A Designer's Guide to Must-See Documentaries
25/04/17
If you're scrolling through Netflix for new material to binge watch, look no further. Here are 10 design-related documentaries to get you started - from creative foundations to the future of design.

 

Design is One: Lella & Massimo Vignelli

Italian-born Massimo and Lella Vignelli are among the world's most influential designers. Throughout their long career, their motto has been, 'If you can't find it, design it' The work covers such a broad spectrum that one could say the Vignellis are known by everybody, even those who don't know their names. From graphics to interiors to products and corporate identities, the film brings us into the work and everyday moments of the Vignellis' world, capturing their intelligence and creativity, as well as their humanity, warmth, and humor.

 

Objectified

Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability.

 

Design is Future

Design is Future is the result of the latest edition of 'Design is Future congresstival', a Toormix and BCD event at Barcelona Design Week 2016. The film focuses on the conference's highlights through interviews with curators and the 15 speakers who took part in the event, including Sam Baron, director of the Fabrica design area. Everyone shares with the public their opinion of the key role of design, explaining how it can help professionals, businesses and society in general to be more innovative and sustainable.

 

Exit Through the Gift Shop

In this feature film where what is real and what might be fake blurs, the infamous, shadowy British graffiti street artist Banksy, who has literally left his mark on cities throughout the world, comes in contact with Thierry Guetta, a Los Angeles-based Frenchman who videotapes various underground art escapades. Exit Through the Gift Shop follows Guetta’s attempts to capture the ever-elusive Banksy at work--only to have the mischievous artist turn the camera back on him with hilarious results. Is it all real? Or could this be Banksy's greatest stunt yet? The film contains footage of Banksy, Shephard Fairey, Invader and many of the world's most infamous graffiti artists at work.

 

Design & Thinking

Design & Thinking is a documentary exploring the idea of "design thinking"! How do we fully engage organizations to think about the changing landscape of business, culture and society? Inspired by design thinking, this documentary grabs businessman, designers, social change-makers and individuals to portrait what they have in common when facing this ambiguous 21st century. What is design thinking? How is it applied in business models? How are people changing the worldwith their own creative minds? It is a call to the conventional minds to change and collaborate.

 

The Happy Film

The Happy Film is a feature-length documentary in which graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister undergoes a series of self-experiments outlined by popular psychology to test once and for all if it’s possible for a person to have a meaningful impact on their own happiness.

 

Helvetica

Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger 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, and a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type.

 

Connecting – Trends in UI, Interaction, & Experience Design

The 18 minute “Connecting” documentary is an exploration of the future of Interaction Design and User Experience from some of the industry’s thought leaders. As the role of software is catapulting forward, Interaction Design is seen to be not only increasing in importance dramatically, but also expected to play a leading role in shaping the coming “Internet of things.” Ultimately, when the digital and physical worlds become one, humans along with technology are potentially on the path to becoming a “super organism” capable of influencing and enabling a broad spectrum of new behaviors in the world.

 

Milton Glaser: To Inform & Delight

Best known for co-founding New York Magazine and the enduring I love NY campaign, the full breadth of Milton Glaser's remarkable artistic output is revealed in this documentary portrait. From newspapers and magazine designs, to interior spaces, logos, and brand identities, to his celebrated prints, drawings, posters and paintings, the documentary offers audiences a much richer appreciation for one of the great modern renaissance men.

 

 

Abstract: The Art of Design

This Netflix series allows you to step inside the minds of the most innovative designers in a variety of disciplines and learn how design impacts every aspect of life.