2016 | 45 min | USA
Directed by Brian Gaudia and Abe Drechsler
Australian Premiere

Presented by


Associate Principal Grimshaw Architects
Chair – Future Business Council / CEO – Moreland Energy Foundation
Director Matters Journal
Professor of Architecture and Urban Design – University of Melbourne

An exploration of the revolutionary power of well-thought out architecture to improve the lives of some of the world’s most impoverished citizens.

Shot in Lima, Bogata, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Santiago, Within Formal Cities follows Duda Travel Fellowship winners Abe Drechslier and Brian Gaudo on their adventure to uncover the secrets to good design and human flourishing.

By 2050, an estimated 70% of the global population will live in cities – many will come for jobs and the promise of a higher standard of living. It is estimated that 1.41 billion more people will move to cities in the next 40 years.

Many cities are not prepared to house this  influx of people, not to mention their needs for work, family, and recreation. This leads to the formation of informal communities within the larger, formal cities themselves. By 2030, 1 out of every 4 people in the world will live in slums / informal communities

There is much to learn from the way these informal communities address housing and infrastructure. In the 21st century, it will be informal communities like those in South America that are on the edge of architectural innovation.

Abe Drechsler and Brian Gaudio were awarded the 2014 Duda Travel Fellowship upon graduating from North Carolina State University. In the Fall of 2014, they traveled to and studied 5 cities in South America to document housing and infrastructure projects in informal communities.

While abroad, they examined everything from self-built houses in the favelas of Rio, to government-funded housing projects designed by world-famous architects in Lima.

In each location they photographed, sketched, and analysed buildings and street-scapes.

Inspiring and thought-provoking, Within Formal Cities documents their journey and gives audiences a deep and human understanding of the challenges of architecture and urban housing as well as the lessons that need to be learned in the face of a booming global population.


**This film has been exempt from classification and has no age restrictions