10 films not to miss at the Milano Design Film Festival 2018

A selection of short films featuring design and architecture stories that will be screened at the Milano Design Film Festival.

Now in its sixth edition, the Milano Design Film festival features films, documentaries and stories on the culture of design and architecture. Among the 60 screenings scheduled, we have selected ten short movies that deal with this theme from varied points of view. We move from the cultural confrontation between North and South Europe through its churches to the definition of new architectural styles in South America, where much is made with few resources available. The environmental emergency is told through the observation of animals and through radical sustainable projects of the 60s that were on the verge of being realized. We dream with the lives of extraordinary designers and we discover through a noir key of one Milan’s most famous urban projects in the 80s: Milano 2.

Gary Hustwit, RAMS, 2018


A documentary film on the life and work of Dieter Rams. Directed by Gary Hustwit, an independent director from New York shooting his thirteenth documentary. It was presented at the opening of the Milano Design Film Festival with the German designer as honor guest. The filming dates back to 2008 and reveals the German designer's view of consumerism, materialism and sustainability.

Chad Freidrichs, The Experimental City, 2017

The Experimental City

Scientist, inventor and comic book author Athelstan Spilhaus, alarmed by the growing environmental crisis in America in the 1960s, designed a domed metropolis for 250,000 inhabitants to eradicate the pollution and waste of the modern city. The project was blocked by a coalition of state conservationists and rural residents, driven by distrust of the city’s reasons and demands for non-pollution.

Chris Jordan, Albatross, 2011


This year the Milano Design Film Festival is also the spokesperson for the awareness campaign launched by Chris Jordan and his team in 2009. The film documents the environmental tragedy of the albatrosses due to plastic waste: on one of the most remote islands on our Planet, tens of thousands of small albatrosses lie dead on the ground, with their bodies full of plastic.

Emiliano Martina, Quelle pietre saran sempre poesia, 2011

Quelle pietre saran sempre poesia

Designed by Carlo Scarpa in 1974, Villa Ottolenghi was only partially built on the date of his untimely death in November 1978. The film collects testimonies and original drawings, historical and images, telling the story of the project and the meaning of its architecture.

Katerina Kliwadenko, Mario Novas, Hacer mucho con poco, 2017

Hacer mucho con poco

Doing much with little. Ecuadorian architecture studio Al Borde and director Katerina Kliwadenko present the post-crisis generation of Latin American architecture studios that have been able to redefine and reaffirm the role of the architect in society, creating a new architectural style that uses low-cost local resources.

Heinz Emigholz, Two Basilicas, 2018

Two Basilicas

Two cathedrals are compared to highlight two ways of understanding life and community. The church of Grundtvigs (1913-1940) in Copenhagen, designed by Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint and built by six master bricklayers and their assistants over the twenty-seven year period, and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (1290-1591) in Orvieto, designed and executed by many master bricklayers and craftsmen over a period of three hundred years.

Francesca Molteni, The power of Archive. Renzo Piano Building Workshop, 2018

The power of Archive

The film tells the story of the birth, structure, function and design of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s Project Archive. The archive materials are exhibited in the Renzo Piano Foundation, but are mainly kept in a converted factory of 3,000 square meters in Genoa, Italy.

Henrik Blomqvist, Leo Bourdon, Cantiere 2 / Harbour, 2018

Cantiere 2 / Harbour

The second appointment of the project Cantieri by the artist Roberto Coda Zabetta sees him engaged in a major public work on the pier of Portivy, a project at the base of which there is a mutual relationship between painting, architecture, natural environment and landscape. The area has been prepared with a careful washing using a pressure washer, and then covered with layers of material made of natural pigments, oyster powder, fish glue and zero impact Airlite painting.

Riccardo Giacconi, Due, 2017


A film halfway between a landscape study and a detective story tells the evolution of the residential district that Silvio Berlusconi wanted and built between 1970 and 1979. What was meant as a utopian neighborhood – and which today at first glance appears as an anonymous suburb – was the laboratory for a real “form of life”, which in the decades of Berlusconism has spread nationally and that has radically transformed Italian culture.

Matthew Gandy, Urban Nature – The Brachen of Berlin, 2017

Natura Urbana–The Brachen of Berlin

The intermediate spaces in Berlin – not designed and left abandoned – welcome spontaneous nature and become workshops on the urban fabric of the city. The story of plant diversity tells the history of Berlin from the post-war period to the present day.

Milano Design Film Festival
Anteo Palazzo del Cinema
piazza Venticinque Aprile 8, Milan

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