The annual Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival delivers a compelling line-up for 2017.
Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival
A fixture in every design aficionado’s calendar, the Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival heads to the South Island after its Auckland and Wellington run.
While blockbusters have no place here, blocks do make an appearance. In 2012, the creators of one of the world’s most popular games joined forces with the United Nations to create Block by Block, a project involving young people in urban planning. My Urban Playground looks at how gaming technology, architects, engineers and town planners are now sharing common ground in civic design.
From blocks to brick, Uncommon Sense: The Life and Architecture of Laurie Baker is the official biopic of the late British-born architect who moved to India in 1945. Written and directed by the architect’s grandson, Vineet Radhakrishnan, the film examines Baker’s love of brick and his pioneering energy-efficient and cost-saving ways. “You ask the question of each item,” Baker says in the film, “however small, is it necessary?”. As Goan architect Gerard Da Cunha says, “He showed us how beautiful buildings could be built in very simple ways”.
Another grandson pays homage in The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat. Director Mike Dorsey tells how renowned architect Richard Neutra came to design a modest house for Dorsey’s step-grandfather Richard Oyler, a county treasurer. Oyler, a father of six, built much of the home himself: the collaboration between architect and client became the basis of an unlikely life-long friendship. (Oyler House is screening as a double feature with another Neutra documentary, Windshield: A Vanished Vision.)
Some Kind of Joy: The Inside Story of Grimshaw in Twelve Buildings is an engaging tour of projects by Grimshaw, the firm founded in London in 1980 by architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw. We hear from the architects behind Bath’s Thermae Bath Spa, the Eden Projects in Britain and China and Melbourne’s Lubetkin Prizewinning Southern Cross Station.
Resene Architecture & Design Festival Dunedin: 8-18 June Christchurch: 29 June-12 July
Top Grimshaw’s Eden Project, which opened in Cornwall in 2001, is showcased in Some Kind of Joy.
Above and right Designs by Laurie Baker in India typically included natural ventilation to suit the environment.
Below The ‘Oyler House’ by Richard Neutra in the California desert.