Urgent Desires: Paulo Mendes da Rocha

Urgent Desires: Paulo Mendes da Rocha
It's All a Plan streaming on Shelter

"Architecture is about fulfilling desires, sometimes urgent, and meeting the needs of others, of society."


Lift your spirits this week with It's All a Plan - a beautiful film about the life of Paulo Mendes da Rocha (1928-2021), a renowned Brazilian architect.

When Mendes da Rocha won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2006 the jury praised his “deep understanding of the poetics of space" as well as “architecture of profound social engagement.”

This film allows us to connect with Mendes da Rocha on a personal level, through a series of interviews with his daughter, Joana.

The easy rapport he and Joana share is endearing as we're taken to visit intimate spaces like their family home and the office Mendes da Rocha worked in for 35 years.

There are priceless nuggets of wisdom sprinkled throughout this film, the photography is beautiful and Mendes da Rocha is a fast talker - it's a colourful ride and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Learn from one of the greatest Brazilian architects, Mendes da Rocha, streaming on Shelter
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Oscar Niemeyer: Life is Breath | Vilanova Artigas: The Architect and the Light | Amancio Williams | Brasilia: Life After Design | Mexity | Do More With Less| Architecture on the Edge | Zen in the Bay

It's All a Plan, A film by Joana Mendes Da Rocha and Patricia Rubano

Brazil | 2017 | 1 h 13 min
Portuguese | Subtitles: English

A documentary film about the life and work of Paulo Mendes da Rocha, a renowned Brazilian architect. He tells his own story and the highs and lows of a remarkable life trajectory throughout a series of revealing interviews with his own daughter, Joana, over a period of ten years. Paulo, exposes his reflections on urbanism, nature, humanity, art and technique, shedding light on the thinker whose ideas granted him the prestigious Pritzker Prize, lifting him to the Pantheon of contemporary architecture.

These two very intimate characters, father and daughter in a fluid, constant dialogue, are also aware that the film is also exposing their privacy and familiar history, playing with intimacy and disclosure, and inverting the roles of director and directed in the ambiguity of life as a constant performance.

Festivals & Awards

  • São Paulo International Film Festival 2017, Brasil - Best Documentary for the Audience
  • Arquiteturas Film Festival Lisboa 2017, Portugal - Best Film for the audience
    Rio International Film Festival 2017, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
  • Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano - Habana Film Festival, Cuba, 2017
  • BAFICI - Festival de Cine de la ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina 2018
  • Milano Design Film Festival 2017, Milan, Italy
  • Lund International Architecture Film Festival 2017, Sweden
  • Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam 2017, The Netherlands
  • XI Istanbul International Architecture and Urban Films Festival, Turkey
  • 19º Festival Kinoarte de Cinema de Londrina 2017, Brasil
  • ArchCine - Festival Internacional de Cinema de Arquitetura, Rio de Janeiro 2017
  • IAWRT - International Documentary Awards 2017, Philipines
  • 17th MEDIARC Festival Internazionale di Architettura in Video, Firenze, Italy
  • 2017 Copenhagen Architecture Festival, Denmark 2018
  • The New Zealand Architecture + Design Festival, Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch, 2018
  • DAAD - Days Of Architecture and Design, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2018