13 Apr

Bjarke Ingels: Hedonistic sustainability

If there is one thing this blog has taught me, it is that I need much more time than what I give myself to finish researching the subject before actually typing.

Here’s the thing, I started looking things up at 11pm.  Got some ideas, tried to find them.  And next thing I know, it’s 2pm.  I’m a terrible researcher, and an even worse photoshop editor and definitely will be exhausted when I go to work tomorrow morning.  (On average, I finish and publish at around 3AM.)

This Ted Talk is just plain awesome and structurally sound.


Length: 22 minutes, 25 seconds

There is something beautiful about architecture that goes beyond the standard concepts of art.  It isn’t that art ‘fits inside this box’ but rather, buildings are just so big.  When you walk up to anything that stretches up towards the sky and people are LIVING inside of it in a visually pleasing manner, it makes all the more interesting.

I was browsing the web today.  I browse the web everyday.  I think I’ve already reached a level of ‘tuned out’, where I’m not paying attention to the nitty gritty details.  However, today was the first day I actually browsed BLOGS.

Now I like the way this blog looks.  It’s minimalistic.  I really don’t care if it’s fancy, and I’m not particularly interested in making it this over the top eye candy.  However, when I think about it, I realize that other people do care.  This past month might be nothing more than a wall of text that people will just give up reading before even trying.

Enter this Ted Talk.  Hedonistic Sustainability.  Now that’s a mouthful of awesome and that’s got to be good.  It also sounds dirty.

And after watching the Ted Talk, I can see that’s exactly the type of branding the speaker Bjarke Ingels was going for.  It’s a title that will catch your attention.  This guy is part salesman, and what’s for sale is interesting.  The buildings are beautiful, the landscapes are beautiful, and they’re so ‘different’. 

Radically different.  A passerby might even question the design choices.

There’s a thing about people I believe in.  If a person is given time, is given ENOUGH time, they can explain every aspect of their personality in such a way that every mannerism or attitude ‘makes sense’.  That if you were in their place, you’d pick up the same habits or at least understand a possible reason WHY they picked up theirs.

Mr. Ingels gets that time, and he is able to breathe life into the designs of these buildings that is more than just looking at a static photo.

His presentation method feels similar to what I like to do when speaking with a crowd.  He puts a lot of obvious ‘feedback’ moments where he can hear if a joke is going well, and through that surmise how much they’re paying attention.  And for a presentation about building design, it’s highly entertaining.  It brings up many good thoughts, but I think the one sentence summary might… summarize.

One Sentence Summary

“We can raise our standard of living through innovative architecture and design.”

In the building demos, photos, overhead views, etc, he poses a problem that faces the area.  There are some obvious solutions, but like a grandmaster in chess he skirts around the obvious and shows us the real ingenious answers they’ve come up with.

What caught me off guard

This guy’s accent is entertaining.  He sounds like the Arnold of Terminator, even though its a different country. 

There’s a television show called ‘How I Met Your Mother’ where they bring in a foreign architect firm named ‘Sven’.  Although I’ve always heard that foreign designs were more shocking, I thought the ‘Sven’ characters were just an exaggeration.  In all honesty, they could easily have been a parody of this guy.

Bjarke Ingels does a great job and presents an incredibly fun presentation.  I was amazed how I had a feeling of anticipation but it was further trumped by the fact that I had no idea what he was going to ‘show’ next.  It could have been a design about anything, but I knew it was going to be good.

So now that it has been discussed, what can we do?

Absolutely nothing as far as I can tell.  Not many of us have the ability to control structures at the city level.  I’m not wealthy enough to make demands on how buildings should be designed.  So the true decision makers would be a very small percentage, however it does bring up the awareness that we should seek new concepts. 

And that is a very good idea that I’d like to build upon.

 – Updated every Thursday


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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized


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