The highly anticipated 3D film series Cathedrals of Culture has now opened around the world. Directed by Wim Wenders and a team of five other acclaimed directors (Robert Redford, Michael Glawogger, Michael Madsen, Margreth Olin and Karim Aïnouz), the collection – according to The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright - “feels more like a series of vapid promotional videos.” Arguing that in most of the films (with the exception of Michael Madsen’s) the narrative is lost in favour of cinematic shots, “Cathedrals of Culture presents a limited and internalised view of what architecture is, a fault perhaps driven by the obsession with the 3D camera. [...] It has a self-satisfied, sometimes cultish, air that makes you feel like you’re taking part in some collective brainwashing exercise.” Wainwright concludes that Living Architectures is the best place to go. See some of their films featured in ArchDaily’s 40 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2014.
In their sixth Beyond the Building video, “Design That Heals,” MASS Design Group explores how architects can improve the lives and health of people everywhere. The video reveals how the work of MASS operates on various scales from everything to designing better furniture to influencing national policies. Their approach to humanitarian architecture begins by empowering the local community to take ownership of new projects, and in turn, bring about significant improvements in the quality of life in places that have previously been overlooked.
For example, talking about MASS Design Group‘s Butaro Hospital, Rwanda‘s Minister for Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho says: “There’s this idea of equity to put a hospital, state of the art, in the middle of nowhere. It was not nowhere for everybody, because there are 300,000 people living there.” Watch the video above and get involved in the conversation on how architecture can go #beyondthebuilding.
The walls of Oakland’s City Hall transcended their usual purpose during the city’s 2014 Art+Soul festival, becoming the stage for a beautifully choreographed dance by aerial dance company Bandaloop. Filmed with a GoPro, “Waltz on The Walls of City Hall” captures Bandaloop dancers Amelia Rudolph and Roel Seeber as they take dancing to new heights (literally).
Founded in 1991, the Bandaloop dance company is known for their vertical choreography and they have performed on skyscrapers, in atriums and in locations as diverse as Seattle’s Space Needle and the wall of the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York. Watch the video above as the dancers gracefully twirl, jump and glide on the side of the 320-foot City Hall building. Visit the Bandaloop website for more information on the dance team.
“Architecture is much more than art. And it is by far more than just building buildings” says award winning Burkina Faso architect Diébédo Francis Kéré. In the latest video from Louisiana Channel, Berlin-based Francis Kéré deliberates on the purpose of architecture in a changing society and the influence exerted by his home nation, Burkina Faso. For Kéré, context and medium are key: ”I try to use local material: mostly clay and wood, to create buildings that are modern,” he says. Kéré’s clay modernism represents a new Burkina Faso, using natural and renewable materials as shown in School Library Gando. ”If we build with clay we will have a better future, because we will use the resources we have,” he adds.
“My people are proud, and that can deliver a lot of energy,” says Kéré, optimistic for the future of architecture in Burkina Faso. Watch the video above to find out more about Kéré’s approach to his European-based African practice, and read on after the break for ArchDaily’s own Interview with Kéré from July.
MAD Architects‘ “Silhouette Shanshui” – which lies somewhere between an installation and a model – is currently on display at the 14th Venice Biennale. The inspiration for the project is the firm’s Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center, a master plan with an overall area of 560,000 sqm that challenges how modern development is typically thought of in China. According to Ma Yansong, the founder of MAD Architects, the city-scale urban project is already underway with 13 towers under construction.
Have you ever wondered what a thought might look like traveling through your brain? In a recent installation in Moscow‘s Nikola-Lenivets park, media design firm Radugadesign animated the inner workings of the human brain with an innovative video projection. Universal Mind, a sculptural installation by artist Nikolay Polissky, serves as the immobile backdrop for the elaborate video mapping project. Over the course of nearly eight minutes, Polissky’s brain-like sculpture explodes into a maelstrom of light and sound, with carefully curated streams of energetic colour interspersed with dark scenes of manufactured glimmering starlight.
The New Media Night Festival orchestrated the installation on July 5th with over five thousand in attendance across the three-day festival. Nikola-Lenivets park is home to 28 different public sculptural installations.
Imagine yourself standing at a glowing threshold between reality and make believe, watching as mythical creatures dash across trees and into other dimensions. Imagine a world where the glimmer of fairies is reflected on a forest floor illuminated by trees of all colours; a world where a sea of stars transforms into an imaginary wolf, standing sentinel over its fairy tale universe. This enchanted world exists, thanks to the creatives at Moment Factory. In their Foresta Lumina video mapping project, they create a narrative installation set in the mysterious backwoods of Quebec, Canada. Find out how they add a little fantasy to ordinary reality after the break.
This time-lapse video, entitled “Above LA,” is Chris Pritchard’s love letter to Los Angeles. Filmed over the course of two years, Pritchard sought out locations to showcase the city in a way people rarely get to see – from above. Some of the views were easy to seek out, while others involved some exploratory hiking and trespassing. He encourages “everyone – lifelong Angelenos, transplants, visitors – to hit the trails, drive the mountain roads, find a reason to get on top of a high-rise. From the basin to the valley, this city offers so many opportunities to rise above and look down. Never stop exploring.”
Are you feeling short on inspiration today? For a jump-start, try watching one of these twenty TED Talks – a follow-up to last year’s post “The 10 Most Inspirational TED Talks for Architects.” Wherever your interests lie, the passionate people featured in these videos – from WikiHouse founder Alastair Parvin to famed photographer Iwan Baan and architectural great Moshe Safdie - will get your creative juices flowing. See them all, after the break.
The following article originally appeared on Metropolis Magazine as “Five Architectural Highlights from the Pathé Newsreel Archive.” It has been slightly adapted to fit ArchDaily’s format. The video above, from 1930, shows the Empire State Building under construction.
Newsreel archives are a goldmine for design buffs—and when you have an archive of the size and scope of British Pathé’s, there’s hours of compulsive watching in store. The famous film and production company recently put up 85,000 of their videos on Youtube, in high definition, for free viewing.
The Parisian Pathé Brothers pretty much invented the newsreel format at the turn of the century, and established their London base in 1902. From 1910 to 1970 they produced thousands of films on events and trends around the world, including, of course, subjects of significance for architecture and design. It’s an unparalleled opportunity to see some great classics in their context—with people using them, reacting to them, commenting on them.
Some videos, like a round-up of skyscraper-inspired hats from the 1930s, might not stand the test of time, but others, like a tour of Le Corbusier’s Couvent de la Tourette, are priceless. The latter video seems even more precious because it is marked “unused material”—footage that Pathé shot, but never edited into one of their newsreels—meaning that very few people have had a chance to see it before you do now, on your screen.
More outstanding videos to get you started on your newsreel binge, after the break…
In this four-part, stop-motion series, Mayeul Akpovi presents a new perspective on the City of Lights. Filmed with manual camera movements and composed of more than 30,000 photographs, the videos enable a unique, otherwise-unattainable experience of Paris’ sleepless urban spaces by ceaselessly attenuating the passage of time.
Watch part one (above), and continue after the break for the remaining series…
In honor of International Women’s Day, MASS Design Group has released the latest in their video series “Beyond the Building,” a visual exploration of the ways architecture impacts lives around the world (see the first in the series here). This episode tells the story ofMASS master mason Anne Marie Nyiranshimiyimana, better known as Kankwazi, one of the first and only female masons in her region of Rwanda, who learned her trade while working on the Butaro Hospital project. Her story is a perfect example of how architecture can empower and inspire women in communities across the world. In Kankwazi’s words: “it dignified me [..and] no amount of value can be assigned to dignity.” Enjoy the video above (the first of the series) and join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtags #womensday and #beyondthebuilding.
From Henning Larsen Architects. “Architecture is the opposite of the coca-cola-principle,” says Louis Becker, director of Henning Larsen Architects, in this interview with Louisiana Channel. He continues by explaining that architecture is, first and foremost, about seeing things grow. With architecture your dreams become physical: “We are building our ambitions for society.” If architecture was separate from life and society, it would be an uninteresting form and space. The inside of a building must have a relation to the outside; there has to be a dialogue between the life and hope inside, and the city as a whole.
Architecture is also a merger of cultures and ideas. Scandinavian ideas of transparency, democracy and equal access affect the way Henning Larsen Architects approaches architecture. But, at the same time, it is very important to think of what is necessary in the nature, culture and climate that you are working with. “When two different ways of seeing the world meet, that’s when something interesting happens.”
In this video, Becker explains these ideas in relation to two very different projects, one in Saudia Arabia and The Harpa Concert Hall in Reyjavik, Iceland (which was made in collaboration with artist Olafur Eliasson and won the prestigious Mies van der Rohe award in 2013).
‘I Like’ is an original series on architecture and spatial intervention, developed in a collaboration between Canal 180 and LIKEarchitects atelier.
‘I Like’ is a multicolored urban kaleidoscope that reveals some of the most amazing architectural interventions in the world, in a series of 11 episodes organized by color.
‘I Like’ premiers on March 4th. Stay tuned!