5 Design Documentaries for Inspiration

5 Design Documentaries for Inspiration

When you feel blocked creativity, sometimes the best thing to do is escape and take a break. Next time you need to refresh yourself check out one of these five great design documentaries.

From the eye of modernist photographer Julius Shulman to expert paper folders who look at a flat sheet of paper and see three dimensional sculptures that are beyond belief, these films will draw you in, inform and inspire you. While these five films focus on individuals with strong and unique vision, they all have an enthusiasm that is infectious.

1. Eames: The Architect and The Painter Design duo Charles and Ray Eames are profiled for the first time since their death in this documentary narrated by James Franco that explores not only their influence in mid century modern furniture but also their work in photography, interiors, graphics, games, and films. It can be seen online for free at PBS.

2. Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman Arguably one of the world's greatest architectural photographers, Julius Shulman brought modern architecture the mainstream when he photographed the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Frank Gehry. Even after his death his work continues to be a highly influential. See his work and learn more about the film at Julius Shulman Film.

3. Home Movie Director Chris Smith takes viewers on a tour of quirky homes across the country that are as unique as their owners. A home built inside a nuclear missile bunker, a tree house, a house customized to suit the whims of a dozen cats and a fully electronic house that features a rotating living room are just some of the stops along the way on a tour of the most unique homes in America. Available on Amazon.

4. Objectified.This film explores how we are influenced by manufactured objects, such as chairs, phones and cars, that surround us on a daily basis. Top industrial designers discuss their creative processes and the "complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them." Objectified. is the in this second part of a trilogy that was preceded by director Gary Hustwit's Helvetica. Learn more about the film on Objectified.

5. Between the Folds Even if you have never given the art of origami much thought, the story of artist Eric Joisel, one of the worlds most talented paper folders will surely astound you. To witness his creative process and see his hand made works of art made is not to be missed. Learn more about Eric Joisel and the film on PBS.

(Images: PBS; Julius Shulman Film; Amazon; ObjectifiedPBS)

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