Mud Frontier: Architecture at the Borderlands

ABOUT THE FILM

Set in the remote San Luis Valley of Colorado, Mud Frontier: Architecture at the Borderlands is a feature-length documentary film that follows design studio Rael San Fratello’s experimentation with 3D-printing technology and traditional adobe architecture. Presented by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the film tells the story of the studio’s founders, Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, who are motivated by the neglect and abandonment of customary earthen building techniques that were once widely used throughout the region. In an area where Indigenous and European colonists have historically lived both in harmony and in conflict with one another, Rael San Fratello reflect on this legacy to forge new methods of creative production.

WATCH THE TRAILER

On his ancestral land in southern Colorado, designer Ronald Rael along with his partner Virginia San Fratello, 3D-print monumental structures in mud, pushing the limits of technology and materials, while uncovering a dark history along the way.

WATCH THE FILM ON NOV. 17

The 60-minute film will be made available to the public to watch free of charge during its premiere Nov. 17 at the Architecture and Design Film Festival (adfilmfest.com/).

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Join director Chris J. Gauthier, associate curator of Latino design Christina L. De León, along with Studio Rael San Fratello founders Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello for a virtual conversation about the film. A live Q & A will follow.

SUPPORTERS

The documentary film was produced with support from the Latino Initiative Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.