as part of archtober — NYC’s month-long celebration of architecture and design — the city’s architecture & design film festival returns for its 10th anniversary. ADFF:NY features movies that celebrate the life and work of some of the world’s most famous architects and designers, including renzo piano, frank gehry, and dieter rams. from october 16-21, new york will host six days of world and US film premieres — alongside panel discussions with leading figures in the industry — as part of the country’s largest film festival devoted to the subject.


as a media partner of archtober, we’ve picked out five must-see movies to watch below. see the full line-up of ADFF:NY films here, and see all of the event’s taking place during archtober here.


mies on scene. barcelona in two acts




eight months after opening, the german pavilion for the barcelona international exhibition of 1929 was disassembled. however, in 1986, after years of perseverance, it was reconstructed in exactly the same place. the existence of the pavilion and its creators remains surrounded by myths and stories, statements and questions. this hour-long documentary — directed by xavi campreciós and pep martín — follows ludwig mies van der rohe and lilly reich in their design of one of the most famous architectural works of the 20th century. find out more about screening times here.



leaning out




directed by basia and leonard myszynski, ‘leaning out’ is the story of leslie robertson, the lead structural engineer of the world trade center. robertson oversaw the construction of the tallest building on the planet at the time, and is haunted by its collapse and the events of 9/11. as well as dealing with architectural themes such as innovation and engineering, the hour-long documentary is also a moving depiction of robertson’s character, and the personal relationship that ultimately saved him. find out more about screening times here.



renzo piano: the architect of light




in this 70 minute movie, spanish director carlos saura seeks to capture the ‘genius’ of one of the world’s most acclaimed architects, renzo piano. saura follows the italian architect during the design of the botín center in santander, spain, with the story becoming a reflection of this creative process. find out more about screening times here.







‘rams’ is filmmaker gary hustwit’s new documentary about legendary designer dieter rams. for over 50 years, rams has left an indelible mark on the field of product design with his work at braun and vitsoe, and his later influence on apple. so, at 86 years old, why does he now regret being a designer? rams is a design documentary, but it’s also a rumination on consumerism, materialism, and sustainability. dieter’s philosophy is about more than just design, it’s about a way to live. the 70-minute film also features an original score by musician brian eno. find out more about screening times here.



francis kéré: an architect between




globally, people are turning to designers to address intractable problems from poverty to climate change. architect francis kéré seeks to do just this, using a mix of low-tech and high design and working in partnership with the communities for whom he builds. this film directed by daniel schwartz documents several projects kéré has built or begun in the past 15 years, and shows the architect in action between burkina faso and germany, where he is attempting to build a community performance center for syrian refugees. find out more about screening times here.