Innovation and Design Series for a Life.

This article reference to more than 100 hours of exquisite content.

Guillem Ferran
Design Method Kit
8 min readJul 21, 2023

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In this article, I have compiled a group of series and movies that can help to understand the historical, ethical, social, and cultural aspects of design and what innovation does it mean. Instead of formal definitions, a group of movies and films with documentaries can explain thousands of words with animated images.

Erik Mclean for unspalsh

The article is divided into Design, Entrepreneur, Architecture, and Fashion Documentaries with Challenges.

What does it means design today and the legacy of this meaning though the time, in Spanish and English productions available at different platforms.

DESIGN

We can understand design through the big names of designers and how these names have molded the discipline: Miguel Milà (2021, 50'), André Ricard (2021, 55'), Dieter Rams, Dörte Helm from Bauhaus (2019, 6 episodes of 45 minutes), The Vignellis (2012, 79' ), Eames (2011, 85'), Mau (2021, 77')…

Jonathan Ive from Apple, California at Objectified.

We can find interesting movies like Objectified (2009, 75’) from Gary Hustwit. This American independent filmmaker and photographer is best known for his design Trilogy Documentaries: Helvetica, Objectified, Urbanized. At Objectified we can find testimonials from: Paola Antonelli (Museum of Modern Art, New York), Chris Bangle (BMW Group, Munich), Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec (Paris), Andrew Blauvelt (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis), Tim Brown (IDEO), Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby (London), Dan Formosa (Smart Design), Naoto Fukasawa (Tokyo), Jonathan Ive (Apple, California), Hella Jongerius (Rotterdam), Marc Newson (London/Paris), Dieter Rams (Kronberg, Germany), Karim Rashid (New York), Alice Rawsthorn (International Herald Tribune)…

A Tribute to design objects is Design from D. Shirman (2014, 30 episodes of 20') dedicated to different design icons (1. La DS 19, 2. Le Sofa Bubble Club, 3. Le Bic Cristal, 4. Les Lampes Akari, 5.L’aspirateur Hoover, 6. Le iMac, 7. La bibliothèque Bookworm, 8. Le Concorde, 9. La cafetière Conica, 10. Le Leica, 11. Le Lounge Chair, 12. La Vespa, 13. Le pouf Sacco, 14. Le téléviseur Algol, 15. Le fauteuil Paimio, 16. Le Walkman, 17. La Valentine, 18. La Jaguar type E, 19. La Fiat 500, 20. La chaise Rietveld, 21. La brique LEGO, 22. La lampe Arco, 23. La table Compas, 24. Le Vélosolex, 25. Table E1027 d’Eileen Gray, 26. La poussette Maclaren, 27. La Barcelona, 28. La cuisine de Francfort, 29. Bureau et casiers Le Corbusier, 30. Le couteau Suisse Sparta).

We can find a lot of documentaries with designer’s speaking about his work and the work of others, this documentaries can help to have design terminology and vocabulary.

From RTVE, La Chula Productions, TVE, el Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, and BCD the Documentary: Función y forma. Una mirada al diseño y la innovación en España (2016, 58')

We have a Netflix serie call Abstract (2017, 45'), with only two seasons:
– Season 1: 1. Christoph Nieman, 2. Tinker Hatfield, 3. Es Devlin, 4. Bjarke Ingels, 5. Ralph Gilles, 6. Paula Scher, 7.Platon, 8. Ilse Crawford.
– Season 2 1. Olafur Eliasson, 2. Neri Oxman, 3. Ruth Carter, 4.Cas Holman, 5. Ian Spalter, 6. Jonathan Hoefler.

Most of the documentaries put the designer at the middle, but we can find treasures that speak about products, objects and ideas.

Archivo de creadores (2021, 14 episodes of 60') from la Fabrica, the episodes from Javier Mariscal, Patricia Urquiola and RCR Arquitectes.

We have the Spanish Helvetica, with Flora Saura and Òscar Dalmau (2021, 30') with 33 series touching the different design specialties.

We can follow the Documentary: El Diseño de la vida (66', 2021), developed by FProduccionARTFIlms for the Valencia Design Capital.

We can’t miss the Tsai, M-M: Design & Thinking ( 2012, 74’) and Maker the moviment (2014, 74'). We can’t miss TED talks of Starck (17'), Sagmeister (16'), Ross Lovegrove (20'), Isaaz Mizhari (14`), Paola Antonelli (18') or John Hockenberry (20').

ENTREPRENEUR

Today, design is really related to business and innovation, we can understand this with corporatize figures like Steve Jobs, Tesla or Edison battle at The Current War (2017, 102'), Raymond Kroc met the owners of McDonald’s at The Founder (2016, 115'), Zuckerberg at The Social Network (2010, 120'), Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon at Spotify with The Playlist (2022, 13 episodes of 45'). The startup ecosystem

Edvin Endre as Daniel Ek with Christian Hillborg and Gizen Kling Erdogan in The Playlist

Is surreal the amount of drama movies related to the business fight, is not as easy to make money as the american dream.

Not all are negative dramas, we can find positive dramas like The Pursuit of Happyness (2006, 118') or our hidden fatal destiny with the Iteration at First man (2018, 120'). At the Manual de la vida salvaje of Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard (2023, 45' x 6) we can see a number of personal resignations of the protagonists to carry their dream afloat.

Manual de la vida salvaje

A startup founded by a brilliant and ambitious millennial with two friends that develops an application that allows him to communicate with the deceased through their fingerprints

Production designer Amy Williams was tasked with recreating the WeWork offices for “WeCrashed.”

The imperia of a modern company, We Work at Apple TV, We crashed, (8 episodes, 9 hours) is based on the podcast of the same name that follows the rise and fall of WeWork, a company that provides shared workspaces for tech start-ups and other entrepreneurial ventures.

There is always a matter of rationality and emotion that drives the idea and the company.

Jennifer Lawrence in Joy (2015)

Big stories of how ideas shape life with American view Joy (2015, 126') from David O. Russell or First Cow (2019, 118') by Kelly Reichardt.

Stories like Carmen Curlers at Filmin (480 minutes, 8 hours), Follow wiz entrepreneur Axel, who decides to believe in his idea to help women not to go too much to the hairdresser, is the beginning of the DIY culture and the business associaste to it.

Every story has one of this moments that you think this idea will not gonna work.

An invention that had not only revolutionized the world of hairdressing but also forever changed the society of that Scandinavian region and the lives of its inhabitants. With these electric curling irons in the sixties, millions of women were able to get curly hair very similar to what they did at the hairdresser, but in a much cheaper, less painful way and in much less time. Axel recruits women from the neighboring farms for his production of electronic hair curlers.

Vibeke Thomassen, worker at Carmen-Clairol in Hobro shows the product and the patent from Niels Christian Jørgensen.

Carmen Curlers tells the fascinating story of Carmen Curlers, the company that Arne Bybjerg set up and that only manufactured one product: electric curlers. He needs the association with an engineer, Niels Christian Jørgensen to make the invention work in practice.

At Tv3 the Key Factor (2023, 40') by Xavier Sala i Martín and Beth Camprubí, makes an analysis of different Catalonia companies and their main key factors to survive and to innovate: FC Barcelona, Simon, Benito, Torres…

ARCHITECTURE

We can follow the life of big architects Buckminster Fuller (1974, 95'), Aalto (2020, 103'), Charlotte Perriand(2019,53'), Tadao Ando (2013, 51') , Mies (1986, 58'), Gehry (2006, 83'), Foster (2010, 78'), Eisenman (1995, 56'), Coderch-De Koninck (2021, 19') Niemeyer (2001, 60'), Piero Portaluppi (2016,95') and Gaudi (2021, 63').

image from Gehry (2006, 83')

The figure under The Architect(2016,85'), the Arkitekten(2023, 75') or Inception (2010, 148').

The changing of cities at Urbanized (2011, 85'), Manufactured Landscapes
(2006, 86') and the Human Scale (2012, 83') and the Spanish architecture like Los sueños de otros (2019, 56'), Arquia/maestros, a serie of conversations with Oriol Bohigas (1925–2021), Rafael Moneo (1937), Juan Navarro Baldeweg (1939), Antonio Fernández Alba (1927), Manuel Gallego (1936), Ricardo Bofill (1939–2022), Antonio Lamela (1926–2017), Federico Correa (1924–2020), Antonio Vázquez de Castro (1929), Álvaro Siza (1933), Eduardo Souto de Moura (1952), Renzo Piano (1937), Norman Foster (1935) y Peter Eisenman (1932).

Renzo Piano at Arquia/maestros, a serie of conversations about architecture.

FASHION

The life of big fashion designers like Coco Chanel (2009, 105'), Yves Saint-Laurent (2014,106') and his lover, Pierre Berge (2010,98'), Halston (2019, 105'), Jean Paul Gaultier (2018, 100'), Valentino (2008, 96'), Gianni Versace (2022, 65') , Christian Dior (2014, 90'), Karl Lagerfeld (2013, 50'), Westwood (2018, 83'), Nicolas Ghesquiere (2018, 58') and Toni Miro (2022, 30').

Audrey Tautou as Coco Chanel in the 2009 film “Coco Before Chanel,” directed by Anne Fontaine. Credit…

Fashion movies and documentaries are pational and tells a story about a perfectionist with an incredible ego that his life destinity is work and fame, far from what fashion industry needs on a Creative Director.

The big fashion design industry with House of Gucci, Maison Martin Margiela (2017, 99'), Levi’s (2016,25'), House of Cardin (2019, 95'),

Adam Driver with Lady Gaga in ‘House of Gucci.’

The House of Gucci on PrimeVideo (2 hours and 37 minutes) is a 2021 American biographical crime drama film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the 2001 book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden.

Photographer Bill Cunningham cycling to an opening in New York City in 2010.

The Photographer’s Club with Bill Cunningham(2010, 84'), Everybody Street(2013, 83'), Peter Lindbergh — The Eye (2016, 51'), Helmut Newton: The bad & the beautiful(2020, 99'),

The ecological problem at Out of Fashion(2015, 59') and The True Cost(2015, 92'),

Don’t forget the retail and stores market with Mr. Selfridge (2013–2016, 40 episodes of 43') or Velvet (2013–2016, 55 episodes of 45').

In Barcelona, you can’t miss the Moritz Feed Dog, a Fashion Documentaries Festival with interesting proposals every year.

CHALLENGES
We have a lot of challenges for the future, in general, I love Extrapolations (2023, 8 episodes of 50') but is too pessimistic, called Futuristic Thriller is the most popular genre after 2010, movies like Matrix, Minority Report.. series like Black Mirror …

Extrapolations from AppleTv, known as the Black Mirror climatic.

I will focus on economic, migration, and climate change challenges.

– The Economical one, how banking and trade markets are spending, investing and ruining our future, an example at The Wolf of Wall Street, Too Big To Fail or The Inside Job and Normal is over (2015, 120').

Demain, Tomorrow

– The Climate change, how we can protect the earth with new ideas and philosofies: Demain, Tomorrow (2015, 120') and Home (2009, 118'). We can see a retrospective of how to explore the last resources with Lykkeland (State of Happiness, 8 episodes of 45‘).

Migrations, how we can deal with the differences between the North and the South. The Swimmers (2022, 134'), Nomadland (2020, 88'), Human (2015, 180') or Persepolis (2007, 95'). Is miserable but propositive, the energy and land of opportunities at Little America at Apple TV (8 episodes of 30 minutes, 4 hours), the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories of immigrants in America.

If you are interest wiht more stuff, follow my IMDb lists.

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Guillem Ferran
Design Method Kit

Product Design Teacher. Empower entrepreneurs, products and ideas. Barcelona. http://guillemferran.com/