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The an­nual Re­sene Ar­chi­tec­ture & De­sign Film Fes­ti­val de­liv­ers a com­pelling line-up for 2017.

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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.

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