Architecture Program


Using Popular Film in Architectural History Classroom

Rumiko Handa, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Document Type Article

Published in Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 69, no. 3 (September 2010), 311–19. ISSN 0037-9808, electronic ISSN 2150-5926. Copyright © 2010 by the Society of Architectural Historians; published by the University of California Press. Used by permission.
This article provides only recommendations of film clips for classroom use and is not intended to offer legal advice about permissions to individuals or educational institutions concerning use of the clips.


Putting popular films to use in the classroom offers many opportunities, starting with the mass appeal that recent movies bring to the study of architecture. More significantly, film can help to teach how architectural scale and space affect the viewer. The historical inaccuracies of many movies can provide teachable moments for the discussion of significant architectural issues. And, surely most importantly, film can breathe human life into the spaces of architecture, allowing students to meet the audience of architecture—past, present, and future.