Archiculture: Documentary Receives 2010 Brunner Grant

Krantz-Harris-Studio

David Krantz (left) and Ian Harris; Pratt architecture studio.

Courtesy of Archiculture

The Center for Architecture Foundation is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2010 Arnold W. Brunner Grant is the documentary film Archiculture, co-produced and co-directed by Ian Harris and David Krantz. The film explores contemporary issues surrounding the profession of architecture by following five college students from the conception through completion of their senior thesis projects. Glenda Reed, operations manager at the Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF), spoke with Ian Harris about Archiculture.

Glenda Reed: Can you tell me about Archiculture?
Ian Harris: Archiculture is a film that gives those who have never entered a design studio a chance to peer into the process of becoming an architect. The five student projects presented in the film address real-life issues concerning sustainability, technology, and environmental psychology. Our goal is to create an engaging story that allows viewers to learn a bit more about the dramatic shifts occurring within our built environment while walking away from the theater with a new perspective on their surroundings.

GR: Can you tell me about David Krantz, your co-producer and co-director?
IH: David studied landscape architecture at Clemson University. He conceived of this film as a student there. The project existed as a pipe dream until we met at our first jobs, post-school. After long hours of working across from each other, we would recall memories and hysterical events from our days back in school.

GR: How did your experiences in architecture school affect your vision for this film?
IH: I was the type of student who loved the intensity, creativity, and process of the design studio. Leaving this culture of creativity for the stricture of the profession was a drastic awakening to the reality of what value the field has in our society.

GR: You’ve mentioned architecture school and working in a design office. Tell me about your background in architecture.
IH: I was an engineering student at Ohio State University who wandered into architecture as a creative outlet. Once I made the switch from the left to right side of my brain, there was no turning back. I was immediately addicted to design. After graduating with a degree in architecture, I moved to San Francisco where I worked for a variety of design firms. I found myself in an insular profession that lacked the open dialogue and engagement that I had expected of it as a student.

GR: What has receiving the Brunner Grant meant to you personally and professionally?
IH: Until now, the film has been funded by our meager savings and whatever we could scrape together from our friends, families, and gracious architecture firms. Receiving the Brunner Grant is a mark of acceptance from the architectural establishment. It is great to see the profession open itself up to public debate regarding the problems we face as a society and how the built environment can offer solutions.

GR: How can readers see Archiculture?
IH: We are discussing multiple strategies for distribution including a global 24-hour simulcasted premiere, a mobile theatrical school tour, and a variety of outreach events through the many existing national and global architectural organizations like the Center for Architecture.

The Arnold W. Brunner Grant is an annual award that supports advanced study in any area of architectural investigation, which will effectively contribute to the knowledge, teaching, or practice of the art and science of architecture. Architects throughout the U.S. are encouraged to apply. Recipients are awarded up to $15,000. For more information visit www.cfafoundation.org/brunner. For more information about Archiculture visit www.archiculturefilm.com.