Museum of Modern Art, as well as his Kocher-Samson Building in Palm Springs.
The Experimental City explores the story of Athelstan Spilhaus, a visionary scientist and futurist comic-strip writer in the 1960s. Frustrated by the growing problem of urban pollution, he assembled a team of experts to develop a bold experiment: the Minnesota Experimental City (MXC). MXC would be the city of the future, a domed metropolis for 250,000 pioneering residents, built from scratch using cutting-edge technology to prevent urban sprawl and pollution. Things didn’t quite go as planned, as explored in Chad Friedrichs’ fascinating look back at the would-be city of tomorrow.
DRIES, a film about the notoriously private fashion designer Dries Van Noten, who allows a filmmaker to accompany him in his creative process and rich home life for the first time. The film offers an insight into the life, mind and creative heart of a master fashion designer who, for more than 25 years, has remained independent in a landscape of fashion consolidation and globalization.
Other festival highlights include Breakpoint, a short mockumentary that follows the founder of LASVIT, a company that revived the Czech glass making craft; Made in Ilima, a film about MASS Design’s conservation-focused primary school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; REM, a film by Tomas Koolhaas; and for St. Patrick’s Day, a screening of Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect.
Additionally, ADFF will transform the Los Angeles Theatre Center lobby into an immersive lounge area for attendees to enjoy between screenings. The lounge will include VR films including one by Gary Hustwit and Sam Green that explores the work of architect and futurist Buckminster Fuller; an exhibition called “The Original Comes from Vitra” that focuses on authenticity in the design and manufacturing process; short films displayed on the Sony Ultra-Short Throw 4K HDR Home Theater Projector; furniture supplied by Vitra and Poliform; and a pop-up book store.