The Architecture & Design Film Festival goes virtual for 2020 and lines up a star-studded speakers list

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The Architecture & Design Film Festival goes virtual for 2020 and lines up a star-studded speakers list

Still from The Arch (Courtesy ADFF)

The Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) is back for another year of art and architecture-themed films. Rather than traveling from city to city though, the festival will be available totally online due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic. Unlike the second edition of ADFF:Online presented in May, this is the main event.

From November 19 through December 3 (with tickets already on sale now), viewers in the U.S. and Canada can catch 17 different films showcasing everything from furniture design to the BIG’s skiable Amager Bakke power plant, with locales as varied as their subjects. Urbanization, gentrification, Japanese design vernacular, and personal histories are all touched on this year.

Interested in historic woodworking and complementing the excellent Shofuso and Modernism exhibition in Philadelphia? Be sure to catch George Nakashima, Woodworker, a full-length documentary on Nakashima’s work and his time traveling the world for inspiration, working on the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo for Frank Lloyd Wright, and eventually returning to the U.S. to craft furniture that helped pave the way for midcentury modern furniture. Similarly, the life and times of freewheeling French architect Charlotte Perriand, from her work with Le Corbusier to her personal life, will be put on display in Charlotte Perriand, Pioneer in the Art of Living.

Black and white photo of a man, woman, and child in wood house
George Nakashima in his self-designed Nakashima House in New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1952. (©Ezra Stoller/Esto/Courtesy ADFF)

While this might sound pretty in line with prior ADFF lineups, this year’s virtual format also provides a chance for viewers to catch Q&A sessions with filmmakers and subjects that might have otherwise remained inaccessible, and ADFF has lined up big-name speakers this year.

For example, Bjarke Ingels will be on-hand after the premiere of Making A Mountain, which documents the creation of Amager Bakke from conception through completion, for a conversation with the filmmakers. Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture & Design at MoMA, will introduce the screening of Tokyo Ride, a tour of Japan and meditation on his own work led by SANAA co-founder Ryūe Nishizawa, who will also be on hand with the filmmakers for a Q&A afterward.

Other speakers of note include Francis Kéré, Glenn Murcutt, and producer Kathy McCampbell Vance, who will be  discussing the legacy and impact of Paul Revere Williams after Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story.

The full lineup of speakers and films can be viewed on the ADFF website.