Producers: Louisiana Museum of Art Channel
Duration: 48 minutes
Bjarke Ingels talks about his childhood, about his passion for drawing, about his family, how he trained as an architect. He talks about how nevertheless the school of architecture, proved to be a very conservative institution where there was hardly any curriculum due to the idea that everything had to be original.
It talks about how buildings should make their occupants feel that they are special, the contributions of their projects to architecture, the absence of form (Danish Maritime Museum) or the way they define their identity ( VIA 57 West).
“Great buildings blatantly express their true essence to the world.” The lauded Danish architect Bjarke Ingels here shares his personal story and his bold approach to architecture, which he feels should always be playful, generous and empathetic.
Having nurtured a love of drawing since childhood, 18-year-old Ingels enrolled into The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture in 1993, feeling that architecture would be “the perfect missing piece to be able to really draw worlds and populate those worlds.” The school, however, proved to be a very conservative institution where there was hardly any curriculum due to the idea that everything had to be original. In response to this, Ingels and a friend ended up spending their first years in the library, seeking inspiration from other architects such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas: “You find something that speaks to you, and then you try to understand it, by following its sources, and those sources have other sources, and at some point things connect.” In continuation of this, Ingels feels that the ideas that you put forward and the new ideas they produce are essential for architecture: “Not only does the building you make matter, but the example it puts out in the world matters maybe even more.”
Bjarke Ingels (born in Copenhagen, 1974) studied architecture at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen and at the School of Architecture of Barcelona, obtaining his degree as an architect in 1998. He is the founder of the BIG architecture studio - (Bjarke Ingels Group), studio founded in 2005, after co-founding PLOT Architects in 2001 with his former partner Julien de Smedt, whom he met while working at the prestigious OMA studio in Rotterdam. Bjarke has designed and completed award-winning buildings worldwide, and currently his studio is based with venues in Copenhagen and New York. His projects include The Mountain, a residential complex in Copenhagen, and the innovative Danish Maritime Museum in Elsinore.
With the PLOT study, he won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2004, and with BIG he has received numerous awards such as the ULI Award for Excellence in 2009. Other prizes are the Culture Prize of the Crown Prince of Denmark in 2011; and Along with his architectural practice, Bjarke has taught at Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University and Rice University and is an honorary professor at the Royal Academy of Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen. In 2018, Bjarke received the Knight's Cross of the Order of Dannebrog granted by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II. He is a frequent public speaker and continues to give lectures at places such as TED, WIRED, AMCHAM, 10 Downing Street or the World Economic Forum. In 2018, Bjarke was appointed Chief Architectural Advisor by WeWork to advise and develop the design vision and language of the company for buildings, campuses and neighborhoods around the world.