Architecture & design documentaries

Get inspired by some must-see documentaries on architectural, product and graphic design. From the hidden architecture of Roman Italy to the design used for some of the world's best-known brands, BBC Select looks at the influence of design and architecture throughout history. If you live in the US or Canada, you can watch the best design and architecture documentaries.

Grand Designs

Watch Grand Designs  S16  on BBC Select

Building your own dream home is the ultimate fantasy for many. But what happens when that dream turns into a nightmare?

In series 16 of Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud introduces some of Britain’s most ambitious self-building projects, as intrepid individuals attempt to design and construct their own homes. Along the way, these budding builders encounter countless issues that threaten to derail their vision.

Rome's Invisible City

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Rome’s skyline is as breathtaking now as when it was first built. But that iconic cityscape is only half the story; there’s another Rome that few people have ever seen – underground.

With exclusive access beneath Rome’s streets, classicist Dr Michael Scott and his team of experts explore the wonders that can be found there, including underground quarries, ornate temples and vast water cisterns, revealing for the first time the full story of the ancient world’s most awe-inspiring city and the people who lived in it.

Italy's Invisible Cities

Using cutting-edge technology and 3D scanners, the hidden treasures that lie beneath Naples, Venice and Florence are exposed and explored.

Dr Michael Scott and Alexander Armstrong discover hidden tunnels, historic passageways and even long-forgotten torture chambers.

By delving into the unseen architecture of these famous places, a lost history is unearthed.

The Secrets of Branding

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Why are some brands instantly recognizable and seared onto the minds of the public while others completely fail?

Talking to innovators, experts and business leaders, this revealing series rips off the label from these global names and tries to discover what makes them so ubiquitous.

What secrets and strategies do companies employ to ensure their product is at the top of the heap?

This show is not currently available on BBC Select but browse through the previous titles for more Architecture & design documentaries available to stream on BBC Select.

Design for Life

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Britain once owned international design – think about the Swinging Sixties, when everything from phonebooths to London buses to postboxes screamed iconic. What happened?

Phillippe Starck, the world’s most iconic designer, has declared a state of emergency and is taking things in hand in this BBC reality design competition.

The flamboyant Frenchman sets out to find one worthy winner from 12 hopefuls who can design a new cool Britannia.

This show is not currently available on BBC Select but browse through the previous titles for more Architecture & design documentaries available to stream on BBC Select.