Film Schedule – Design Onscreen Film Festival – Venice Biennial 2012

all films show at Teatro Piccolo Arsenale
Campo della Tana Venezia 30122 VE Italia

*Subject to change, check for latest updates

Monday 27 August @ 3.00 p.m.


Peter Eisenman: University of Phoenix Stadium for the Arizona Cardinals

(2008, Director Tom Piper, 28 minutes, English)

Seminal theoretician and influential architect, Peter Eisenman is also an irrepressible sports fanatic. In this revealing look into his design for an iconic new home for the Arizona Cardinals football team, Eisenman takes us on a tour of the stadium—including its retractable roof and grass rollout field–that represents the culmination of a decade of his work on this visionary sports facility. Spectacular footage, along with Eisenman’s explanation of his intentions as he walks through the stadium’s spaces, provides a compelling presentation by one of today’s leading architects.

Following the Film IN-PERSON: Peter Eisenman in conversation with Bill Menking, Editor of the Architect’s Newspaper

Monday 27 August @ 4.00 p.m.


How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

(2010, Directors Norberto Lopez Amado and Carlos Carcas, 73 minutes, English; Distributed in Italy by Feltrinelli Real Cinema; Theatrical Release in Autumn 2012 and DVD Release in Spring 2013)

The film traces the rise of one of the world’s premier architects, Norman Foster and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design. Portrayed are Foster’s origins and how his dreams and influences inspired the design of emblematic projects such as Beijing (Airport the largest building in the world), the Reichstag, the Hearst Building in New York and works such as the tallest bridge ever in Millau, France. In the very near future, the majority of mankind will abandon the countryside and live entirely in cities. Foster offers some striking solutions to the problems that this historic event will create.

Following the Film IN-PERSON: Lord Norman Foster in conversation with Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum, London, England and narrator of the film

Monday 27 August @ 6.30p.m.

Antwerp Central

(2010, Director Peter Krüger, 90 minutes, Dutch with English subtitles)

Between past and present, between dream and reality, this film presents a mildly ironic and contemplative look at Antwerp’s Central Station, considered one of the finest examples of railway architecture in Belgium. The iconic late 19th century station embodies the spirit of the Industrial Revolution, which saw railway stations and railroads flourish across Europe. The film presents a kaleidoscopic impression of the station, with an ongoing interplay of its historical, realistic and poetic dimensions. Winner of the Grand Prize at the Festival of International Films on Art (FIFA), 2011.

Following the Film: Audience Q & A with Barry Bergdoll, Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art, New York (invited) and Jord denHollander, Founder, Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam

Monday 27 August @ 9.00 p.m.

43 Colonne in Scena a Bilbao (43 Columns on Scene in Bilbao)

(2011, Directors: Leonardo Baraldi, Eleonora Sarasin, 55 minutes, Italian and French with English subtitles)

This is the story of French designer Philippe Starck’s most important architectural project: Alhóndiga Bilbao, the new cultural center of the Basque city, with 43 columns representing the icons of cultures of the world in every age, and each must be unique in style, form and material. Starck enlists the Italian production designer Lorenzo Baraldi to design the columns and to look for craftsmen still able to model these sculptures in bronze, steel, marble, terracotta, brick, wood, concrete and Lecce’s stone. And, everything must be delivered, installed and completed in Bilbao in a few months!

Following the Film IN-PERSON: Audience Q & A with Director Leonardo Baraldi, Director

Monday 27 August @ 11.00 p.m.


Coast Modern

(2012, Directors Michael Bernard and Gavin Froome, 56 minutes, English)

This new film takes us on a journey from Los Angeles to Vancouver and from 1922 to the present exploring modernist architecture on the West Coast of North America. A core group of architects embraced the West Coast with its particular geography and values, and they have left behind a legacy of beautiful and inspired dwellings. Coast Modern includes intimate interviews with Barry Downs (Vancouver), Fred Bassetti (Seattle), Hernik Bull (Berkeley), Ray Kappe (LA), Michael Folonis (Santa Monica), Dion Neutra (Los Angeles) — son and partner of Modernist pioneer Richard Neutra, Barbara Bestor (LA) and others.

Following the Film: Audience Q & A with TBD

Tuesday 28 August @ 3.00 p.m.


(2011, Director Michael Blackwood, 59 minutes, English)

When the Tuscan city of Pisa commissioned David Chipperfield to create a master plan that would bring new vitality to this historic place on the Arno, an exhibition of a selection of work produced by him in the last 25 years was also invited. Chipperfield chose “Form Matters” as a title for the exhibition, as form and matter are all-important key elements of the language of architecture. Chipperfield leads the way through the models, drawings and photographs of his designs, which were realized all over Europe, China, Japan, the United States and Mexico.

Introduction by Director Michael Blackwood
Following the Film IN-PERSON: David Chipperfield in conversation with Mark Wigley, Dean of Columbia University School of Architecture

Tuesday 28 August @ 5.00 p.m.


Mission Statements: The Architecture of Dutch Diplomacy

(2011, Director Jord Den Hollander, 77 minutes, Dutch with English subtitles)

In 1991 the Netherlands Foreign Ministry decided to promote Dutch architecture abroad. All over the world prominent Dutch architects, such as Rem Koolhaas, Bjarne Mastenbroek and Dick van Gamere, Lafour & Wijk and Claus and Kaan, designed new embassies. The buildings not only reflected the originality of Dutch architecture, but were also meant to represent the modern approach of Dutch diplomacy. Mission Statements tells a sometimes humorous story of four of the most striking embassies–Suriname, Germany, Mozambique and Ethiopia–and presents a candid, behind-the-scenes view of daily embassy life as well as ironic insights into the gap between intent and execution in both diplomacy and architecture.

Following the Film IN-PERSON: Q & A with Director Jord den Hollander

Tuesday 28 August @ 7.00 p.m. DOUBLE FEATURE


Rick Joy: Interludes

(2009, Director Muffie Dunn, 22 minutes, English)

Tucson based architect Rick Joy is known for his innovative residential designs, which respond gracefully to their desert environment. Joy exploits natural and passive energy-saving techniques and unusual materials, such as rammed earth and rusting steel, to create striking architectural solutions for living in a hot, dry climate. Joy takes viewers through several of his projects, including the Desert Nomad House, built in 2005, which is composed of three rusted steel cubes gently set within a dense growth of saguaro cacti. Its steel exterior walls are thin to avoid attracting too much heat, yet designed to allow natural convection to flow between the outer skin and maple-paneled interior walls.



Steven Holl: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Bloch Building

(2008, Director Tom Piper, 31 minutes, English)

In 2007, Steven Holl completed a museum considered the apex of his 33-year career: the Bloch Building for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Generally acknowledged as one of the most artistically-minded architects practicing today, Holl designed a linear series of subterranean galleries from which luminous, sculptural shards of channel glass, which he calls “lenses,” emerge. Holl takes us through the contemporary art galleries located beneath curving vaults admitting daylight — a tour that effectively demonstrates the convergence of space, time, and architecture.

Following the Films IN-PERSON: Steven Holl and Rick Joy in conversation with Moshen Mostafavi, Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Tuesday 28 August @ 9.00 p.m.


Diller Scofidio + Renfro: Reimagining Lincoln Center and the High Line

(2012, Directors Muffie Dunn & Tom Piper, 57 minutes, English)

Long positioned at the forefront of design, the interdisciplinary design firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro first stirred interest with its provocative exhibitions of theoretically based projects that blurred the boundaries between art and architecture. Its founding principals, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, received the prestigious MacArthur Foundation genius grant for their integration of architecture with issues of contemporary culture. With the almost simultaneous completion of two large-scale projects in New York City — the renovation of the High Line and revitalization and expansion of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts — Diller Scofidio + Renfro has galvanized the public’s attention. The film offers insights into offer insights into the firm’s history, previous completed projects, and their unique process of reimagining the public identities of two major New York urban spaces.

Following the film IN PERSON: Q&A with Cinematographer David Leitner and Heather Purcell Leja of Design Onscreen on filming architecture

Tuesday 28 August @ 11.00 p.m.

The Grüen Effect: Victor Grüen and the Shopping Mall

(2009, Directors Anette Baldauf and Katharina Weingartner, 50 minutes, 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 around the globe.

Wednesday 29 August @ 3.00 p.m.

Unfinished Italy

(2011, Director Benoit Felici, 34 mins, Italian with English subtitles)

Italy, home of ruins: A foray into the unfinished, Italy’s most prominent architectural style between the end of WWII and the present day. Buildings in a limbo between perfection and nothingness, given up on halfway through their construction, fallen into ruin before they were ever used, are an integral part of the Italian architectural landscape: stadiums without audiences, hospitals without patients, theatres that after 50 years have not yet seen their premiere. This film presents a study of the potential value of unfinished buildings in Italy and of man’s ability to adapt them to his everyday needs.

Following the Film IN-PERSON: Audience Q & A with Director Benoit Felici and Italian journalist Giorgio Scianca of

Wednesday 29 August @ 4.00 p.m.


Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island

(2012, Director Jake Gorst, 83 minutes, English)

Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island explores the work of the region’s best postwar architects and designers including Albert Frey, Wallace Harrison, Horace Gifford, Edward Durrell Stone, Andrew Geller, Charles Gwathmey and Barbara and Julian Neski. The film features interviews with architects and historians, as well as the friends, families and clients of these influential designers. Both rare archival material and gorgeous current-day cinematography highlight Long Island’s often-underappreciated modernist architectural treasures..”

Following the Film IN-PERSON: Q&A with Heather Purcell Leja, Producer and Executive Director of Design Onscreen

Wednesday 29 August @ 6.15 p.m.


Unfinished Spaces

(2011, Directors Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray, 86 minutes, Spanish and English with English subtitles)

In Unfinished Spaces, Cuba’s ambitious National Art Schools project, designed by three young artists in the wake of Castro’s Revolution, is neglected, nearly forgotten, and ultimately rediscovered as a visionary architectural masterpiece. In 1961, Castro commissioned three young architects to create a bold new project. Forty years later, the schools are in use, but remain unfinished and decaying, as the exiled architects return to finish their unrealized dream. The film also features intimate footage of Fidel Castro, showing his devotion to creating a worldwide showcase for art. Winner of the Independent Spirit Award, 2012.

Following the Film IN-PERSON: Audience Q & A with Vittorio Garatti, Professor of Architecture at the Milano Politecnico and subject of the film

Wednesday 29 August @ 8.30 p.m.


EAMES: The Architect and the Painter

(2011, Directors Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey, 81 minutes, English; Distributed in Italy by Feltrinelli Real Cinema)

Eames: 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. Family members and design historians help guide the story, but it is in interviews with the junior designers swept into the “24-7” world of “The Eamery,” that a fascinatingly complex picture of this husband and wife creative team really emerges. Winner of the Peabody Award, 2012.

Following the film IN PERSON: Q&A with Emma O’Kelly, Editor-at-Large for Wallpaper magazine and Heather Purcell Leja of Design Onscreen

Wednesday 29 August @ 11:00 p.m.

The Architecture of Carlo Scarpa

(1996, Director Murray Grigor, 57 mins, Italian and English)
Revived in High-Defintion for the first time ever!

Radical in his approach to remodeling historic buildings, Venetian-born Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978) combined the achievements of the past with inventions of his own design. Nothing seems simpler: historic buildings must be restored since they are a part of our heritage. And yet there are dangers – both in the theme park approach to architectural heritage and in excessive reverence for an imagined historical authenticity. Scarpa revels in juxtaposing rare materials against common, rough against smooth, and celebrates the difference between the functional and the luxurious. Looking at the Castelvecchio in Verona, or the Palazzo Abatellis in Palermo, the visitor is struck by the harmonious fusion of past and present. This balance stems from Scarpa’s sensitivity to architectural form and natural light, his attention to detail and his use of high quality traditional Venetian craftwork.