Add Some Flair to your Watchlist with Art and Design Documentaries

by | Apr 28, 2020 | Inspiration

After a month or so in quarantine you’ve probably grown tired of watching mind-numbing TV shows and movies. The good news is that there is still some inspiration left to be had. Art and design documentaries are a great way to feed your creative side and learn something new. This short list of resources is where you can find design films to rent, purchase, or stream for free.

1. Detroit Public Television 

Visit DPTV to check out the 35 minute documentary “Detroit Designs the World.” You’ll also want to browse through the Arts and Culture section, which is packed with videos of local music performances and artist interviews that you can watch at your own pace.

Video features on DPTV. (Photo: DPTV/One Detroit)

2. Oh You Pretty

Run by visual artists and filmmakers in Brooklyn, NY, the online shop is where you can stream documentaries from filmmaker Gary Hustwit each week at no cost. Previously posted films now available for rent or purchase include “Helvetica”, and “Urbanized”. This week, you can check out Hustwit’s film “Rams”, about design icon Dieter Rams, streaming free May 1-3 as part of Deezen’s Virtual Design Festival.

Trailer for Gary Hustwit’s documentary “Helvetica”. (Photo: Gary Hustwit)

Poster for Gary Hustwit’s documentary “Urbanized”. (Photo: Gary Hustwit)

3. Designers.Watch

This website features a nice collection of documentaries that you can watch if you are subscribed to paid streaming services Amazon (Prime) and Itunes (Apple TV). After browsing the list, the films Style Wars and Art & Copy looked interesting and I plan to watch those later today. 🙂

Designers.Watch website. (Photo: Designers.Watch)

4. Netflix

This streaming titan needs no introduction. As a subscriber to the service you can watch titles such as Abstract -The “Art of Design”, a series featuring industry-leading artists, and “The Creative Brain”, in which Neuroscientist David Eagleman explores the creative process of various designers.

Abstract – The Art of Design (Photo: Netflix)

The Creative Brain. (Photo: The Creative Brain)

5. YouTube

Rounding off the list is YouTube. With a massive amount of content under its hood, the platform is is an easy way to search for design films that suit your interests.

What are some of your favorite design documentaries? Share them with me in the comments!


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