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Great Expectations

Director: Jesper Wachtmeister
Sweden 2013

Great Expectations presents the grand architectural visions of our time - visions in which the imagination has been allowed to run free. Some of the buildings are unbuilt and, as such, unbound by earthly conditions, while others are revolutionary to their inhabitants and viewers. From the functionalist cities of Le Corbusier to the light-weight structures of Buckminster Fuller to Paolo Soleri's crystalline villages in the desert, Great Expectations is a film about architecture projects and visions that have brought changes in our ways of living and challenged our concepts of function, value, truth and beauty.

The Human Scale

Director: Andreas Dalsgaard
Denmark/Bangladesh/China/New Zealand/USA 2012

More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and by 2050 this will increase to 80%. This mass human migration has given birth to mega cities, places that both magical but also intimately related to global problems such as peak oil, climate change and deteriorating health. Danish architect and professor Jan Gehl has studied human behavior in cities for more than 40 years, documenting how modern cities discourage human interaction, leaving us each alone in an almost infinitely large crowd. The Human Scale suggests that we can build cities in ways that takes human needs for inclusion and intimacy into account.

Microtopia

Director: Jesper Wachtmeister
Sweden 2007

Microtopia investigates various ways in which architects, artists and ordinary problem-solvers are pushing the limits to find answers to the dream of portable and flexible housing – while also creating independence from the grid. The film looks at the personal reasons behind these unusual dwellings and explores the technology of how they actually work. From pavements to rooftops to rivers to industrial landscapes, the film chronicles the ingenious ways in which people are living their dreams of a smaller physical and carbon footprint. At its core, Microtopia deals with urgent ideas and contemporary issues that are central to the ways that we all live, be they big or small.

 

The Vision of Paolo Soleri: Prophet in the Desert

Director: Lisa Scafuro
Italy / USA 2013

This is a biographical documentary on the architect, artist, and environmentalist Paolo Soleri, and the story of an unprecedented artistic quest. Born in Torino, Italy in 1919, Soleri came to America in 1946 to mentor under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West. After one and a half years, Soleri left Wright to embark on a blazing original course of his own. While uncovering Soleri's legacy as an architect, environmentalist, and philosopher, the film poses critical questions about mankind's future, and architecture in a world facing environmental, social, and economic crisis. Given the current global crisis, Soleri's life's work has become increasingly relevant to our world dilemma, and his ideologies, prophetic.