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Sep 1 2021 Film /

TSA Playlist | September: Student Showcase


September is Toronto’s unofficial film month—a time to celebrate and explore how we see and share the world through the art of movie-making. Joining in on the festivities, this month’s TSA Playlist is a special one as we roll out the (virtual) red carpet to celebrate filmmaking and architecture through the work of students and recent graduates, all exploring the built environment through this unique medium! Each of the five curated programs brings together a number of short films and reflect either a class, age-group, or theme. Included are works produced by high school students, as well as films that form part of graduate thesis presentations.

So, grab your popcorn and come join us for this month-long movie-making celebration!

🍿 Ready to watch? Here’s how! 🍿

  1. Click on each of the image previews below to view the film program.
  2. To look at all the films in each program, click on the Playlist icon in the top right corner of the video.
  3. Alternatively, you can view each film within a program by clicking on the list of films below each of the program descriptions.

🎬 Program 1 | Independent Assignment + Thesis

This playlist features films submitted by students in both the undergraduate and graduate level, consisting of both independent and assignment-based projects. These films explore architectural space with a creative twist – one a murder mystery, one a multi-media memoir, and one a relational drama.

List of films in playlist:

🎬 Program 2 | University of Waterloo | Graduate Studio
Professor: David Correa
Course: Material Narratives

“Titled “Serendipity” (pleasant accidental discoveries), this is the final project in David Correa’s studio course Material Narratives in the School of Architecture, University of Waterloo. Graduate students Jikyung Jeon, Maulshree Gupta and Wendy Yuan collaboratively proposed a unique architectural experience. Through captivating renderings and immersive cinematography, viewers are guided through a sequential spatial narrative of a spa with an adjacent teahouse. Located on an imaginary forested site at the edge of a lake, the group engages in an intimate dialogue with the landscape features, and experiments with the visitors’ sensory interactions. Their bodies became tools to capture wonderful moments: when birds chirp; when foliage rustles; when water flows; when the fragrance of tea is inhaled… Come and have a sip! Or a dip!”

List of films in playlist:

🎬 Program 3 | University of Toronto | High School Summer Studio: Film + Architecture
Coordinator: Jay Pooley
Course: Daniels High School Summer Studio: Film & Architecture 

“Using a combination of filmmaking techniques and digital media design tools, these one-week camps set students on a journey to explore the built world, consider new atmospheres, illustrate interpretations, and use this information to craft a new world of their own.

Rather than a plot-driven approach to story-telling, in which there is a beginning, middle and end, conflict and resolution, we craft our stories to describe a mood, feeling, character, atmosphere or landscape. These worlds describe the “moments” of experiencing architecture. This camp invites students to think abstractly about experiencing, creating and representing our environments.”

List of films in playlist:

🎬 Program 4 | University of Toronto | Undergraduate Studio
Coordinator: Jay Pooley
Course: How to Design Almost Anything: Films About Architecture

“Architecture is made to be experienced. The solitude of moving through a narrow passage, the joy of arriving at a discovered garden, these are the moments we as designers seek to craft in our interpretations of the built environment.

As architects, we are very good at representing the form of space. The structure, the organization and assembly of buildings are indispensable skills. But what about the experience of a place, the way that spaces feel? The purpose of this project is to allow students the opportunity to document the experience of architecture. To hold a mirror to a space in order to reveal deeply what is true about it. These films are often passionate, stirring, moving and full of life – exactly the characteristics of some of our most beloved spaces.”

List of films in playlist:

🎬 Program 5 | University of Toronto | Graduate Studio
Professor: John Shnier
Course: House for Piranesi

“Drawn from various classes over the years, these films are created by Thesis students, as part of their Masters of Architecture degree, at the John H Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. They have been undertaken as part of Professor John Shnier’s Thesis Research Studio entitled “House for Piranesi”. As part of their design process, Shnier asks students to incorporate a film component that interprets the ideas of fragment and flux cited by the Russian Avant Garde filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein that he observed in the 18c Venetian Architect, Gian Battista Piranesi’s famous etchings, The Carceri (Prisons) of Imagination. The idea of using film as a “cine-kinetic” drawing allows students to consider and integrate the fourth dimension—movement in space— into their work. The subjects represented are assertively diverse, representing the range of thesis concepts brought forward. The films are seen as critical, parallel narratives to the students’ thesis development, yet can be also experienced as autonomous narratives that touch on a range of architectural concepts.”

List of films in playlist:

Thank You!

The Toronto Society of Architects would like to extend a very special thank you to all the students who contributed their work to this month’s playlist, as well as to professors Jay Pooley and John Shnier of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto, and professor David Correa of the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture, for all their help in making this showcase possible.


About the TSA Playlist

The TSA Playlist is a monthly curated list of free online films touching upon issues of architecture, the built environment and design. Our thematic lists do more than just entertain; they inspire us, enrich us, and challenge our perspectives, helping bring the conversation of the built environment to new audiences and encourage conversation and debate.

Have a suggestion of a film or theme you would like to see featured? Let us know at tsa@torontosocietyofarchitects.ca

Be sure to also check out the past editions of the TSA Playlist!