10 films that are useful for designers to watch
Films about designers and design are a great way to expand your professional horizons in a simple and easy way.
The Art of Design
The series premiered in 2017 on Netflix. There are eight episodes in The Art of Design and each one is dedicated to a specific area of design: interior design, design of objects, cars, clothes, shoes, graphic stage design and design of buildings – architecture. Bjarke Ingels appears in the frame – one of the most famous architects of the new generation, stage designer Es Devlin, interior architect Ilse Crawford, Chrysler chief designer Ralph Gilles, Nike designer Tinker Hatfield and other representatives of the profession.
It’s hard to imagine a movie all about one typeface unless it’s about Helvetica. Designed in Switzerland more than half a century ago by Max Miedinger and Edouard Hoffman, the sans-serif typeface quickly became recognizable – it appeared on corporate logos, transportation schemes and works of art. But the film is not so much about a specific typeface as it is about how typography affects our lives and shapes the space we live in, from the United States to the United Kingdom. Erik Spiekermann, a German designer and professor at the Bremen Academy of Arts, also reflects on the Helvetica phenomenon in the painting. The film was released in 2007 (on the 50th anniversary of the typeface), but did not become less relevant.
Bauhaus: The Face of the 20th Century
The Bauhaus Graduate School of Architecture and Design, founded in Weimair in 1919, is one of the most impressive educational movements in 20th century art. The influence of the Bauhaus has affected literally all areas of art: architecture, painting, sculpture, design and theater. The main goal of the founders of the movement was to make industrial goods beautiful, convenient and affordable for everyone – to move design to the masses. The British painting of 1994 tells how the Bauhaus was formed, how it was arranged, who was part of it, how the direction won public love, gained followers around the world and echoes to this day.
“Why does a person create?” (Why Man Creates)
“Why Man Creates” talks about the nature of creativity and the approaches that are customary to use when creating something new. Answering the question why, in fact, a person creates, the authors of the picture note that the process of creativity is divided into several stages. Ancient people rejoice at a successful hunt and try to capture their exploits. This is how rock painting appears. Then the construction of the first houses, tools, vehicles, and so on begins until the active creative activity of modern people. Incidentally, this short animated documentary won an Oscar in 1968.
Tsai Guoqiang is a master who combines East and West, high art and everyday life, age-old traditions and modern strategies in his work. “Stairway to Heaven” is the story of the life and work of the most famous artist in China, a carefully made portrait that you want not only to watch, but also to listen to. The sound engineers did a great job: the viewer will plunge into the world of Tsai Guoqiang with a heartfelt rustle and whistle – an integral part of the artist’s work.
Interior designer and collector of unique accessories and outfits Iris Apfel is a recognized style icon. The fashion diva turned 96 on August 29, and she still looks and holds up better than most of us. At the age of 90, Iris Apfel was even awarded a professorship, becoming a visiting teacher at the University of Texas at Austin. The Grand Dame still holds this post, annually reviewing the design work of students of the Faculty of Design. The documentary Iris about the life and style of a “rare bird” was directed by legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Meisels and was released in 2015. Alas, the maestro himself did not live to see the premiere for only a month.
The Modern Russian Design
Sergei Shanovich’s film is the first attempt to document the 20-year history of Russian design and tell about this industry using examples of individual projects of graphic, industrial, fashion design and multimedia design. The first film of the planned cycle tells about the Russian school of design and about contemporary artists engaged in graphic design, about what they are working on now, where they get their education and what they think about their profession. The goal of the project is to draw attention to the profession itself, to hear the competent opinion of Russian designers about the design industry without intermediaries and interpreters.
Sneakerheadz is a gift for street fashion fans. It is compiled from conversations with designers, store owners and sneaker aficionados. Important historical footage such as video clips, journalistic plots and sports matches are interspersed with beautiful footage of shoes and stories about the origin of the word “sneakers”, Michael Jordan and Nike, Run DMC and Adidas, collaborations and overnight camping in stores. The film is full of interesting, including very sad, statistics. For example, did you know that there are over 1,200 murders committed every year because of sneakers? That’s about 20 a week.
Ways of seeing
The four-part film Ways of Seeing, filmed in 1972 for the BBC and written by writer, art critic, artist John Berger, raises questions about traditional Western aesthetic culture, templateing them to criticism. The painting raises questions about the modern viewer’s perception of classical images, about the role of the female body in art history, about how images have ruled mass consciousness for centuries, and, finally, about how modern advertising has mastered the tools that were developed within the framework of artistic traditions. Based on the motives, a book was later released, about which the critic of the Sunday Times wrote: “Berger does not just open our eyes to how we see works of art, he will almost certainly change the very perception of art by the viewer.”
The Genius of Design
Design Genius is a series of short films from the BBC about the development of design during the industrialization era to its evolution today. The last of the five episodes, among other things, tells about simple objects that have radically changed our lives (for example, about the built-in metal tab for opening a tin can or about a spring in a clothespin). The purpose of the design has now changed, the creators of the picture say. If earlier it was focused primarily on the needs of the consumer, now that we have everything – on the fulfillment of dreams.
Source: Coalla Agency