AIA Debuts a Documentary and Launches Its Film Challenge

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced the premiere of its documentary short film about resiliency in residential architecture. The film debuted at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2019 in Las Vegas.

“Designed to Last: Blueprint for a Better Home” tells the story of architect Illya Azaroff’s, AIA, journey to rebuild a home for Diane Hellriegel in Breezy Point, N.Y. Severe damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 made her home uninhabitable.

While highlighting the power of collaboration and design, the documentary short film is also meant to provide inspiration for participants of the AIA Film Challenge.

Now in its fifth year, the AIA Film Challenge invites architects and filmmakers to submit short documentaries that illustrate how architecture has made a positive impact on their community. Past winning submissions have told stories about affordable housing for veterans, the renovation of a historic theatre, and the development of a community garden, among other topics. An interactive map feature on blueprintforbetter.org shows finalist films by location.

“As we seek to bring awareness to the power of design, the AIA Film Challenge is a forum for filmmakers and architects to collaboratively tell a story for how architecture meaningfully affects communities everywhere,” says AIA EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA. “Illya has done just that by designing a stronger and safer home that sets an example for communities everywhere. His willingness to make the design plan available to anyone that wants to use it, shows his deep commitment to resilient design and improving our communities. AIA has long been a leader in sustainable design, and we look forward to sharing film submissions that help us communicate our commitment to a better built environment.”

Submissions to the Film Challenge must be three to five minutes in length and should align with one of these categories: social impact design; affordable housing; homelessness; empowering lives; diversity & inclusion; community revitalization.

A five-person jury will review entries and select approximately 10 to 15 submissions that will advance as finalists. The top-rated film will receive a $5,000 grand prize and will debut Oct. 17, during Chicago Ideas Week, in addition to screenings at film festivals and via other channels throughout the year.

The AIA Film Challenge 2019 jury is comprised of Studio Pacifica Principal Karen Braitmayer, FAIA; Arbuckle Industries Co-Founder/COO Ian Harris; Director Joseph Kosinski; Architect magazine Editor Wanda Lau; and Self + Tucker Founding Principal Jimmie Tucker, FAIA.

A public voting period will begin Aug. 19, and conclude Sept. 27. The documentary short film with the most public votes will be named the People’s Choice winner and will receive a $5,000 prize and a trip to Chicago to see their film screened at Chicago Ideas, in addition to screenings at film festivals and via other channels throughout the year.

All entries for the AIA Film Challenge are due by Aug. 12.

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