MVRDV - No friction, no shine: Initial media reactions to "Under Tomorrow's Sky"

No friction, no shine: Initial media reactions to "Under Tomorrow's Sky"


Tonight, Under Tomorrow's Sky will premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and on Dutch television. For his 35th film, director Jan Louter followed MVRDV's co-founder Winy Maas for two years across continents.

A wide variety of media outlets have already reported on the documentary. Walter van der Kooi of De Groene Amsterdammer writes: “Maas and his colleagues at MVRDV are fully innovative, considering their striking oeuvre of buildings that have been materialized and those that remain in design (‘you can be happy if one third is realized’). As voyant as these public buildings for art and entertainment in the Netherlands and South Korea are, their designs for residential and office towers from Zuidas to Taipei (Taiwan) and Shenzhen (China) are just as spectacular. In their creations (architecture is an art form, after all) not only can the functions of use between ground level and the top vary greatly, but the materials, shapes, staggerings, bulges, folds, and colours do so as well. And the vegetation, because with MVRDV not only building materials but also grasses, plants, shrubs, trees take to the air.”

“For Winy Maas, the Willy Wonka of architecture, building is optimism and warfare. He is in a hurry to green buildings in cities, as a contribution to reducing global warming”, writes Kirsten Hannema in de Volkskrant. “Winy Maas is a man with laugh lines around his agile eyes, who ‘loves to make beautiful things’ and for whom nothing is impossible. ‘Urban planning and architecture ís optimism, because you are constructing the future,’ he says in the film. ‘Without that optimism, you can't do this profession.’”

Under Tomorrow's Sky shows Maas as a 'radically mild' person and offers a rare glimpse into the practice of architecture. As Winy Maas himself put it yesterday in the Radio 4 program Opium: “Only 10 to 20 percent of what you design and think up is executed. That's not bad, without friction there is no shine, to quote a Dutch saying. You have to experiment a lot and that is what happens with clients. As an architect, you find a way and it doesn't always go smoothly.”

Under Tomorrow's Sky premieres at the International Film Festival Rotterdam tonight, Wednesday, June 2. Tickets to watch the film (with English subtitles) on-demand can be purchased here. Also tonight, at 22:55, the documentary will be broadcast in the AVROTROS series “Close Up” (Dutch subtitles). More information here.