Architecture and Design Film Festival Comes to DC


The National Building Museum is hosting the post-pandemic return to DC of the world’s largest film festival dedicated to design and the built environment.

More than a dozen international films, mostly feature-length documentaries, will be screened at in-person gatherings over the course of three days, March 24-26.

The films tackle a range of topical issues from sustainability to historic preservation to adaptive reuse, as well as spotlighting some global design stars, including Hungarian-American modernist Marcel Breuer and architect contemporary Danish artist Dorte Mandrup.

The opening night celebration is set for Thursday, March 24, with a screening of maua documentary tracing the unlikely creative journey of Canadian designer Bruce Mau.

A post-screening Q&A with Mau follows and the evening includes an open bar reception with hors d’oeuvres and dim sum, all in the museum’s Great Hall.

Other highlights include:

Nathan Havey’s documentary beyond zerodetailing how Ray Anderson revamped his Interface carpet tile business with an inspiring mission focused on environmental sustainability (3/25).

From earth to sky

by Ron Chapman From earth to skyhighlighting the work of seven Indigenous architects working across North America, including Tammy Eagle Bull and Douglas Cardinal (3/25).

by Barak Heyman High Maintenance – The Life and Work of Dani Karavanwith a particular focus on the conflict sparked by the Israeli artist’s latest commission, a monument to Polish nationals who risked their lives to save Jews during World War II (3/25).

by Charlotte Airas thief of lighta lyrical film revealing the impact of natural light on design as evidenced by the work of contemporary Finnish architect Juha Leiviskä (3/26).

by Lauren Levine Unity Temple: Frank Lloyd Wright’s modern masterpiecedocumenting efforts to restore the century-old temple in Illinois with quotes from America’s most famous architect as told by Brad Pitt (3/26).

The National Building Museum is located at 401 F St. NW. Tickets cost between $12 and $15 per program and between $40 and $50 for opening night. An $85 FlexPass offers multiple movies and an opening night. Call 202-272-2448 or visit