8 Must-See Design Documentaries For The Curious and Creative

8 Must See Design Documentaries
(Photo : Design & Trend - Meg Busacca)

We have compiled our essential list of design documentaries to watch. These films offer insight into the ever-evolving industries of architecture, art, industrial, graphic, fashion, interior and product design. Our top 8 list features films that provide audiences with a peek into the personal lives and careers of some of the world's most influential creatives and innovators. You'll witness exclusive interviews with an assortment of designers and innovators alike, all those who had a hand in shaping our perspective of both urban environments and culture. 


1. Objectified 


(Photo : Objectified - Gary Hustwit )

A film whose subject is spotlighting the relationship between the designers who re-examine, develop and define our manufactured environment. Objectified premiered at the SxSW Film Festival in 2009 and is the second part of the design trilogy directed by Gary Hustwit.   


2. EAMES: the architect and the painter 


(Photo : EAMES : the architect and the painter )

A film that captures the personal story of America's most influential industrial design duo, the husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames. Eames: The Architect and the Painter debuted in 2011, written and produced by Jason Cohn and co-produced by Bill Jersey.




(Photo : BEAUTIFUL LOSERS - Aaron Rose and Joshua Leonard)


A film that focuses on the careers and work of the collected individuals who facilitated the growth of the D.I.Y. art movement since the 1990s — specifically, the fringe artists who would make up the subcultures across the music, graffiti and skateboarding spectrum. Beautiful Losers was completed in 2008, directed by Aaron Rose and co-directed by Joshua Leonard. 


4. Regular or Super : Views on Mies Van der Rohe 


(Photo : Regular or Super: Views on Mies van der Rohe )



A film documenting the mind-blowing work of one of the 20th century's most influential architects, Mies van der Rohe. REGULAR or SUPER is a work which offers a thought-provoking approach to the impact that architecture has on our lives. The film debuted in 2004, directed by Patrick Demers and Joseph Hillel. 


5. Design is One : Lella & Massimo Vignelli 


(Photo : Design is One: Lella & Massimo Vignelli )


A film recognizing the Italian-born design pair, Lella and Massimo Vignelli, who developed New York City's iconic subway system signs. Design is One was directed by Kathy Brew and Roberto Guerra in 2012 and highlights the designers themselves and how their renowned work influenced millions. 






A fascinating story of French immigrant Thierry Guetta and his strong interest in the famously private graffiti culture. The film just so happens to be directed by one of today's most well-known graffiti artists — Banksy. Exit Through the Gift Shop lets us in on the secret lives of street art culture in a unique, non-standard format. The film premiered in 2010 at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. 


7. Sketches of Frank Gehry 


(Photo : Sketches of FRANK GEHRY - Sydney Pollack )
An American documentary divulging the career and personal life of architect Frank Gehry — featuring several Gehry-designed buildings and interviews with other prominent figures of today. Sketches of Frank Gehry was directed by Sydney Pollack in 2006, a long-time friend and admirer of the living mastermind and architect. 


8. Interior Motives 


(Photo : Interior Motives - Natalie Shirinian )


A new documentary illustrating the close and significant relationship between fashion and interior design. Interior Motives is currently still in production and is being directed by PR powerhouse and creative Natalie Shirinian.This documentary will include the unique perspectives of influencers today — Mary McDonald, Miles Redd, Zac Posen, Iris Apfel and Michele Lamy to name a few.There is no confirmed information on the film's release date but watch a preview here



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