In the field of architecture, observation is considered to be one of the most important key factors. Generally, architecture enthusiastic people observe the buildings surrounding them but in addition to it, one can enhance the knowledge by watching documentaries based on architecture. This will not only help to gain knowledge about the field but also know more about the different perspectives of various architects. A person pursuing architecture can have a heavy impact through these movies, it can change a person's thinking towards certain topics.
The documentaries of any field are generally characterized in different styles but in architecture documentaries following styles are observed:
Expository: It focuses on verbal commentary, often using a narrator
Observation: as the name suggests, this only involves observing the subject without any interruptions
Participatory: this is an interactive session between documentary filmmaker and their subject
Performative: involves the filmmaker's own experience while making the documentary about the subject.
Here, through this blog, we will be able to see some of the documentaries that every architecture aspiring candidate should watch. this blog will be divided into sections according to the platforms on which one can watch these documentaries.
The order of the movies is not based on any ranking. Each movie holds its significance, rating these marvelous creations by us will be an injustice to the field of cinematography. Although all section movies are arranged in chronological order, making it easier for you to decide from where to start watching.
Now, moving ahead let’s jump into the first section which consists of 7 movies available on YouTube to watch for free.
VOLUME ZERO (2008)
An expository bibliographical documentary movie produced by Arun Khopkar revolves around the life and works of Charles Correa. Considering the significance of Charles' work in the field of architecture, this movie not only tells us his early life but also explains some of his works. Besides these, it also showcases clips from Correa's film, "City on Water", which displays the current urban problems in Mumbai. This one-hour-long documentary is a perfect watch to understand the design principles of Correa.
Follow the link: (https://youtu.be/uzK86VPXUs8) to watch movies online.
2. DOSHI (2009)
A mesmerizing documentary directed by Premjit Ramachandran is an accumulation of interviews with B. V Doshi in form of 8 short chapters, where he discusses his life experience and his architectural journey. This movie is a great pick to know more about B.V Doshi and his principles. Recently in 2019, a sequel of the documentary was released by the name DOSHI: THE SECOND CHAPTER after he won the notable Pritzker prize.
To watch both the documentaries one can follow the given link: (https://architexturez.net/pst/az-cf-173373-1291276523) and (https://architexturez.net/pst/az-cf-179437-1467521511)
3. LOUIS SULLIVAN: THE STRUGGLE FOR AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE (2010)
The 2010 expository documentary film directed by Mark Richard Smith focuses on the life and achievements of the revolutionary American architect Louis Sullivan, the founder of the phrase form follows function.
To watch the movie, follow the link: (https://youtu.be/aAZEM-hloTM )
4. URBANIZED (2011)
This 2011 feature documentary, directed and produced by Gary Hustwit, features some famous architects and urban designers talking about the rapid growth and development of cities. Additionally, methods are outlined for making urban areas a more inhabitable and sustainable place. The film proceeds in various phases, beginning with a discussion of urban planning, then addressing problems related to it, then presenting solutions that have been implemented or should be applied. street level to city level. The movie was streamed free worldwide by Gary Hustwit to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release.
To watch the movie, follow the link: (https://youtu.be/6Uzah49qAfY)
5. EAMES: THE ARCHITECT AND THE PAINTER (2011)
Here's another 2011 definitive documentary about Charles
Ormond and Bernice Alexandra "Ray" Eames narrated by James Franco and directed and produced by Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey. It details the personal and professional lives of the Eames family, who became significant figures in the field of design. The story of their journey inspires the next generation of designers to take risks and be creative and innovative.
To watch the movie, follow the link:(https://youtu.be/pFsoNVe4Biw)
6. ZAHA HADID…WHO DARES WINS (2013)
No introduction will be needed for the revolutionary architect ZAHA HADID. Many people know a lot about her but still, this documentary stands out because it not only talks about her but also about the revolution she created and how she influenced others around her. This 2013 documentary by Roger Parsons and Lindsey Hanlon is a must-watch to get to know more about her and get inspired by her works and principles.
Follow the link: (https://youtu.be/GFWVoXcNWNg) to watch the movie.
7. FREI OTTO: SPANNING THE FUTURE (2016)
Whenever we talk about tensile structures, one name that comes is FREE OTTO. This 2016 documentary directed by Joshua Hassel explains beautifully the life and works of Frei Otto. It includes not only interviews of different architects explaining otto's work and influence on them but also otto's thoughts on his architectural journey. This movie is a true inspiration for all who wish to explore, stand out, and want to make a mark of their own.
To watch the movie, follow the link: (https://youtu.be/P5hKnOyg43k)
Hereby, we conclude with our first section and next comes the section for documentaries that can be watched on Netflix:
8. OBJECTIFIED (2009)
Our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the designers, is the subject matter of Objectified: a feature-length documentary by Gary Hustwit.
9. MINIMALISM: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT IMPORTANT THINGS (2016)
Show description: “People dedicated to rejecting the American ideal that things bring happiness are interviewed in this documentary showing the virtues of less is more.”
Starring: Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus
Apart from this documentary creators also have a youtube channel where they express their thought on the same topic through podcasts. follow the link to know more:(https://youtu.be/9eFxgrAa9Qw)
10. ABSTRACT: THE ART OF DESIGN (2017)
Show description: “Step inside the minds of the most innovative designers in a variety of disciplines and learn how design impacts every aspect of life.”
Starring: Olafur Eliasson, Neri Oxman, Ruth E. Carter
At the end of the blog post, you found a list of 10 documentary movies that you should watch if you are working in the field of architecture or if you would like to learn more about architectural aspects from different architects and designers.