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ByDesign festival explores art and architecture this weekend

Northwest Film Forum will host films and discussions on building real, virtual, and augmented worlds

Courtesy of Northwest Film Forum

In the annual ByDesign film festival, the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) presents films and events that make us reflect on how design impacts our lives and our environment, from graphic design to city planning.

This year’s festival, which starts this Friday, is especially key to anyone interested in architecture, cities, or built environments both real and imagined.

The festival opens with the Seattle premiere of documentary Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, which tells the now-iconic tale of journalist and activist Jane Jacob’s fight against city planner Robert Moses in ‘50s and ‘60s New York. The experience shaped her influential book The Death and Life of Great American Cities in 1961 and opened a decades-long dialogue on building cities that work for the people that live in them.

Citizen Jane will be introduced, appropriately, by new Director of the Office of Planning and Community Development Sam Assefa—hopefully a fascinating opportunity to connect Jacobs’s work with the changing shape of Seattle.

Also on Friday, the event “How Green Was My Uncanny Valley” will explore the emergence of 3D world-building in the ‘90s, including audience participation at gaming stations set up throughout the theater.

Exploring the connection between infinite imaginations and technological limitations, the event promises to “shine a light on some of the loneliest, and most terrifyingly surreal, worlds ever committed to those 700 [megabyte] discs.”

Saturday, Jerry Garcia of Olson-Kundig Architects will introduce a meditative film set to Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza’s thoughts on the possibilities of architecture, Having a Cigarette with Alvaro Siza.

Documentary Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production will have its world premiere Saturday at the festival—featuring music by local musician Panabrite.

Sunday, in “Making Design Move: Storytelling, Data Viz, UX, and More” designers will tell how animation is expanding what’s possible in their work in a panel discussion.

More information on the festival and tickets to each individual event are available on Northwest Film Forum’s website.