Architecture and Place in British Documentary Television: How Do Architectural Documentaries Engage and Delight Non-Specialist Audiences?

April 13, 2016 - 6:00pm


Architecture and Place in British Documentary Television

How Do Architectural Documentaries Engage and Delight Non-Specialist Audiences?

Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Frick Fine Arts Building, University of Pittsburgh

Wednesday, April 13, 6 pm - 8:30 pm

This is a group of screenings and panel discussion about the function, uses, and aesthetics of documentaries about architecture, space, and siting on British television. It connects to a season of screenings that will be held in June 2016 at the British Film Institute. The Pitt event, a proposed event at the Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image, and the BFI season are all a result of the new research partnership between Pitt and BIMI. This is a large scale project that includes a special journal issue and several events that was conceived at the first Pitt/BIMI Research Workshop in May 2015.

While part of the project is about the peculiar history of this documentary mode in British cultural life, the Pitt event has a slightly more general focus. Discussion will focus on how film and television invite non-specialist audiences to engage with architecture, and how visual media can personalize the spatial experience of moving through and around buildings.


Nairn Across Britain: From London to Lancashire (1972) - 28 minutes

Monitor: London Moods (1961) - 10 minutes

Building Sights: Willis Corroon with Zaha Hadid (1996) - 10 minutes

The Unseen Hand: Ove Arup (1995) - 35 minutes



Christopher Drew Armstrong, History of Art & Architecture, Pitt

John A. Twyning, Assoc. Dean for Undergraduate Studies/Associate Professor of English, Pitt

Sarah Rafson, Architectural Curator

Kevin M. Flanagan, Film Studies/ English, Pitt


Catered Reception to Follow!

Part of an upcoming “Broadcasting the Arts” Season at the BFI Southbank, London. Planned through a joint research initiative between University of Pittsburgh Film Studies and the Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image. Sponsored by the Dept. of Film Studies and the Year of the Humanities Initiative.


Location and Address

Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Reception to follow