Video – “Abstract: The Art of Design”

By Radical Media


“There’s almost nothing that wouldn’t be cool about it. So maybe we should just do it! It’s the kind of shit we do.” -Bjark Ingels to his design team at BIG


Innovation is never easy. It takes an iron-clad will and restless determination for your ideas to flourish into a finished product capable of taking the world by storm. Nobody understand this struggle and eventual elation more than Danish architect Bjark Ingels.


At the unbelievable age of 24, Bjark Ingels was already considered one of the most inventive and sought-after architects in all of Europe. In the passing years, his groundbreaking designs have helped to transform the landscape of Copenhagen. “When Bjark Ingels came around, Danish architecture was somehow sleeping… And I think you could argue that he really made everybody wake up”


But the painful reality of breaking the rules is that it cannot happen overnight. “In architecture, there’s this catch 22: Nobody will entrust you to build a building until you have built a building.” says Bjark. Creatives know this enigma too well, and the more innovative you are, the more likely you will scare people. It’s just natural!

Bjark’s greatest achievements have been in the field of low-income housing. His spectacular structures “The VM House”, “The 8”, and “The Mountain” all share 2 core qualities: Low building costs and transformative concepts. But, of course, the Danes weren’t immediately willing to accept Bjark’s vision. “What we were proposing had such a scale and revolutionary qualities that Denmark got scared.” Though his striking works are surely adventurous, Bjark has endured a flurry of criticism, with his projects being labeled “problematic, outlandish and ostentatious.”


“Some of the criticism has been that our buildings are too cheap. But that’s because, honestly, they have been cheap buildings! But somehow we manage to turn that into architecture that actually points a new direction and opens up new possibilities, in a field where there is almost zero innovation.”


We encourage you to check out Bjark Ingel’s documentary in the series “Abstract: The Art of Design” on Netflix to see more about how pure innovation is transforming landscapes like never before.

Photos © Courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group + JDS Architects