At the Borderlands
5. July 2022
Casa Covida in La Florida, Colorado, by Rael San Fratello, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Rael San Fratello)
Mud Frontier: Architecture at the Borderlands is the first feature-length documentary film made by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. The film follows Rael San Fratello’s experiments with 3D-printing technology and traditional adobe architecture.
The one-hour documentary functions as a portrait of Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello and their studio, Rael San Fratello, which they describe as "a workshop of creative people interested in the world." The film focuses on their project Mud Frontiers, in which 3D-printing technology is used to build adobe structures on Rael’s ancestral homelands in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. Among other things, the film shows one way that traditional architecture and digital technology can coexist.
Last November, the one-hour documentary made its premiere at the virtual Architecture and Design Film Festival (ADFF). Just this month the Cooper Hewitt, with support from the Smithsonian Latino Initiative, made the documentary available to watch for free online. Watch Mud Frontier: Architecture at the Borderlands below or on the Cooper Hewitt website for a version with audio description.