What happens after buildings are built? Why do some buildings get better over time and others get demolished? Stewart Brand says architecture is a prediction, and all predictions are wrong, so the more monumental the architecture, the more wrong the building is. The buildings that thrive are those that can adapt to how people actually use them. The worst buildings for inhabitants are usually statement architecture — buildings that look like art. The best buildings are often nondescript, and pick up character as they evolve. In other words they grow into art.
Brand’s classic book How Buildings Learn and this BBC video series provide example after example of how great spaces are ones that are adaptable. The BBC series is divided into six sections which feature six strategies for designing or redesigning buildings that serve people over time. They travel throughout Britain and the US seeking examples of buildings that learn and ones that don’t. This true film will give you confidence and perspective in altering your own current space, and will transform your mind if you have the opportunity to design a new building, small or large.
How Buildings Learn
Stewart Brand, James Runcie
1997, 180 min.
6-part BBC series
Read more about the film at Wikipedia