The Coronavirus crisis confines most of us to our homes and for those of us interested professionally or for pleasure in architecture this can be deeply frustrating.
However, there is on Youtube a huge amount of architecturally-related historic films, documentaries, conferences and lectures by architectural historians and architects. What follows is just a selection.
The Open University’s course ‘A305 – History of Architecture and Design, 1890-1939’ was pioneering, with many of the programmes needing original research and, of course, on-site filming. Look out particularly for programmes by the young Tim Benton. All 24 of them are worth watching.
See also Tim Benton’s recent interview about how the series was made – ‘The University is Now on Air’.
Some years ago the Architectural Association uploaded most of its recordings of lectures and conferences onto Youtube. This includes many historically important lectures by such architects as Zaha Hadid, Cedric Price, Rem Koolhass, Richard Rogers, Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, and architectural historians like Reyner Banham, Robin Evans, Beatriz Colomina, Charles Jencks, and Tony Vidler.
There are also full conferences from the Architectural Association such as ‘The Labour of Peter and Alison Smithson’, ‘A Celebration of Humphrey Repton’, ‘Le Corbusier – The Architecture of Reinvention’, and many more.
Elsewhere, you can find gems like ‘Reyner Banham loves Los Angeles’,
‘Jane Jacobs v Robert Moses’,
or John Betjeman’s ‘Victorian Architects and Architecture’.
And there are huge number of documentaries on almost all of the major architects. Six of the more recent Annual Lectures of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain are available online.
If you are a fan of Nikolaus Pevsner’s Buildings of England series and frustrated by not being able to get out and see the buildings he wrote about then try the series of documentaries made about his guides by the BBC, ‘Travels with Pevsner’,
or Jonathan Meades’ series ‘Pevsner Revisited’.
Ian Nairn was a great architectural critic, famous for his often emotional and always colourful writing. His documentary series ‘Nairn Across Britain’ and ‘Nairn’s Journeys’ are all available on Youtube.
Very recently Novara Media has hosted a discussion of architecture and politics with Owen Hatherley, ‘How We Might Live: Architecture and Culture’.
Finally, the Society of Architectural Historians (USA) has decided that its upcoming conference will be held as a virtual conference – that’s two days of sessions and keynotes for $100. (Please be aware that it will be held in Pacific Daytime Time and using Zoom).