• FWA Site of the day
  • Winner: IDFA Doclab Award for digital storytelling
  • Winner: International Emmy Awards
  • Nominee: Canadian Screen Awards
  • Finalist: SXSW Interactive Award
  • New York City International Film Festival


The towers in the world, the world in towers.

An Emmy-winning, multi-year, many-media, collaborative documentary experiment at the National Film Board of Canada, that explores vertical living around the world.

Universe Within


Universe Within reveals the hidden digital lives of highrise residents around the world. Trapped in our highrise units, how do we find love, hate, peace, god or community online?


A Short History of the Highrise


Dig in to 2,500 years of vertical living through an interactive storybook, with rarely seen New York Times photos, as well as animation and games.

  • “Masterpiece” — Indiewire
  • “Spectacular” — Fast Company

Produced by the NFB and the New York Times

New York Times Op Docs National Film Board


Director’s Blog


We’re proud to announce a one-night-only live performance of the upcoming, final HIGHRISE documentary, UNIVERSE WITHIN at Hot Docs, in Toronto, on April 29, 2015. Featuring Misha Glouberman as live host (you might remember he facilitated our Filmmaker-in-Residence un-conference, HandHeld), the evening will feature a sneak preview of UNIVERSE WITHIN, which [...]

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Out My Window

[An Interactive Documentary]

Global HIGHRISE residents share their views on our urban planet. From Bangalore to Beirut, to Sao Paolo, to Chicago and more.

winner of the International Digital Emmy for Non-Fiction, 2011


One Millionth Tower

[An Interactive Open-source Documentary]

The HIGHRISE re-imagined. By architects, animators, and the residents who live there. Built in cutting-edge open-source technology, it’s a world first.

“Re-invents the documentary format”

Go to The Story So Far

The Story So Far

[An interactive Documentary]

Through text and thumbnail videos, catch-up on how HIGHRISE has evolved, and what’s been produced in this multi-year documentary experiment about the human experience in vertical suburbs around the world. More >

Go to World of Highrises

World of Highrises

[An interactive special feature]

From the street or the sky, visit a HIGHRISE community in almost any country on the planet, thanks to Google satellite and streetview. And help us grow our database with your suggestions. More >

Go to Out My Window

Out My Window

[webpage + video]

A 360° documentary about global highrise residents and their views out onto the urban planet. Winner of the inaugural IDFA DocLab for Digital Storytelling 2010, winner of the International Digital Emmy 2011. More >

Go to The 1000th Tower

The 1000th Tower

[web documentary]

Equipped with digital cameras and powerful personal points-of-view, six Toronto residents are documenting their own vertical lives against the backdrop of the city’s ambitious Tower Renewal effort. More >

Go to Out My Window: Participate

Out My Window: Participate

[web project]

A showcase of user-generated photos and stories out highrise windows from around the world, inspired by Out My Window.

More >

Go to Highrise Trailer

Highrise Trailer

[short video]

A short video outlining the ambitions of the HIGHRISE vision, collaborations and outcomes. More >

Go to Highrise Prologue

Highrise Prologue

[web presentation]

A visual and textual walkthrough of the conceptual framework and research behind HIGHRISE, a multi-year documentary experiment about the human experience in vertical suburbs. More >