Netflix: the best documentaries and TV series on design and architecture

Four among documentaries, TV series and miniseries not to be absolutely missed on Netflix if you are a fan of design or architecture: from the discovery of the great minds of design of our times to the documentary on the amusement park-house built with 25 million Lego bricks, from the TV series on the most architecturally impossible houses in the World to the spectacle of great renovations that dared excessive restyling and overstepped monstrous budgets.

Abstract: The Art of Design

“Abstract: The Art of Design” is a documentary created to show how contemporary design influences life, decisions and projects in the world. The eight episodes investigate the experiences of graphic designer Paula Scher, photographer Platon, automotive designer Ralph Gilles, designer Es Eslin, illustrator Christoph Niemann, architect Ilse Crawford and Nike designer Tinker Hatfield: eight great professionals and innovators. But “Abstract: The Art of Design” is not just a documentary that tells in a vivid and realistic way how design impacts on different aspects of eight extraordinary individuals, but it is also a spectacle for the eyes. A documentary that – thanks to its strong, captivating visual and formal choices – features the importance and beauty of a cinematographic work.

The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes

“The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes” is a British reality-TV miniseries that brings its viewers on a journey through the strangest houses in the world. Presented by actress and real estate agent Caroline Quentin and architect Piers Taylor, from the Invisible Studio. In each episode the viewer comes across houses that are perhaps not architectural masterpieces but rather great extravagant buildings, sometimes at the limit of ridicule, all joined together by a common feature: being uniquely designed homes. Some examples? The house built with components of an ancient Boeing 747 and the hexagon-shaped chalet on the Swiss Alps..

LEGO House – Home of the Brick

“LEGO House – Home of the Brick” is a documentary film about the huge amusement park-house built with 25 million Lego pieces in the city of Billund in Denmark (birthplace of the famous Lego brand). The Lego House, open to the public in 2017, is divided into 6 “Experience Areas” that answer the question “what is inside a Lego house?” Among these areas: the Red Zone to stimulate children’s imagination with Lego bricks, the Green Zone dedicated to storytelling and role play, the Blue Zone for little urban architects and the Yellow Zone where to create Lego animals. The film documents the conception, design and construction of the Lego House: an ambitious project and an absolute must-see for fans of the famous bricks.

Grand designs

“Grand Designs” is a highly successful English TV series in which the anchorman and former stage designer Kevin McCloud in each episode presents a different home renovation project: the public witnesses the owners’ ambition, the decisions taken in the different steps by the architects, up to the much desired final outcome. Or not. Because in its (sometimes) disarming realism, “Grand Designs” does not hide the failed projects and mistakes made: in fact, in many cases budgets get dramatically crushed, deadlines are exceeded, rights in property are not rarely exposed out loud, projects are completely aborted or prove to be unsatisfactory in the end. One of the rare (very rare) examples of sincere and realistic TV.

Target Point, Italian Ideas.