“Frei Otto: Spanning the Future,” a documentary profiling the internationally renowned architect and engineer Frei Otto, has been in production since 2012. Otto, who was named the 2015 Pritzker Prize laureate on Tuesday evening (following his death on Monday night), first gained international recognition half a century ago as a pioneer in designing tensile structures using metal frames and lightweight membranes.
Despite his recognition in the architecture world, Otto is not well-known among the general public, and “Frei Otto: Spanning the Future,” seeks to change that. The documentary introduce viewers to both Otto’s fascinating life story as well his impressive body of work.
This trailer was produced by Simon K. Chiu, written by Michael Paglia, edited by Heather Dalton and directed by Joshua V. Hassel. The documentary is being produced in collaboration with the Colorado Public Television CPT12 PBS Network.
From the producers:
For Otto, the mission of architecture is to be harmonious with nature. He believes every detail needs to be in agreement with the laws of the universe. This attempt to reconcile development with the natural world makes Frei Otto a prophet to the modern field of sustainability. Frei Otto saw as a given, that the earth has limited resources and humanity has almost unlimited needs. To efficiently solve the problem of shelter in a climate of constant shortages, Otto combined scientific experimentation with his fertile artistic imagination.
Frei Otto’s true contribution to architecture and structural engineering has only been appreciated with the perspective of time. Contemporary architects including Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid cite Frei Otto as having been a major influence on their work. They talk about Otto’s pioneering research on lightweight architecture; his early interest in the natural environment; his sense of social responsibility; and his foresight of the needs of the future. These elements—combined with Frei Otto’s compelling presence—have made him one of the most important architects of the 20th Century—and one of those whose ideas are still resonating in our own time.
Starring: Frei Otto, Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher, Goetz G. Scheirle, Jürgen Hennicke, Gail Peter Borden, Robert Roithmayr e outros.
Director: Joshua V. Hassel
Written By: Michael Paglia
For more information check out the film's Facebook page.