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Bjarke Ingels

Magazine Architecture Interviews | 04 Jan 2017



In Bjarke Ingels` speech there is a sense of hope that arises in every word. Often portrayed as a super-architect, his superpowers are "reduced" to the ability to lead today`s most relevant architecture office and influences many areas of life in society. He believes that as an architect he creates a framework for the life we want to live and as it evolves so do our cities and buildings. Currently, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) website reveals 17 projects under construction, 26 in progress and about 44 in agenda (in course, in line up). Surprisingly, in each completed work announcement a new creative manifesto is born, an opportunity to build "a physical world a bit more like our dreams!".


From 2005 until today what are the main differences and evolutions in BIG?

As an organisation evolves, so does everybody in it. My job has transformed gradually ever since we started, and our opportunities, our network, our challenges, have become more and more exiting. So I still look forward to going to work, and whenever I come in to the New York or Copenhagen offices I have a big smile on my face—for real ;-)

Concepts like Hedonistic Sustainability, Vertical Suburbia and Utopian Pragmatism are proposed in your Manifesto Yes Is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution. What do you mean by these notions?

When we talk about Hedonistic Sustainability, we mean to challenge the general perception of sustainability as this idea of a moral code: how much of our existing quality of life are we prepared to sacrifice to afford being sustainable. It is the protestant perception that it has to hurt to be good, and that the sustainable life is less than the unsustainable life. We are looking at how sustainable cities, or sustainable buildings, can increase the quality of life—we are looking to find ways of designing cities and buildings as double ecosystems that are both ecologically but also economically profitable, and where the outcome doesnt actually force people to alter their lifestyle in order to have a better conscience. They can live exactly the way they want, or even better, because the world and the city are designed in such a way that they can actually do so. Essentially it is to approach the question of sustainability not as a moral dilemma, but as a design challenge.

Featured in ROOF 6


La Maison des Fondateurs (Audemars Piguet)

Danish National Maritime Museum, Photography: Rasmus Hjortshoj

Bjarke Ingels, Photography: Jonas Bie

The Mountain, Photography: Carsten Kring

VIA 57 West, Photography: Iwan Baan




Text: Cátia Fernandes
Photos: courtesy of BIG


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