Architecture and Design Film Festival: Toronto - TSA

Architecture and Design Film Festival: Toronto

ADFF—North America’s largest film festival dedicated to architecture and design—is back in Toronto for another year of great films and insightful discussions at the beautiful TIFF Bell Lightbox. This year’s program includes 15 films from 10 countries, including 3 Canadian films.

For 2022, the TSA is proud to once again be partnering with ADFF to bring a series of panel discussions and post-screening Q&As that complement this year’s film roster. See below a list of film screenings where TSA panel discussions and Q&As will be taking place, bringing together architects, film-makers, and subject matter experts to reflect on the issues highlighted in each film and bring them into a Canadian context.

*More speakers will be added as they are confirmed.

Looking for the full list of films showcased at this year’s ADFF?
See the complete programme on the festival’s website

The Toronto Society of Architects is a proud partner of the Architecture and Design Film Festival Toronto 2022.


Toronto Society of ArchitectsArchitecture & Design Film Festival: Toronto - Toronto Society of Architects

Tickets Here

When November 2 - 5

Where TIFF Bell Lightbox
350 King St W.

Cost $14 General Admission, $11 Student, $9.75 TIFF Member, $30 Opening Night & Party, $11 TSA Member Admission (using code in Bulletin)

Robin Hood Gardens

90 mins / Germany / 2022
Panel discussion to follow the Thursday, Nov. 3, 6:30 PM screening.

Robin Hood Gardens is a story of complexity and contradiction in modern architecture. Built by British architects Alison & Peter Smithson, the controversial East-London council estate was not only unloved by its first residents in 1972 but also garnered divisive responses from internationally-renowned critics. Decades later, the brutalist building was demolished to pave the way for site redevelopment yet simultaneously exhibited at the Venice Biennale. In light of the estate’s 50th anniversary, the documentary offers surprising insights from residents and critics and presents a second look at the construction of the ostracized project.


Post-Screening Panel

  • Michael McClelland, Founding Principal, ERA Architects
  • Stefan Novakovic, Senior Editor, Azure Magazine (Moderator)

Building Bastille

76 mins / Canada / 2021
Panel discussion to follow the Friday, Nov. 4, 6:30 PM screening.

A half a billion dollar project, a crushing architectural challenge, an impossible deadline, two warring political titans, and a blind competition. What could go wrong?

The film is set in 1982 France when the new socialist President Mitterrand opens a blind competition to build an opera at the site of the notorious Bastille Prison. The jury selects the best design, a drawing that looks like the hand of prominent American architect Richard Meier but is a submission from an unknown and inexperienced Canadian architect Carlos Ott.

Building Bastille! is a feature-length documentary that tells the comedic, dramatic, and tangled story of modern history’s most remarkable case of mistaken identity and seized opportunity. Drama ensues when right-wing Jacques Chirac is elected Prime Minister, and his hatred of Mitterrand causes him to place a stop work order on the Opera. But like all French politics, nothing is what it seems.


Post-Screening Panel

  • Alex Bozikovic, Architecture Critic, The Globe and Mail (Moderator)
  • Nicolas Koff, Partner, Office Ou
  • Uros Novakovic, Partner, Office Ou
  • Sebastian Bartnicki, Partner, Office Ou

A World to Shape

52 mins / Netherlands / 2022
Panel discussion to follow the Saturday, Nov. 5, 12:00 PM (noon) screening.

Nienke Hoogvliet (1989) and Dave Hakkens (1988) represent a new generation of contemporary Dutch Designers. This generation is acutely aware that raw materials are depleting, energy is scarce, and globalization is driving new forms of small-scale production. As makers, they don’t care about existing boundaries between art, design and science. In A World to Shape, director Ton van Zantvoort guides you through the respective ingenuity of Nienke and Dave.

Nienke’s mission is to make the world’s second most polluting industry – the clothing industry – more sustainable. She is currently working on sustainable applications of seaweed, such as using it to make paint. Dave’s ambition is equally ambitious. His Kamp project attempts to establish a living and working community that uses a minimal carbon footprint. He has created a blueprint for a new society and made it open source so that anyone can adopt and improve the ideas. Where many people might see problems, Nienke and Dave envisage solutions.


Post-Screening Panel

  • Juliette Cook, Co-Founder, Ha/f Climate Design
  • Stephanie Mah, President, Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) – Toronto & Creative Director, Giaimo
  • Stefan Novakovic, Senior Editor, Azure Magazine (Moderator)

Grethe Meyer – The Queen of Danish Design

61 mins / Denmark / 2021
Panel discussion to follow the Saturday, Nov. 5, 2:15 PM screening.

Globally renowned for its simplicity, functionality, and longevity, Danish design rose to popularity during the so-called ‘Golden Age’ of Danish Design in the 1940s and 1950s. Grethe Meyer – The Queen of Danish Design narrates the story of Grethe Meyer – one of the few pioneering women who, despite the enormous consequences, created classic designs such as the Royal Copenhagen Blue Edge set. Combining humanist thinking with an almost scientific methodology, Meyer analyzed her way into all her designs – working, reworking, and testing – in a man’s world.


Post-Screening Panel

  • Jeffrey Forrest, Founder, STACKLAB
  • Jane Son, Co-Founder, CASSON Hardware
  • Eric Mutrie, Senior Editor, Azure Magazine (Moderator)