World Premiere at the Milano Design Film Festival, ‘The importance of being an architect’ investigates the responsibility of architects in building the society of tomorrow

Italian architecture and interior design practice Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel (ACPV) presents the film The Importance of Being an Architect. Conceived as a choral and musical documentary reflects on the role of architects and architecture in present-day society and beyond.

After the world premiere by invitation on 18 October at the Triennale  which inaugurates the Milano Design Film Festival, the film (a MyBossWas production, by Giorgio Ferrero and Federico Biasin, 60’, Italy) will be screened from 20 to 24 October at the Teatro Parenti and on the milanodesignfilmfestival.com.

Read also: Milano Design Film Festival 2021, the program and the reflections of the co-curators Silvia Robertazzi and Porzia Bergamasco


Set in four acts, the film explores – through the gaze of architect Antonio Citterio, one of the most renowned Italian designers in the world, and architect Patricia Viel, the two co-founders of ACPV – a vision for the architecture of tomorrow, centered on an armistice between nature and the built environment.

Alternating dialogues with various personalities from the world of fashion, art and design, and exploring pieces of architecture designed by ACPV, the documentary offers a vision of the post-Covid world, in the midst of the climate crisis and urban redistribution, while guiding the viewer between elements of the design methodology, from data analysis and technological innovation, to travel as an inexhaustible engine of inspiration.

“My life has always been a journey through places, ideas and experiences that represent a continuous source of inspiration: this film revisits these moments to map the outlines of my vision for the future” says Antonio Citterio. “In 2020, I turned 70, celebrated the 50th anniversary of my career, and the 20th anniversary of the practice founded together with Patricia Viel. This documentary has been an opportunity to take a step back and look at the most important moments of the past decades as an architect and designer”.

“With this film, we are proposing an interpretation of the role that architecture and architects will play in present-day society and beyond,” says Patricia Viel. “We do it through a series of dialogues with people from the world of art, fashion, culture and lifestyle, with whom we have built a shared history. Architecture is introduced as an undulating, non-intrusive element, echoed in the notes hit by the musicians that bring the four acts to life”.

Conceived as a virtual dialogue and musical journey, the film starts off with the first act that focuses on the compatibility between architecture and nature, with personalities such as Anna Zegna, Massimo De Carlo, Francesco Bonami and Rolf Fehlbaum, who seek a definition of the concept of architecture and the social responsibility that it carries in present-day society. In the second act, the former director of the Design Museum (London), Deyan Sudjic recounts Antonio Citterio’s professional path as a designer and architect, starting from the 1980s creative boom in Milan.

In the third act, ACPV opens up to the viewer, offering a glimpse of a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to the day-to-day complexities of designing buildings and spaces. The film closes with the memories of the great masters Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel met during their life and work; and finishes with an understanding of how the responsibility of the architectural profession has evolved, as far as being expected to respond to social changes and the challenges of globalization.

The energies within the architectural works by ACPV are evoked through musical scenes set in different parts of the world (Milan, L'Aquila, Hamburg, Taichung, Miami), where different musicians hit spatially distant notes that meet in a single composition that breaks down distances and projects man into his natural habitat, that of the cities of tomorrow.