Architecture Criticism By the People, For the People: The Films of Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine

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Selected as one of Metropolis Magazine’s Game Changers for 2015, Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine are altering the face of architectural criticism thanks to one simple premise: you don’t need to be an expert to have an opinion on the buildings you live with every day. In the following profile, originally published by Metropolis as “Game Changers 2015: Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine,” Veronique Vienne uncovers what it takes to instil such a simple idea with both subtle poignancy and razor-sharp wit.

If walls could talk, what stories would they tell, not only about our intimate selves but also about our cultural assumptions, our social interactions, and the values we cherish most? Short of getting the inside story directly from walls, filmmakers Ila Bêka, 45, and Louise Lemoine, 33, strike up conversations with that other silent cast: the people who sweep the rooms, wash the windows, fix the leaks, and change the light bulbs.

“Our goal is to democratize the highbrow language of architectural criticism,” says Bêka, an architect and filmmaker trained in Italy and France. “Free speech on the topic of architecture is not the exclusive property of experts.”

Who Are Architecture’s Best Young “Disrupters”?

’s Holcim-Award-winning project imagines a much-needed piece of water infrastructure for Las Vegas that doubles as a public space. Image © Courtesy of the Holcim Foundation

In their fifth annual “Game Changers” survey, Metropolis Magazine sought to uncover the visionaries who have the potential to make waves in design and architecture. Profiling six of design’s ”foremost forward-looking talents,” the list includes  and Louise Lemoine, the filmmaking duo whose “Living Architectures” series takes a sideways glance at some of the world’s most celebrated buildings; Amy Mielke and Caitlin Gucker-Kanter Taylor, whose work as Water Pore Partnership topped BIG and The Living for Holcim’s North America Award; and finally Aggregate, a collaborative of architecture historians who are rethinking the way we do architecture theory. For the full list and profiles of all those featured on it, head on over to Metropolis Magazine.

Filmare L’Architettura / Festival dei Popoli

The workshop Filmare l’architettura, just concluded in Florence. It took place in the home-studio by Leonardo Savioli and was aimed at educating videomakers in documenting the architectural space. The results of this experience, promoted by the Region of Tuscany, produced by Festival dei Popoli and led by , will be presented to the public on May 15 at the Faculty of Architecture in Florence.

Koolhaas Houselife / Ila Bêka + Louise Lemoîne

© Koolhaas Houselife

Last night, as Christopher Hawthorne reported for the LA Times, the Hammer Museum played  Koolhaas Houselife”,  a comical and witty by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoîne that follows Guadalupe Acedo, the cleaning woman, as she maintains the 1998  masterpiece.

Although architects, designers and engineers may look at the House of Bordeaux and admire its dramatic cantilever, the conceptually thrilling idea of the central lift for the handicapped client, and the circular windows that vary in size and placement according to the heights of the different residents, what is it like to occupy that space on a daily basis?  After all, it is a house, and what is it like to do some of the most basic chores in an award winning building?

More including a short trailer after the break.