Architecture & Design Film Festival
Thursday 12 - Monday 16 April 2012
Design Directs Everything. Now in its third year, the Architecture and Design Film Festival is getting ready for a return to Chicago – the town renowned for its ongoing love affair with architecture. The Chicago festival, April 12-16, will be held at the Music Box Theatre.
The Architecture & Design Film Festival will return to the Chicago this April with a completely new selection of feature length films, documentaries and shorts. Plus, there will be lively discussions with filmmakers, architects, designers and other industry leaders on a variety of topics about the design process, architecture in film, and the brilliant designs we see and use every day.
The Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) is excited about the exceptional program of films that will be shown at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre April 12-16. We will screen more than 30 films (features to award-winning shorts) from 13 countries and the majority of these films will be having their Chicago premiere at the festival. This year’s festival offers a wide variety of films representing a diverse range of viewpoints and issues.
Thursday, April 12th
- 6:00pm: Mendelsohn’s Incessant Visions South Pond
- 8:00pm: Unfinished Spaces
Friday, April 13th
- 5:00pm: Detroit Wild CityThe Landfill
- 5:15pm: Architect of Dreams Passive PassionThe Man Who Built My Childhood
- 7:00pm: Eames: The Architect and the Painter Elephant Safari-Into The Wild
- 7:15pm: Mission Statements American Homes
- 9:00pm: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth Mudgee Tower
- 9:30pm: Pool Party Gather Give Grow
Saturday, April 14th
- 3:00pm: Architect of Dreams Passive PassionThe Man Who Built My Childhood
- 3:15pm: John Portman: A Life of Building Louis LeRoy – Endless Work in Time and Space Into the Garden of Glass and Steel
- 5:00pm: Architect: A Chamber Opera in Six Scenes
- 5:15pm: Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life Minka
- 7:00pm: Eames: The Architect and the Painter Elephant Safari-Into The Wild
- 7:15pm: Mendelsohn’s Incessant Visions South Pond
- 9:00pm: Pool Party Gather Give Grow
- 9:15pm: Detroit Wild CityThe Landfill
Sunday, April 15th
- 3:00pm: Architect: A Chamber Opera in Six Scenes
- 3:15pm: The Gruen Effect Three Walls
- 4:45pm: Mission Statements American Homes
- 5:15pm: Robert A.M. Stern: 15 Central Park West and the History of the New York Apartment House Up to the Sky – Hearst Tower, New York Public Farm 1 High Line Phase 2
- 7:00pm: Unfinished Spaces
- 7:15pm: Lioness Among Lions –The Architect Zaha Hadid School #9 Coop Himmelb(l)au Studio Gang Architects: Columbia College Chicago MPC
- 9:00pm: Volume Zero: The Work of Charles Correa Concrete Coast
- 9:15pm: Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life Minka
Monday, April 16th
- 7:00pm: Robert A.M. Stern: 15 Central Park West and the History of the New York Apartment House Up to the Sky – Hearst Tower, New York Public Farm 1 High Line Phase 2
- 7:15pm: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth Mudgee Tower
- 9:00pm: Lioness Among Lions –The Architect Zaha Hadid School #9 Coop Himmelb(l)au Studio Gang Architects: Columbia College Chicago MPC
- 9:15pm: The Gruen Effect Three Walls
Ticket prices per program:
- $11 general admission
- $9.50 American Institute of Architects members
- $8 students
- $90 Bakers Dozen (13 tickets)
- $45 Fistful (5 tickets)
ADFF offers discounts packages for purchases of multiple tickets!
- Fistful Package – 5 tickets to any screenings for $45!
- Baker’s Dozen Package – 13 tickets to any screenings for $90!
Package Online Ordering Info
After you order your package, you will receive a patron ID. Then select “Purchase Tickets” at the top of this page. In Step 4 of the ticket window, select “I’m redeeming benefits” and enter your patron ID, first name and last name to apply your discount. Apply the benefits to the tickets in your order. Select “Keep Shopping” until you are ready to complete your order.
Discount packages can also be purchased at the Box Office during the festival.
Thu 12 Apr, 6:00pm Sat 14 Apr, 7:15pm
Mendelsohn’s Incessant Visions – Program 15
Mendelsohn’s Incessant Visions
directed by Duki Dror in English
A cinematic meditation about the untold story of Erich Mendelsohn whose life and career were as enigmatic and tragic as the path of the century. Erich and Louise Mendelsohn have wondered between continents, between world wars, between success and failure. Award-winning filmmaker, Duki Dror (The Journey of Vaan Nguyen, Raging Dove) has created a spectacular interpretation based on Erich and Louise’s relationship, for one of the most captivating chapters in the development of modern art.
directed by Adam Goss and Red Mike in English
Spirit of Space captured the pavilion designed by Studio Gang Architects as it took shape.
Thu 12 Apr, 8:00pm Sun 15 Apr, 7:00pm
Unfinished Spaces – Program 1
directed by Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray in Spanish, English with English subtitles
Featuring a post-screening Q&A.
Cuba’s ambitious National Art Schools project, designed by three young artists in the wake of Castro’s Revolution, is neglected, nearly forgotten, then ultimately rediscovered as a visionary architectural masterpiece.
Fri 13 Apr, 5:00pm Sat 14 Apr, 9:15pm
Detroit Wild City – Program 9
Detroit Wild City
directed by Florent Tillon in English
Florent Tillon’s film begins with familiar but inevitably arresting images of Detroit’s decay into postapocalyptic pastoralism, but doesn’t end there. While most cinematic pilgrims have portrayed the Motor City as a giant canvas onto which they project their outsider fantasies, The obligatory urban tour of empty factories and the abandoned Michigan Central station quickly gives way to a contemplative, nuanced discussion of what futures might actually be possible.
directed by Jessica Edwards and Gary Hustwit in English
The United States produces 390 billion pounds of garbage every year, and finding places to dispose of it is a serious environmental and economic challenge. But what if we could change the way we think about garbage, from something to be disposed of to something to be harvested?
Fri 13 Apr, 5:15pm Sat 14 Apr, 3:00pm
Architect of Dreams – Program 8
Architect of Dreams
directed by Geoff Cawthorn in English
Ian Athfield’s architectural designs dot the New Zealand landscape and are keenly sought after by home owners. Intelligent, outspoken, amusing, opinionated and passionate, Athfield, considered by many to be a maverick, is one of New Zealand’s most influential creative figures who bring a unique vision in his practice of almost 40 years.
directed by Charlie Hoxie in English
Twenty years ago, physicists synthesized a package of design principles that reduces a dwelling’s energy use by 90%. Over 20,000 buildings in Europe have been built to the Passive House standard, enthusiasts in the U.S. actively work to spread the concept.
The Man Who Built My Childhood
directed by Brian Stockton in English
Jospeh Pettick designed a staggering 500 buildings in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, and his impact on filmmaker Brian Stockton was profound.
Fri 13 Apr, 7:00pm Sat 14 Apr, 7:00pm
EAMES: The Architect and the Painter – Program 10
Eames: The Architect and the Painter
directed by Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey in English
The Architect and the Painter is the first film about Charles and Ray Eames since their deaths and the only film to peer inside their collaboration, their marriage and the “Renaissance studio” they created in a gritty warehouse in Venice, CA. Narrated by James Franco, the film draws from a trove of archival material, primarily the stunning films and photographs produced in mind-boggling volume by Charles, Ray, and their staff during the hyper-creative forty years of the Eames Office.
Elephant Safari-Into The Wild
directed by Eames Demetrios in English
Elephant Safaris—by elephants, for elephants. Join the Eames Elephants as they return to the wilds to discover their roots. Filmed in Location Animation.
Fri 13 Apr, 7:15pm Sun 15 Apr, 4:45pm
Mission Statements – Program 2
directed by Jord den Hollander in Dutch with English subtitles
In 1991 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands decided to promote national architecture abroad. All over the world new embassies were realised by prominent Dutch architects. Mission Statements shows the background of the buildings and presents a stunning view behind the curtains of daily life in the embassies.
This animated history, presenting 1,800 years of residential architecture in North America, unfolds along a simple timeline, while notable figures in the world of design and architecture weigh in on what a house is, and can be.
Fri 13 Apr, 9:00pm Mon 16 Apr, 7:15pm
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth – Program 5
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth
directed by Chad Freidrichs in English
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth tells the story of the transformation of the American city in the decades after World War II, through the lens of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development and the St. Louis residents who called it home.
directed by Naomi Bishops and Richard Raber
This film looks at the inspiration, design and construction of this unique and totally sustainable shelter.
Fri 13 Apr, 9:30pm Sat 14 Apr, 9:00pm
Pool Party – Program 4
directed by Beth Aala in English
Pool Party is the surprising story of an abandoned swimming pool, the largest in New York City that became the most significant music venue since CBGB’s. Both an indie music showcase and an urban history lesson, Pool Party traces the process of gentrification of Williamsburg, Brooklyn through the story of McCarren Pool.
Gather Give Grow
Gather Give Grow depicts Archeworks’ Mobile Food Collective (MFC) – an innovative traveling educational and cultural center that promotes the local food movement.
Sat 14 Apr, 3:15pm
John Portman: A Life of Building – Program 11
John Portman: A Life of Building
directed by Ben Loeterman in English
Once a maverick who was nearly run out of the American Institute of Architects, John Portman is now recognized as one of the most innovative and imitated architects ever. The film captures Portman’s approach in an intimate portrait that, by turn, assesses and appreciates Portman’s work. Dramatic time-lapse footage shows off Portman’s buildings at their best—often in moving sunlight that washes over his facades and spaces.
Louis LeRoy – Endless Work in Time and Space
directed by Beate Lendt in Dutch with English subtitles
A short portrait of the Dutch artist Louis LeRoy and his work the Ecokathedraal in Mildam in the North of Holland.
Into the Garden of Glass and Steel
directed by Aristotelis Maragkos in English
Imagine a world where technology has taken over society and mankind now makes all the choices based on instincts. Imagine a derelict world of the future.
Sat 14 Apr, 5:00pm Sun 15 Apr, 3:00pm
Architect: A Chamber Opera in Six Scenes – Program 3
Architect: A Chamber Opera in Six Scenes
directed by Jenny Kallick
Architect was inspired by the work of Louis I. Kahn (1902-1974), a major figure in twentieth-century architecture. Architect is a meditation on creativity and the inner life of the creator. Events are set in motion by the Trickster god, Momus. The council of gods has expelled this impish minor deity down to earth, where he seeks to inspire mortals to create buildings.
Sat 14 Apr, 5:15pm Sun 15 Apr, 9:15pm
Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life – Program 13
Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life
directed by Bill Finnegan and Stephen Kellert in English
Biophilic design is an innovative way of designing places. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature.
directed by Davina Pardo in English
Minka is a short documentary about a remarkable Japanese farmhouse and the memories it contains.
Sun 15 Apr, 3:15pm Mon 16 Apr, 9:15pm
The Gruen Effect – Program 12
The Gruen Effect
directed by Anette Baldauf and Katharina Weingartner in German with English subtitles
In The Gruen Effect, an architect’s life, work, and critical humor become a means to make sense of the cities we live in today. The Viennese architect Victor Gruen is considered the father of the shopping mall. His ideas about urban planning, both influential and abused, have led to cities that serve the new gods of consumption. By tracing Gruen’s path from prewar Vienna to 1950s’ America and back to Europe in 1968, the documentary explores the themes and mistranslations that have come to define urban life.
directed by Zaheed Mawani in English
Capturing the melancholic absurdity and shifting nature of the modern day office, Three Walls traces the development of the office cubicle from its inception in the late 1960s to its current status as the dominant form of office furniture in North America.
Sun 15 Apr, 5:15pm Mon 16 Apr, 7:00pm
Robert A.M Stern: 15 Central Park West – Program 14
Robert A.M. Stern: 15 Central Park West and the History of the New York Apartment House
directed by Tom Piper in English
Even during the Great Recession of 2008, one new apartment house in New York City continued to set the bar for real-estate prices: 15 Central Park West. Designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects, the lavish, limestone-clad structure from 61st to 62nd streets is arguably one of the most luxurious residential buildings to rise in the city in decades. Stern deliberately evokes the grand era of New York apartments designed in the 1920s and 1930s, especially the intricately planned architecture of Rosario Candela.
Up to the Sky – Hearst Tower, New York
directed by Sabine Pollmeier & Joachim Haupt in German with English subtitles
Norman Foster’s high-rise has been standing on the edge of Central Park since the end of 2006. The Hearst Tower rises 182 meters into the sky, a rather modest height, and soon this small-scale skyscraper may be overlooked on the dense New York skyline. The Hearst Tower is New York’s first green skyscraper. The structure is efficient – and it is also extremely elegant.
Public Farm 1
directed by Lilibet Foster in English
Public Farm 1 is about the building of a sustainable, biodegradable, cardboard farm in the unlikely location of New York City. For WorkAC, winning MoMA PS1’s prestigious Young Architects Program competition was their first big break.
High Line Phase 2
directed by Ian Harris and David Krantz in English
The film captures perspectives of both design firms, Ric Scofidio from Diller, Scofidio and Renfro, and James Corner.
Sun 15 Apr, 7:15pm Mon 16 Apr, 9:00pm
Lioness Among Lions: The Architect Zaha Hadid – Program 7
Lioness Among Lions –The Architect Zaha Hadid
directed by Horst Brandenburg in German with English subtitles
Winner of the prestigious Pritzker prize in 2004 and the Praemium Imperiale in 2009, the English-Iraqi architect and designer Zaha Hadid (born in 1950) has long been controversial. This film spotlights a leading figure in deconstructivism and her visionary achievements around the world.
School #9 Coop Himmelb(l)au
directed by Howard Silver in English
Wolf Prix, principal architect of Coop Himmelb(l)au discusses the firm’s projects School #9, a complex of buildings on a campus in downtown Los Angeles devoted to the performing arts.
Studio Gang Architects: Columbia College Chicago MPC
directed by Dave Burk and Rick Valicenti in English
Hedrich Blessing Photographers and Thirst Design join to create a visual interpretation of Studio Gang Architects project to build a film school in the south loop of Chicago.
Sun 15 Apr, 9:00pm
Volume Zero: The Work of Charles Correa – Program 6
Volume Zero: The Work of Charles Correa
directed by Arun Khopkar in English
Having built prolifically in India, architect Charles Correa is less known in the west, but nevertheless has received the highest awards worldwide for his work. Born in India and trained in the United States, Correa’s architecture incorporates the philosophies of both tradition
directed by Robert Harding Pittman in English, Spanish with English subtitles
Concrete Coast is about the social, cultural and environmental effects of the last bit of un-urbanized Spanish Mediterranean coast being built for residential tourism in the Region of Murcia.