We Start With the Things We Find

85 minutes · United States · 2023

Opening Night Feature Film

LOT-EK, the visionary and beloved architecture studio of Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano, has reimagined the shipping container for over 30 years. This structure and other detritus of our industrialized economy have become the materials for unique architectural and artistic spaces. Through creative pursuit, LOT-EK has become a prophet of adaptive reuse, ecological construction, and unexpected beauty. We Start With the Things We Find investigates the studio’s provocative practice as a prescription for the ills of our consumptive society.

This special Opening Night ticket includes an invitation to a complimentary cocktail hour prior to the film screening, as well as a live discussion with LOT-EK founders Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano and film director Thomas Piper immediately following the film.

Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano both studied at the Universitá di Napoli, where they met, before moving to New York to complete post-graduate studies at Columbia University. In 1993, they founded their architectural firm LOT-EK, which is known for the adaptive reuse and upcycling of infrastructural and industrial structures—airplane fuselages, oil tanks, cement mixer-drums, and, most notably, the standard 40-foot shipping container. Tolla and Lignano both teach at Columbia University and lecture at universities and cultural institutions worldwide. In 2011, Tolla and Lignano were recognized as USA Booth Fellows of Architecture & Design by United States Artists. In 2017, LOT-EK’s second monograph, O+O: OBJECTS + OPERATION was published by The Monacelli Press. LOT-EK is a featured participant in the fifth edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial: This is a Rehearsal.

Piper’s recent film Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf (2017) is still in theaters across the globe. He has directed, photographed, and/or edited more than 25 films on designers, painters, sculptors, photographers, and writers. His recent film, Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf (2017) is still in theaters across the globe. His efforts to document the contributions of significant figures in the architecture world include films on Diller + Scofidio, Peter Eisenman, Jeanne Gang, Steven Holl, Thom Mayne, Jean Nouvel, and Vincent Scully.

Watch Trailer

Ticket price: $30 (public) / $20 (for CAC Members)
Price includes entry to a special pre-screening reception and post-screening talk-back.

Opening Night cocktail reception begins at 6:00pm.
Screening begins promptly at 7:00pm.

Event takes place at the Chicago Architecture Center, 111 East Wacker Drive.

About the film

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Director:Thomas Piper
Runtime:85 minutes
Country:United States

The ADFF:CHICAGO Short Film Program will be showing on a continuous loop in the Chicago Gallery and is free and open to everyone. Read about the short films here.

Explore the films View festival schedule Architecture & Design Film Festival Chicago Architecture Center

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Modern Luxury
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the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago