The fourteenth season of the Architecture and Design Film Festival has kicked off

New York, USA,

ADFF, Architecture and Design Film Festival,

This 28 September marked the opening of the fourteenth edition of the ADFF, the Architecture and Design Film Festival, in New York. The internationally-renowned event features films that investigate the cultural and environmental impact of design and architecture in an incredibly extensive and comprehensive way, from lifestyles to art, from urban planning to fashion. Of the three hundred and fifty films submitted, the best eighteen were selected, with these due to be screened in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., as Kyle Bergman - the founder and director of the ADFF - tells Floornature in an interview.

The fourteenth season of the Architecture and Design Film Festival has kicked off

The Architecture and Design Film Festival recently opened for its fourteenth season in New York. Running from 28 September through to 2 October, it saw the screenings of eleven films, including six American premières and the world première of Robin Hood Gardens, a German documentary which “tells the story of how an extremely controversial public housing project built in the 1970s in London was demolished for site redevelopment yet simultaneously exhibited at the Venice Biennale”, said Kyle Bergman, Festival Director, when interviewed by Floornature.

Bergman explains how the videos were selected purely based on their beauty, without constraining them to a specific theme. This is the ADFF’s secret to bringing together in the same festival themes that are apparently worlds apart, such as the fashion industry, the gentrification of Oakland, and films dedicated to famous architects such as Renzo Piano, Alvaro Siza, Carlo Scarpa, Aldo Rossi, Winy Maas and Vladimir Kagan.
Bergman was eager to explain the distinctive quirks of some of the films on the lineup: “This year’s lineup includes many films with female protagonists. For example, the opening night film Fashion Reimagined follows Amy Powney, the Creative Director of London-based clothing brand Mother of Pearl. During Powney’s 18-month journey, she takes a deep dive into the supply chain and sets out to create a collection that’s ethical and sustainable at every level, from fiber to finished garment. Meanwhile, A World to Shape hones in on an up-and-coming Dutch designer Nienke Hoogvliet who is working on turning kelp into fabric. The Festival’s roster also includes two Scandinavian films that feature significant women designers from the second half of the 20th century. The Danish architect Grethe Meyer navigated her design career in a time when she was the only woman in the room. This film pairs well with a Finnish film about one of the first designers of Marimekko – Maija Isola. This year’s edition also showcases three films about imminent social issues connected to urbanism. While Alice Street discusses gentrification in Oakland, Separated By Design and Committee of Six both broach the topic of redlining. Building Bastille! The Tangled and Improbable Story of the Opera Bastille is a thrilling, drama-filled ride from beginning to end. Having won critical acclaim in many prestigious film festivals, GES-2 is a film that demonstrates the transformative power of art while showcasing the director’s artistic vision of chronicling the reconstruction of a power plant into a ​​cultural center”.

Over three hundred and fifty films were put forward for the prestigious film festival dedicated to design and architecture, which attracts industry insiders and professionals, enthusiasts and conscious consumers alike. As Kyle Bergman explains, the mission of the festival is to increase awareness, to “raise the design IQ of the general public as well as those in the architecture and design industry. It is important for professionals to be exposed to novel ideas and perspectives as they make design decisions every day that affect the world we all inhabit”.
Concluding the interview, the director speaks on behalf of the entire organisation, emphasising that “ADFF firmly believes that it takes both parties – good architects and clients – to develop good architecture. The organization was also built under the strong notion that we will have better lives if we design a better world”.

The next stops on the ADFF’s route, which is designed to be a travelling festival, will be Toronto (2-5 November), Vancouver (9-12 November), Los Angeles (19-22 January) and Washington D.C. (26-29 January), with other cities yet to be added to the programme. Between 8 and 17 February, the ADFF will be available to the general public worldwide by way of an online version. Happy watching!

Francesco Cibati

All images courtesy of ADFF


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