ADFF 2017 – Thursday, April 20 – Sunday, April 23

The Architecture & Design Film Festival, celebrates the unique creative spirit that drives architecture and design. With a curated selection of films, events and panel discussions, ADFF creates an opportunity to entertain, engage and educate all types of people who are excited about architecture and design. With well-attended screenings, legendary panelists, vibrant discussions and events in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, it has grown into the nation’s largest film festival devoted to the subject. The ADFF also programs for international film festivals as well as cultural institutions and private venues.



Strange and Familiar

Strange and Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island 

Thursday, April 20 – 5:30 – Opening night reception, film, Q&A with Director Katherine Knight – ($35) TICKETS

7:00 – Film and Q&A with Director Katherine Knight – TICKETS

Directors: Katherine Knight & Marcia Connolly

54 min / 2014 / Canada


This hour-long documentary captures a bold architecture project on Fogo Island, Newfoundland that embraces the excitement of living on the edge, both in relation to nature and to contemporary design.


Getting Frank Gehry

Getting Frank Gehry

Friday, April 21 6:00 – TICKETS

Director: Sally Atiken

58 min / 2016 / Australia


The University of Technology, Sydney’s new business school, is Frank Gehry’s daring ‘Treehouse project’, otherwise known as the ‘crumpled brown paper bag’ to its critics. At first sight, the school will almost certainly shock anyone not already familiar with Gehry’s work elsewhere around the world. Designed to be radical inside and out, the building is sure to provoke conflicts for decades, and yet is highly likely to be hailed as a masterpiece of early 21st century architecture in time, just as so many of his other creations have already been.


Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall: Five Seasons with Piet Oudolf      

Friday, April 21 5:45 – TICKETS – Q&A with director Tom Piper

Saturday, April 22 12:30PM – TICKETS

Director: Thomas Piper

70 min / 2016 / USA


Piet Oudolf, the most influential garden designer in a generation, has radically redefined what gardens can be, moving them well into the realm of art. This immersive documentary gives viewers a rare and poetic look at the creative process of this revolutionary figure, including intimate discussions across all fours seasons in his own private garden, and on visits to his signature public works in New York, Chicago, and the Netherlands, as well as to the far-flung locations that inspire his genius, including desert wildflowers in West Texas and post-industrial forests in Pennsylvania.


WindsheildPoster24x38-1Windshield: A Vanished Vision     

Friday, April 21 8:00 – TICKETS

Sunday, April 23 1:30 – TICKETS

Director: Elissa Brown

46 min / 2016 / USA


‘Windshield: A Vanished Vision’ lands us in the 1930’s to reveal an intimate portrait of a patrician couple, a leading modern architect, and the story of the ill-fated house they create. John Nicholas Brown’s fascination with modernism, innovation and the rapidly-evolving American building scene spurs him to commission what he hopes will be a “distinguished monument in the history of architecture.” Brown and his wife Anne, herself a daring and eccentric figure, select the young and ambitious Richard Neutra to build them a house that they name “Windshield.”


The Oyler House

The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat 

Director: Mike Dorsey

46 min / 2012 / USA


In 1959 a working-class government employee in the tiny desert town of Lone Pine, California, asked world-famous modern architect Richard Neutra to design his modest family home. To his surprise, Neutra agreed. Thus began an unlikely friendship that would last for the rest of Neutra’s life.


The Happy film

The Happy Film 

Friday, April 21 8:15 – TICKETS

Sunday, April  23 6:15 – TICKETS

Directors: Stefan Sagmeister, Hilman Curtis & Ben Nabors

93 min / 2016 USA


Austrian Graphic Designer Stefan Sagmeister is doing well. He lives in New York, the city of his dreams, and he has success in his work, designing album covers for the Rolling Stones, Jay-Z and Talking Heads. But in the back of his mind he suspects there must be something more. He decides to turn himself into a design project. Can he redesign his personality to become a better person? Is it possible to train his mind to get happier? He pursues three controlled experiments of meditation, therapy and drugs, grading himself along the way. But real life creeps in and confounds the process: art, sex, love and death prove impossible to disentangle. His unique designs and painfully personal experiences mark a journey that travels closer to himself than ever intended.

Citizen of the Planet

Citizen of the Planet

Saturday, April 22 12:45 – TICKETS

Director: Geoffrey Madeja

54 min / 2014 / USA


Fans have gone as far as to compare architect, philosopher and a citizen of the planet, Paolo Soleri, to DaVinci and Gandhi, but critics believed him to be an ego driven eccentric with a failed experiment out in the desert. A student of Frank Lloyd Wright, Paolo’s utopian vision has been steadfast, urban sprawl is destroying the planet and the answer is to build mega-structure cities a hundred times the size of the Empire State Building.


FUTUROFUTURO – A New Stance for Tomorrow    

Director: Mika Taanila

29 min / 1998 / Finland


Taking us on a journey back in time to our recent futuristic past, this film is about the rise and fall of the plastic Futuro House, a Space Age utopia that almost became a reality. The Futuro leisure home designed by architect Matti Suuronen was unveiled in 1968 and licensed to 24 different countries. It is both a product of its time and a utopian vision of ‘a new stance for tomorrow’. Its flying saucer-like elliptic shape reflects late-60s optimism about the forthcoming conquest of space.


Pedro E. Guerrero

Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey

Saturday, April 22 AT 2:45 – TICKETS

Director: Yvan Iturriaga & Ray Tellers

54 min / 2015 / USA


Discover the remarkable life and work of Pedro E. Guerrero (September 5, 1917—September 13, 2012), a Mexican American, born and raised in segregated Mesa, Arizona, who had an extraordinary international photography career. Using an exclusive interview with Guerrero along with his stunning images, the program explores his collaborations with three of the most iconic American artists of the 20th century: Architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson.

Gray Matters

Gray Matters

Saturday, April 22 3:00 – TICKETS

Director: Marco Orsini

76 min / 2014 / Ireland & USA


Gray Matters explores the long, fascinating life and complicated career of architect and designer Eileen Gray, whose uncompromising vision defined and defied the practice of modernism in decoration, design and architecture.  Making a reputation with her traditional lacquer work in the first decade of the 20th century, she became a critically acclaimed and sought after designer and decorator in the next before reinventing herself as an architect, a field in which she labored largely in obscurity. But she lived long enough (98) to be re-discovered and acclaimed.


Where Architects Live

Where Architects Live

Saturday, April 22 5:30 – TICKETS

Sunday, April 23 3:45 – TICKETS

Director: Francesca Molteni

78 min / 2014 / Italy

‘Where Architects Live’ gives an intriguing insight into the daily lives and homes of some of the world’s leading designers: Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano And Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Bijoy Jain/Studio Mumbai.


The Guard

The Guard

Director: Jeff Durkin

3 min / 2016 / USA

Tells the story of a elegant life guard tower in Southern California. The towers form and sighting makes a beautiful building into a critical building  in helping lifeguards do their job better.

If You Build It

If You Build It    

Saturday, April 22 5:45 – TICKETS

Director: Patrick Creadon

77 min / 2012 / USA


From the director of Wordplay and I.O.U.S.A. comes a captivating look at a radically innovative approach to education. If You Build It follows designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to rural Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina, where they work with local high school students to transform both their community and their lives. The film offers a compelling and hopeful vision for a new kind of classroom in which students learn the tools to design their own futures.


Arch 335

Arch335: Rebuilding Medcamps

Director Brad Deal

4 min / 2016 / USA

This short film showcases the blossoming partnership between the Design Build Studios of Louisiana Tech University and Medcamps of Louisiana, a non-profit organization that provides free summer camp experiences to children with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Their projects create one of the most engaging and meaningful learning experiences of these design student’s academic careers and the partnership is not only directly benefiting a diverse and underserved user group, but is also allowing the power of public interest design to shape the next generation of architects.



Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future

Saturday, April 22 7:45 – TICKETS

Producer-Director: Peter Rosen

68 min / 2016 /USA


Explore the life of Finnish-American modernist architectural giant Eero Saarinen (1910-1961), whose visionary buildings include National Historic Landmarks such as St. Louis’ iconic Gateway Arch and the General Motors Technical Center in Michigan. Saarinen also designed New York’s TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Yale University’s Ingalls Rink, Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges, Virginia’s Dulles Airport, and modernist pedestal furniture like the Tulip Chair. Travel with his son Director of Photography Eric Saarinen as he visits the sites of his father’s work on a cathartic journey. Shot in 6K with the latest drone technology, the film showcases the architect’s body of work for the first time.


PioneerPioneer | Stephen Talasnik

Director: Taylor Fraser

6 min/ 2016 / USA

‘Pioneer’ is a permanent, large-scale wooden sculpture constructed at the Tippet Rise Art Center in Fishtail, Montana by Artist Stephen Talasnik. This documentary examines the sculpture’s journey from inspiration to design — problem solving, fabrication and installation. Informed by Space Architecture of the early 60’s, it was engineered by Arup and crafted by Gunnstock Timber Frames using yellow cedar from the Northwest US.


The Infinite HappinessThe Infinite Happiness   

Saturday, April 22 7:30 – TICKETS

Sunday, April 23 6:00 – TICKETS

Directors: Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine

85 min / 2015 / Danish & French


Conceived as a personal video diary, The Infinite Happiness is an architectural experience. The film takes us to the heart of a contemporary housing development considered to be a new model of success. Inhabiting the giant  “8 House” built by Danish Architect Bjarke Ingels in the suburb of Copenhagen, Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine recount their subjective experience of living inside this experiment of a “vertical village” – named “Best residential building of the year” by the World Architecture Festival in 2011.

The Nature of Modernism

The Nature of Modernism: E. Stewart Williams, Architect

Sunday, April 23 1:45 – TICKETS

Director: Jake Gorst

86 min / 2016 / USA


You don’t have to be an architecture buff to want to see — and enjoy — “The Nature of Modernism: E. Stewart Williams.” And in fact, you don’t even have to know who E. Stewart Williams is or be familiar with the many recognizable buildings this documentary explores to get taken into the humble and hard-working world of one of the Coachella Valley’s most notable architects.

Williams practiced architecture in Palm Springs from the 1940s until the 1990s. His fingerprints are on dozens of homes, schools, banks and other structures. Some of Williams’ most high-profile buildings include the Palm Springs Art Museum, built in the mid-1970s — along with the Steve Chase addition finished in 1996 — and the mountain station for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, constructed from 1961 to 1963.


This was not my dreamThis Was Not My Dream

Director: Gabriel Kogan and Pedro Kok

5 min / 2014 / Brazil

“Suzana only thinks of the house, she is in love with it”. Suzana’s ex-husband cannot get it out of his mind that the new house – conceived by them both – meant the end of his marriage. The ex-husband’s jealous looks are meant for nobody else other than the straight and modern lines, “cold, tedious and without life”. While images pass through the architecture he distills his fear of the construction and elaborates about the new life that Suzana will be enjoying at that place.




Sunday, April 23 4:00 – TICKETS

76 min / 2016 / USA

Meet the artists who are redefining the tradition of knit and crochet, bringing yarn out of the house and into the world. Reinventing our relationship with this colorful tradition, ‘YARN’ weaves together wool graffiti artists, circus performers and structural designers into a visually striking look at the women who are making a creative stance while building one of modern art’s hottest trends.