Danish architect Bjarke Ingels Group (born 1974) symbolizes the new face of modern architecture, the one voice that tries to revolutionize the system through a fresh and ground-breaking point of view. His nomination among Time’s 100 most influential people in 2016 speaks louder than any possible explication. Significant, innovative, and totally uncommon, his projects highlight the change that the young architect already started.
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Before founding Bjarke Ingels Group – BIG in 2005, he worked at OMA, in Rotterdam, under the guidance of Rem Koolhaas and co-founded PLOT Architects with Julien de Smedt in 2001. But when he started his solo studio, his career jump-started immediately, capable of expressing his temperament and new ideas with the unusual projects he has been known for.
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Well-known for his hedonistic sustainability and utopian pragmatism approach, Bjarke Ingels wrote a 2009 manifesto called “Yes is More” in the form of a comic book – a direct quote to his past volition of becoming a cartoonist when he was younger – that retrace the fil rouge behind 30 BIG architectural projects. His philosophy, with contributions from the thoughts of Charles Darwin and Friederich Nietzsche, expresses the revolutionary mindset which the Copenhagen-born architect has instilled in his works: for him the double front of 21th-century architecture – exercising a boringly pragmatic reality or inventing totally inaccessible oddness – needs to be overcome. For Bjarke Ingels, the only way to look into the future is by avoiding useless adhesions to past outdated methods and thinking outside of the box, to infuse some applicable originality to reality.
“A pragmatic utopian architecture that takes on the creation of socially economically and environmentally perfect places as a practical objective”.
For the BIG’s founder the next challenge is to believe in long-term projects: starting right now is the only way to guarantee a real outcome in the future, even far from now. His style – or to better speak “his lack of style” – can be perceived in some of his most successful works: Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen, in the Christiania community, in which diverse spaces and glass elements allow the creation of a visual intimate atmosphere, enhanced by the culinary setting; 8 Houses, VIA 57 West, and VM Houses that tried to rethink our conception of a residential place. For his Noma Restaurant project, he has been nominated for the 2019 edition of INSIDE – the World Festival of Interiors, in the Bars & Restaurants category.