How much does your building weigh, Mr Foster?

Architect Norman Foster of Foster+Partners is the subject of a new film, currently on tour in the U.S. “A portrait of one of the world’s premier architects, How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?  follows Norman Foster’s unending quest to improve the quality of life through design”. I invite you to watch the film trailer for a sneak peek. The cinematography is breathtaking. The story provides insight into the architects dreams and the influences which inspired some of the worlds most important structures. “From the world’s largest building to its tallest bridge, Foster offers some striking solutions to humanity’s increasing demand on urban centers”. Foster is known for his strong position on sustainability and the responsibility of “good design” to think beyond the impact of individual buildings, to the quality, efficiency and longevity of the project.

There is a lot to experience in this film, as the impact of Norman Foster’s work spans the globe. Winner of the 21st Pritzker Architecture, Mr. Foster’s current and recent work includes the largest single building on the planet, Beijing Airport, the redevelopment of Dresden Railway Station, Millau Viaduct in France, the Swiss Re tower and the Great Court at the British Museum in London, an entire University Campus for Petronas in Malaysia, the Hearst Headquarters tower in New York, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and research centres at Stanford University, California.

Image Milau Viaduct sourced here. Excerpts sourced at


film trailer of How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

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Design: The New Business

Take a peek at this short documentary film released this week about the power of design in the process of business development. Titled Design: The New Business, it was created by 6 students from Strategic Product Design at TU Delft in the Netherlands.The film is positioned to look critically at business process’, the influence of technology and the power of creativity. Interviews with Virgin, Phillips, and Volkswagen, as well as the business teams and design teams responsible for re-imagining their respective business’,  convey how product-driven companies are engaging design process’, to make the transition to a more service dominant and human centered logic. I believe in this discipline of interdisciplinary approach to problem solving. It is applicable to each and every beautiful object we enjoy, and relevant research and observation influences the design of the user experience of everything in our environments. The coolest thing is that this mindset knows no cultural barriers. Design is the tool that has the ability to interpret the human condition, worldwide. Complex problems broken down to the most simplistic elements, provides clarity, and opportunity to create and design solutions to our business’ greatest challenges. This isn’t new. This marriage of design and business thinking has been around for decades. It is exciting to see big business begin to embrace the potential of the creative process, to fuel growth, identity, and process. I’d love to hear what you think.

Images and excerpts sourced at Design: The New Business website.


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Chicago Screening of Herbert Matter Documentary

Back in January, I shared a post about the making of the Herbert Matter documentary film. Slated to be screened only in Los Angeles, Switzerland, and Virginia in 2011, it was proving difficult for many of us to see. I have just learned that the Elmhurst Art Museum is hosting a presentation of the documentary film The Visual Language of Herbert Matter, on Friday September 23rd, 2011. Take a look at this gorgeous video clip of the entry sequence from the film. You can learn more about the film by visiting the official website . For those of you in the Chicago area, it will no doubt prove to be a wonderful event. Hope to see you there.

“I am very excited about the new documentary film, The Visual Language of Herbert Matter. It provides a revealing look at the fascinating life of the highly influential mid-century modern design master. He was a true multi-disciplanary designer, blurring the lines between graphic design, film, and photography. Swiss born Herbert Matter is largely credited with expanding the use of photography as a design tool and bringing the semantics of fine art into the realm of applied arts.”

Excerpts courtesy of
Images courtesy of





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Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. Released in 2007, on the anniversary of the typeface, it engages us in a conversation about the way type affects our lives. The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them. Through discussions with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type, the viewer gains a deeper understanding of the impact type choice has on our impression and interpretation of the written word. You can't talk about Helvetica without talking about the context; Modernism versus postmodernism, logical, rational, clear design versus the emotional and subjective.

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Visual Acoustics

I just finished watching a documentary film on the remarkable life of Architectural Photographer and Environmentalist, Julius Shulman. It was a gorgeous journey through architecture of the modern movement, framed by the camera, forever preserving the essence of place undeniably captured through the brilliant eye of Julius Shulman. Julius photographed the built work of some of the most accomplished architects around the world. The film was beautifully shot, and captured the wit, curiosity and optimism that propelled him through his magnificent life.


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