School of Architecture College of Design


Workshop Summary

The focus of this course will be to explore the medium of film for the practice of understanding and communicating architecture. We will learn the core techniques of architectural cinematography along with editing software to create a film that uses local iconic architecture as our subject. The students will be tasked with investigating the facade and then deeper into the circulation and sectional qualities of the chosen buildings to develop a narrative storyline to communicate the essence and experiential qualities embedded within. We will explore and manipulate the variables of time, motion and light with the medium of digital video to illustrate the design qualities of our chosen sites. The course will culminate with the students premiering their videos.

We will view and discuss select renderings, photographs and film segments for historical and contemporary precedents to understand technique, composition and message. The image and communication of architecture has become an even more powerful tool in today’s age of instantaneous and ubiquitous media sharing. Architects are now empowered and quickly being required to learn how to use these tools to explain and showcase their work if they are to compete in the industry and continue to illustrate value to future clients and the general public.


Workshop blog


Guest Instructor

Ian Harris, Producer / Architectural Cinematographer




Ian is an architect-turned-filmmaker. He co-founded Arbuckle Industries, an award winning New York City based video production company focusing in architectural cinematography. Some of their notable subjects include President Bill Clinton, Musician David Byrne, and Pritzker Prize winners Thom Mayne, Zaha Hadid, Richard Meier and Shigeru Ban, along with many others. Their clients include such notable brands and companies as Architect Magazine, Friends of the High Line, the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, Etsy, Regional Plan Association, Apartment Therapy, Center for Architecture Foundation, Yamaha and Global Heritage Fund. At Arbuckle he directs the business side of the company while also producing/managing the projects they create. His love for the stories behind the built environment led him to leave the practice of architecture and decide to pick up the camera to bring these stories to light. Since founding Arbuckle in 2007 he has helped the company produce dozens of films while conducting over 100 interviews with leading artists, architects, designers, industry leaders and politicians. He has spoken at dozens of events ranging from national conferences, PR and marketing groups, film festivals and design schools all over the country. When he is not in the Arbuckle office or on a shoot you may find him daylighting as a design education teacher at local art organizations or schools or camping in the nearby mountains.


Faculty Coordinator

Andrea J. Johnson, AIA, LEED BD+C, Assistant Professor UMN School of Architecture




School of Architecture
145 Rapson Hall
89 Church Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-5743


Contact Information

Undergraduate Student Services
12 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108
107 Rapson Hall, 89 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
P: 612-624-1717 | E:

General Information
P: 612-626-9068 | E:

© 2019 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy Statement