Architecture & Design Film Festival Heads to DTLA March 13-17

The Nation’s Largest Film Festival Devoted to Architecture & Design Brings Curated Films, Dynamic Speakers & Multiple Parties to DTLA and Helms Bakery District for the Third Edition of ADFF:LA

March 13-17, 2019
The Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 S. Spring Street | Los Angeles, CA

Returning this spring to downtown L.A., the Architecture & Design Film Festival will make the dynamic Los Angeles Theatre Center its home from March 13-17. After an immensely successful 10th year event in New York, ADFF will continue the 2018/2019 season with over 20 short and feature length films, riveting discussions about design and events in the city’s hottest design showrooms for the third edition of ADFF:LA. The films, curated by festival founder and director Kyle Bergman, delve into the lives and work of many design greats, from Frank Lloyd Wright and his Maya-inspired houses scattered throughout LA to Dieter Rams who has forever changed the world of consumer products. The documentaries also explore international and timely issues such as: the concept of ‘home’ amidst some of the world’s extremities as seen in the film The Human Shelter, which will be making its U.S. Premiere at ADFF:LA; and Doshi, which looks at the 70-year career of Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi, who was awarded this year’s Pritzker Prize. Over the course of five days, the impressive lineup of films and programming are sure to excite design lovers of all kinds.

The Human Shelter

Before the festival officially begins, people can get a taste of ADFF during the Short Films Walk (SFW:LA) on March 9 from 11-5pm in the Helms Bakery District. Visitors can pop into eight gorgeous showrooms: Room & Board, Scandinavian Designs, Vitra, Louis Poulsen, Rejuvenation, Arcana: Books on the Arts, HD Buttercup and the Danish Design Store, while viewing 24 short architecture and design films. The day will conclude with a screening of Renzo Piano: The Architect of Light in the Design Center at 5:30pm. Directed by acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura, the film offers a personal peek into the mind of the brilliant architect behind the Center Pompidou in Paris, The New York Times building in Midtown Manhattan and the future home of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opening in late 2019. After the screening, architecture critic Edward Lifson will present a conversation with Kerry Brougher, the first director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.

Centro Botín by Renzo Piano in Santander – SPAIN
Frank Gehry: Building Justice

ADFF: LA, presented by Pacific Sales Kitchen & Home, will open on Thursday, March 13, with the LA Premiere of Frank Gehry: Building Justice, produced and directed by Ultan Guilfoyle. The film follows the world-famous architect and his study of prison design as the best means to teach students about architecture. He arranges two ‘master’ studios at the invitation of George Soros and his Open Society Foundation — one at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, the other at the Yale School of Architecture, in order to pursue this project. Working with Susan Burton of the “New Way of Life Reentry Project” in Compton, Gehry and his students explore all aspects of prison design, learning first-hand the design flaws of prison life from women who have been incarcerated in the worst American prisons. After the screening, KCRW’s host of DnA Frances Anderton will be in conversation with Ultan Guilfoyle and Ingrid Archie from a New Way of Life Reentry Project.

Other exciting film highlights from this year’s ADFF:LA include:

Design Canada

Design Canada is a documentary film that follows the transformation of a nation from a colonial outpost to a vibrant and multicultural society, through the lens of graphic design. Directed by Greg Durrell, a Vancouver-based graphic designer by trade, it tells the story of an innovative group of Canadian designers who used design to unify the nation in the 60s and 70s.

Dieter Rams

Rams is a new film by design documentarian Gary Hustwit that offers a beautiful and candid portrait of German industrial designer Dieter Rams. The film explores his work at Braun and Vitsoe and his way of thinking, which has left an indelible mark on the field of product design. It also making poignant remarks on consumerism, sustainability and the future of design and features an original score by Brian Eno.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard House in Pasadena, CA

That Far Corner: Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles explores Frank Lloyd Wright’s time in Southern California in the 1910s and early 1920s. Written and directed by Christopher Hawthorne, former architecture critic for The Los Angeles Times and current Chief Design Officer for the city of Los Angeles, the film explores the five Maya-inspired houses the legendary architect built in Los Angeles in that period. The documentary also delves into the critic’s provocative theory that these designs were a means of artistic catharsis for Wright, who was recovering from a violent, tragic episode in his life.

Mies On Scene

Mies on Scene. Barcelona in two acts is a documentary about one of the most famous architectural works of the 20th century that disappeared for over 50 years. Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, the German Pavilion for the Barcelona International Exhibition of 1929 was disassembled eight months after opening but, after years of perseverance, reconstructed exactly in the same place in 1986. The film, directed by Xavi Campreciós & Pep Martín, follows the story of the pavilion whose existence and creators remain surrounded by myths and stories, statements and questions.


Tickets for ADFF: LA can be purchased at The Los Angeles Theatre Center or online at Pricing is $16.50 for General Admission, $14.50 for AIA members and $12.50 for students with valid ID. Ticket packages are also available.


The Architecture & Design Film Festival is grateful for the generous support of ADFF:LA including presenting sponsor Pacific Sales Kitchen & Home as well as Helms Bakery District, Room & Board Home Furnishings, Eventscape, Arper and Vitra. Media sponsors include Interior Design, Dezeen, Form Magazine and Architectural Record. Industry Sponsors include the American Institute of Architects, AIA LA and the Westedge Design Fair.


Founded in 2009, the Architecture & Design Film Festival celebrates the creative spirit that drives architecture and design. Through a curated selection of films, events, and panel discussions, ADFF creates an opportunity to educate, entertain, and engage all types of people who are excited about architecture and design. It has grown into the nation’s largest film festival devoted to the subject with an annual festival in New York and satellite events in cities around the world. For more information, visit or @ADFILMFEST on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.