Architecture and Place in British Documentary Television

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.

The event at Pitt will consist of a brief explanation of the larger project, a set of screenings of representative documentary films about architecture that will not be shown at either the BIMI or BFI event, and a panel discussion/Q&A featuring faculty from Film Studies, English, History of Art and Architecture, and Engineering. 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.

Screenings: 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

Discussants: 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

This event is also sponsored by the Departments of English and History of Art and Architecture and the Film Studies Program. For more information, click here or contact Kevin Flanagan at


Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 6:00pm

Location and Address

Frick Fine Arts Auditorium