What It Takes to Make a Home 

Films, October 2019

What does it mean to live in the city without a place you can call your own? What role can architects have in addressing homelessness? And how can cities become better homes for all? The documentary film What It Takes to Make a Home follows a conversation between architects Michael Maltzan (Los Angeles) and Alexander Hagner (Vienna), who have been grappling with these questions over many years and through various projects. While the cities and the political and economic contexts in which Maltzan and Hagner work differ, both search for long-term strategies for housing instead of reacting with ad hoc solutions. Focussing on some causes and conditions of homelessness, the film questions the role architects can play toward overcoming the stigmatization of people experiencing it, in order to build more inclusive cities.

What It Takes to Make a Home is the first of the three-part documentary series produced by the CCA. This series examines the ways in which changing societies, new economic pressures, and increasing population density are affecting the homes of various communities. Through the lens of architectural projects in different socio-political contexts, each episode looks at the global scope as well as the local specificities of a particular issue. While the first episode examines how architects are confronting the pressing issue of homelessness in Los Angeles and Vienna, the second and third parts of this series deal with other challenges to urban society created by changes in lifestyles and demographics that affect the spatial configuration of our environments: the increase of families consisting of one single person, and our growing aging society.

2019 | 29 min
Digital film
First film of a three-part documentary series

Conceived by Giovanna Borasi
Directed by Daniel Schwartz

This film received the generous support of a private donor.

Produced by the CCA

The film premiered in fall 2019 at the Architecture and Design Film Festival in New York City, Vancouver, and Toronto, has been presented as part of the 58th Session of the Commission for Social Development at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, and has been travelling festivals worldwide since.

Current screenings include:

• Miradas a través del tiempo, in Montevideo, Uruguay (23-26 November 2023)
• Ways to Utopia. Life Between Desire and Crisis, Bauhaus Museum, Weimar, Germany (31 March 2023 to 5 February 2024)

Past screenings include:

Architecture and Design Film Festival, New York City, USA (October 2019)
Architecture and Design Film Festival, Toronto, Canada (November 2019)
Architecture and Design Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada (November 2019)
Non-Theatrical Screening @Home (UN Commission for Social Development), New York City, USA (February 2020)
Budapest Architecture Film Days, Budapest, Hungary (March 2020)
38th International Festival of Films on Art, Montréal, Canada (March 2020)
Architektur.Film.Sommer, Vienna, Austria (August 2020)
Film a architektura Festival, Czech Republic and Slovakia (September 2020)
Archifest 2020, Singapore (September-October 2020)
Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (October 2020)
Seoul International Architecture Film Festival, Seoul, South Korea (October 2020)
feldfünf, Berlin, Germany (October 2020)
Milano Design Film Festival, Milan, Italy (November 2020)
• Open House Worldwide Festival, online (November 2020)
Architektur FilmTage, online (April 2021)
Arquiteturas Film Festival, Lisbon, Portugal (June 2021)
Architecture Film Festival London, online (June 2021)
Venice Architecture Film Festival, Venice, Italy (September 2021)
Odeon Brugg Architecture Film Series, Brugg, Switzerland (February 2022) • NEED BEFORE GREED, Gallery Eigenheim, Weimar, Germany (March and April 2023) • HOME SWEET HOME, Triennale di Milano, Italy (12 May to 10 September 2023) • Ways to Utopia. Life Between Desire and Crisis, Bauhaus Museum, Weimar, Germany (31 March 2023 to 5 February 2024)

Arquiteturas Film Festival program, Cinema Batalha, Porto, Portugal ( 27 June 2023, at 5.15pm, together with When We Live Alone and Where We Grow Older)

Full film

Related events

Other films in the series


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