How Buildings Learn

What happens after buildings are built? Why do some buildings get better over time and others get demolished? How Buildings Learn is a six-part BBC documentary series written and presented by Stewart Brand, which story is based on Stewart Brand's book How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built. Presenting examples of buildings that learn and ones that don't, the series looks at the evolution of buildings and how buildings adapt to changing requirements over long periods.

Episode 1 - Flow

Episode 1 - Flow
All buildings are forced to adapt, but only some adapt gracefully. What makes some buildings come to be loved?

Episode 2 - The Low Road
Low-road buildings like warehouse, mobile homes and shacks are cheap and adaptable: they can evolve to suit changing needs because nobody really cares about them.

Episode 3 - Built for Change
Architecture is a prediction, and all predictions are wrong. The buildings that thrive are those that can adapt to how people actually use them.

Episode 4 - Unreal Estate
A look at some areas which are built by urban planning dividing land into separate zones along their uses, as well as a look at the nature of residential areas and people's preference.

Episode 5 - The Romance of Maintenance
No maintenance, no building: buildings have lives of their own, but if they are not cared for, they will die.

Episode 6 - Shearing Layers
A look at how different parts of buildings change at different rates over time. Six shearing layers include: site, structure, skin, services, space plan, and stuff.

Related Links
Architectures (ARTE documentary)
This is a documentary series produced by the European public television channel ARTE, looking at architecture and its historical and social functions to reveal its meaning and impact on humanity.
Design Rules
This is a BBC documentary series presented by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, exploring the perceptions and facts of true design.