Quarantine listings: Six online documentaries for understanding the architecture of tomorrow lifestyle
Culture has become our best ally in coping with COVID-19. Films, books and music take us away from the daily onslaught of information and show us that other reality as designed by architects like Frank Lloyd, Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid in each of their works. Many of them have been eternalised through cinema or documentaries. In this article we show you some of the cinematographic relics that you must see during this quarantine.
The architect Frank Lloyd Wright said that “an idea is salvation by imagination” and it is precisely the imagination that is not lacking in these days of confinement. Homes have become offices, schools, parks or cinemas, and our balconies have become the stages on which everything happens before the faithful neighbourhood audience.
As reality has surpassed fiction in terms of plot and the development of events, the Lifestyle team has selected six documentaries for imagining the world after COVID-19 and how it will be rebuilt using architecture and design.
Abstract: The Art of Design
This documentary series produced by Scott Dadich, designer and editor in chief of Wired magazine, shows the personal experiences of and working methods applied by some of today’s best-known architects and designers through eight stories.
In the two seasons of this Netflix series, we see testimonies from the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, the German illustrator Christoph Niemann, the historian, publisher and interior designer Ilse Crawford, the artist and designer Es Devlin and the American graphic designer Paula Scher.
Frank Lloyd Wright: Man Who Built America
For Frank Lloyd Wright (1859-1959), architecture was the mother of art and it is part of life, “life itself taking form and therefore it is the truest record of life as it was lived in the world yesterday, as it is lived today or ever will be lived”, he wrote as an epitaph.
A leader in organic architecture and a defender of unity between form and function, this documentary reviews the life and work of one of the fathers of contemporary architecture of the 20th century through the eyes of architect Jonathan Adams who travels through the US and narrates this story.
The first stop on this transatlantic tour is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the best example of that balanced and brutalist architecture with which Wright tried to respond to the challenges of society. An orderly architecture of chaotic appearance that always sought to reconnect with nature. That is to say, with the origins of mankind. “Architecture is the triumph of human imagination over materials, methods, and men, to put man into possession of his own earth. It is at least the geometric pattern of things, of life, of the human and social world”, he once said.
A sociological analysis that he himself applied to Fallingwater House (1939) or Taliesin House, where he drew and shaped the America we know today.
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
Minimalism as a raison d’être. This is the message that is conveyed in this Netflix documentary that explains how different social classes live and practice a minimalistic lifestyle. A very interesting reflection on responsible consumption and the vital rhythms followed by different cultures on the planet.
The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes
Architect Piers Taylor visits the most spectacular houses in the world, looking in-depth at details that can be missed at first glance. This Netflix documentary series tries to give the homes a voice to tell the viewers stories that have remained hidden for centuries.
Who Dares Wins: The origins of Zaha Hadid
One hour and ten minutes is all it takes to tell of the long and changing life of Zaha Hadid (1950-2016), the first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize in 2004. Hadid’s work changed the way buildings were understood and used, the forms of which were always in motion and showed that there was another architectural reality to be told and studied.
Through her works, concerns, friendships and statements, this documentary shows the different stages of life experienced by this architect and which she so clearly reflected in each of her deconstructed constructions, which are nothing but a testament to all that Hadid wrote in her lifetime.
How much does your building weigh, Mr Foster?
Carlos Carcas and Norberto López Amado filmed this documentary to show Norman Foster behind the spotlight in an intimate and unpretentious way. The film begins at Foster’s home in Manchester, where the architect walks through rooms and memories to explain the origin and meaning of his work.
His battle against cancer, his inspirations, fears and successes are some of the stages of life that he himself describes on camera using the language he knows best and in which he has now become a leading figure: architecture.
Plans for how to spend your quarantine: Take a stroll around New York or meet Frank Gehry without leaving the houseIt is time to stop. Time to take a break to enjoy the now and work on your creativity. These visual resources have made their way into homes to inspire professionals in architecture, interior design and design. Just the break you needed to fall in love, once more, with this profession.
- 1 Abstract: The Art of Design
- 2 Frank Lloyd Wright: Man Who Built America
- 3 Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
- 4 The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes
- 5 Who Dares Wins: The origins of Zaha Hadid
- 6 How much does your building weigh, Mr Foster?