Dreamspaces was a brilliant BBC documentary series with high production quality and visually stunning stories. Sadly, the series was of only 12 episodes. It covers great buildings from New York, Helsinki, Puerto Rico, Chicago, Romania, Brazil, Israel and many more international destinations looking at various aspects of design and architecture and their relationship with contemporary living. It is part travel show and part architecture appreciation with emphasis on the appreciation.
Architecture is a narrative of our culture. The things architecture creates, the spaces, forms, shapes and patterns, tell us about ourselves. Buildings anchor and mould our lives – some say we can read our lives through our buildings – but who are the people who design our world? What do they believe in, where do their ideas come from and what challenges them?
The presentation was top class. David Adjaye, Charlie Luxton and Justine Frischmann provided the show with a fresh, clear, relaxed and well paced informative narrative. Guest presenters added cameos of their own favorite buildings. The choice of subjects was made this show one of a kind. Music, visuals and camera work, was superb. The contemporary soundtrack was outstanding.The focus was on bringing out the uniqueness of the architecture of the subject, its history, character and use.
There was a bit of irreverence and funkiness which actually enhanced the message of the show. The wonder of architecture and the brilliance of the architects who build dreamspaces was very well showcased. The episode list reveals the vast area they covered in the course of just 12 episodes. Jam packed with goodness, you would miss out if you don’t keep up with the fast paced narration of the show. This in some way makes it stand out from other slower paced highly detailed architecture documentaries. Dreamspaces was a successful attempt to make architecture and design relevant, interesting and stylish.
Some of my favorite moments were the the Art Deco of Miami, Brasilia, Moroccan Architecture, Architecture of Libraries, the renovation of Ireland’s National Gallery, Archigram (Beatles of Architecture!) and buildings in camouflage.