ADFF: Chicago, Jan 31 - Feb 4, 2024

Jan 31 - Feb 4, the Chicago Architecture Center will transform our galleries into a temporary cineplex for the Architecture & Design Film Festival. The line-up includes 20 stories of creative vision, design innovation, and human relationships embodied in architecture across the globe.

Tickets are $20/film or $15 for CAC Members and includes a single film showing plus access to view all ADFF Short Films before or after your movie time. All showings will be at the Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E Wacker Drive. Please arrive 20-30 minutes ahead of your scheduled showtime.

Short Films

The ADFF:CHICAGO Short Film Program will be showing on a continuous loop in the Chicago Gallery and is free and open to everyone. An eclectic assortment of shorts, they demonstrate a wide range of narrative techniques, each depicting a singular design story in very different ways. The films range from as brief as 2 minutes to as long as 15 minutes. Stay for a few or enjoy the entire program.

Anthropocene Mountain (2021) / US

Director: Tom Rossitier
Runtime: 3:00
A photographic and video meditation on the search for coexistence with Mother Earth. Critical action is necessary to address environmental change. Building on this understanding, the film explores the interdependence of cities, people, cultures, and wilderness.

Beloit College Powerhouse (2021) / US

Director: Spirit of Space
Runtime: 3:50
With light, life, and color, Studio Gang transforms a former coal-burning power plant into a student union centered on recreation and wellness. This resurrection reminds viewers of the bright future ahead.

Ex of In House (2019) / US

Director: Spirit of Space
Runtime: 6:30
An odyssey through the mind of architect Steven Holl, who based his Ex of In House design on a poem that posits the house as a monument gesturing towards the heavens.

For Everyone a Garden (2023) / Italy, Canada

Director: Giulia Magno
Runtime: 6:00
Architect and urban planner Moshe Safdie achieved worldwide recognition with Habitat 67, a pioneering housing project designed around the guiding metaphor “For everyone a garden.” Believing that green space, natural light, and fresh air are human rights, Safdie’s design philosophy still rings true five decades later.

Fossey Opening Video: Building a Permanent Home (2022) / Rwanda

Director: Thatcher Bean
Runtime: 5:45
Located at the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund serves as the new home for Dian Fossey's Karisoke Research Center. Over five years, the MASS Film team meticulously documents the process of designing the campus from conception to opening.

IN HARMONY (2023) / Germany

Director: Marcel Dambon
Runtime: 5:30
Working in concert with nature rather than against it, architect Stephan Maria Lang and a team of craftsmen create charismatic homes with a unique atmosphere.

The Making of Mahalia Jackson Court (2023) / US

Director: Christopher Hoerdemann
Runtime: 9:48
Architects, artists, craftspeople, and community stakeholders work together to rapidly transform a vacant lot on the South Side of Chicago into a vibrant community gathering space.

On Saturday, 2/3 at 3 PM there will be a special free screening of The Making of Mahalia Jackson Court followed by a talk-back and audience Q&A with Gerald Griffin (sculptor, Bordeau Griffin Design Center), Mark Sexton (Founding Partner, Krueck Sexton Partners), and Nedra Sims Fears (Executive Director, Greater Chatham Initiative) about their work on the project and plans for its future of the space.

Missing Footsteps (2023) / Portugal

Director: Daniel Sousa
Runtime: 9:58
Portuguese Cobblestone is one of the biggest symbols of the country’s culture, an icon of civic engineering, national pride, and a stone in the shoe of urban mobility.

NIX (2023) / Canada

Director: Katherine Knight, Anthony Von Seck
Runtime: 9:12
Artist Wanda Koop, designer Thom Fougere, and a team of snow experts build a temporary snow fort on the frozen Nestaweya River Trail in Winnipeg, Manitoba – a commission by Warming Huts: An Arts + Architecture Competition on Ice. The structure functions as an ethereal experience of light and weather and a work of land art.

Rock'n'House (2023) / US

Director: Alice Roth
Runtime: 14:21
Some might have found themselves between a rock and a hard place after finding a prehistoric glacial erratic in the middle of their land, but for architect Christian Wassmann, it was just what he was looking for. The omnipresent boulder becomes the central feature of Wassmann’s design for his family home.

Trusses (2022) / Belgium

Director: Jonathan Ortegat
Runtime: 8:45
A story of the construction of the Amal Amjahid, a complex built at the edge of the canal in Molenbeek, Belgium. Designed by the firm of Bogdan & Van Broek, the film follows one of the building’s four monumental metal trusses from manufacture to installation.

View festival schedule >>

Explore the films Architecture & Design Film Festival Chicago Architecture Center

In partnership with

AXIOS Chicago
LondonHouse Chicago
Modern Luxury
Consulate General of the Netherlands
PCL Graphics Ltd
The Ruder Group
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the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago