Washington, D.C. (June 3, 2019)—The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced the premiere of its newest documentary short film about resiliency in residential architecture. The film will debut June 6 at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Designed to Last: Blueprint for a Better Home" tells the story of architect Illya Azaroff’s, AIA, journey to rebuild a home for Diane Hellriegel in Breezy Point, New York. Severe damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 made her home uninhabitable.

While highlighting the power of collaboration and design, the seed film is also meant to provide inspiration for participants of the AIA film challenge.


Now in its fifth year, the AIA film challenge invites architects and filmmakers to submit short documentaries that illustrate how architecture has made a positive impact on their community. Past winning submissions have told stories about affordable housing for veterans, the renovation of a historic theatre and the development of a community garden, among other topics. A new interactive map feature on blueprintforbetter.org shows finalist films by location.

"As we seek to bring awareness to the power of design, the AIA Film Challenge is a forum for filmmakers and architects to collaboratively tell a story for how architecture meaningfully affects communities everywhere," said AIA executive vice president/chief executive officer Robert Ivy, FAIA. 

Ivy added, "Azaroff has done just that by designing a stronger and safer home that sets an example for communities everywhere. His willingness to make the design plan available to anyone that wants to use it, shows his deep commitment to resilient design and improving our communities. AIA has long been a leader in sustainable design, and we look forward to sharing film submissions that help us communicate our commitment to a better built environment."

Submissions to the film challenge must be 3 to five 5 in length and should align with one of the following categories: social impact design; affordable housing; homelessness; empowering lives; diversity and inclusion; community revitalization.

A five-person jury will review entries and select approximately 10 to 15 submissions that will advance as finalists. The top-rated film will receive a $5,000 grand prize and will debut October 17 during Chicago Ideas Week, as well as screenings at film festivals and via other channels throughout the year.


The AIA 2019 film challenge jury is comprised of Studio Pacifica Principal Karen Braitmayer, FAIA; Arbuckle Industries Co-Founder/Chief Operating Officer Ian Harris; Director Joseph Kosinski; Architect magazine Editor Wanda Lau; and Self + Tucker Founding Principal Jimmie Tucker, FAIA.

A public voting period will begin August 19 and conclude September 27. The film with the most public votes will be named the “People’s Choice” winner and will receive a $5,000 prize and a trip to Chicago, Illinois, to see their film screened at Chicago Ideas, in addition to screenings at film festivals and via other channels throughout the year.

Registration for the AIA Film Challenge opens June 3 and all entries are due by August 12. For more information, visit aia.org