Magazine article Alternatives Journal

Elevating Highrises

Magazine article Alternatives Journal

Elevating Highrises

Article excerpt

NFB DOCUMENTARIAN Katerina Cizek's latest project captures the last century's go-to living environment like you've never seen it. High rise is a four-year project composed of two immersive online video collections, both highly unconventional and ambitious as hell. One is Out My Window, a multi-city, choose-your-own-adventure-style series that collages together contributions from highrise residents all over the planet, each offering an intimate portrait of their living space and lifestyle. The other is One Millionth Tower, a collaboration between architects, animators and residents of two buildings in the Kipling Towers complex in Toronto that aims to rejuvenate their long-neglected communal space. Aided by the United Way and city officials, the latter has quickly become a fantastic case study of how to address vertical poverty by empowering the people that are experiencing it. highrise.nfb.ca

A\J: How did the idea for Highrise originate?

Katerina Cizek: It started from challenging my own stereotypes. I lived in a highrise when I was five, in Paris, and I don't have great memories of it. We were one of only a few families living in a new building, and it was pretty haunting--sounds in the elevators, and just the emptiness. When I came to Toronto much later, I still bypassed the inner suburban highrises. Then I was challenged by some incredible urbanists, architects and planners who are rethinking the vertical city.

Why do we need to fix highrises?

Many of Toronto's are coming up to their 50th years, and the end of their first lives. …

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