Architects are like the professional version of the artist. They look cool (‘architects are sexiest’ is the top searched keyword in google when you type ‘architects are.. ‘) but ‘poorest’ among all professionals. Not to mention, the average age for an architect to become really famous and succesful is 50!
However, the recent rise of Danish architect Bjarke Ingels in his mid-30s, has given hope to young architects that they don’t need to wait until 50 to realise their dreams to be famous, run an architectural practice involved with big international projects and masterplans, as well as winning reputable architectural awards.
His practice, BIG Architects, have since won many international architectural competitions, is involved with Zira island masterplanning in Abu Dhabi and designed the Danish pavillion in Shanghai expo (the same pavillion that shipped the mermaid from Denmark to Shanghai).
The ignorant me didn’t know about this architect until Alex bought the BIG “archicomic” and my classmates showed me videos of the office’s presentation and models. Unlike most architectural practice who publish their work as coffee table books or giant monographs, with flashy images and sometimes lots of text, BIG showed their projects in comic form. Quite interesting to read even for those not involved in architecture in any way. The presentation videos are also very impressive with their use of animation; good for learning how to sell ideas (even for non-architectural projects).
I was fascinated with their models (especially the one built with Legos) and the way they approach the development of their projects, and I never thought I would have the chance to see their work (the models not the buildings) in reality. But their travelling exhibition “YES IS MORE” were coincidentally in Bordeaux the same dates we were – lucky us.
The exhibition featured many of the projects in their “archicomic”, and up close we could see that their models were not absolutely perfect in terms of craftsmanship, but this did not stop the projects form being interesting all the same. Something to learn!