‘Advice to the Young’ has been an enormous success since the series aired on the Louisiana Channel and many influential people have been starred in it including Bjarke Ingels. Danish architect Bjarke Ingels is noted for his contribution to the domain of architecture for his innovation and creativity in the field. The Netherlands Architecture Institute has described him as “a member of a new generation of architects that combine shrewd analysis, playful experimentation, social responsibility, and humor.”
In Advice to the Young, Ingels gives his insight on architectural practice; how important it is to design carefully with innovation and contemporary in it since it is the 21st century. Above all, he focuses on how important it is to design for the clients! His passion for always giving the best to the clients and his firm’s contribution to the field of architecture and design is the only reason the group has won the company numerous awards from many prestigious bodies. Young architects have the idea of designing right from scratch but often what designers lack is the sense of user-friendly design, where Ingels advised to prioritize the dreams and aspirations of the users of the structure they are going to design and not on individual assessment of functions.
Bjarke Ingels and his work is a constant quest for a functional aesthetic that encompasses all fields of design. He believes that once the trust of the client along with the concept plan is resolved everything else falls in place which is why despite his notable accomplishments he is driven to reinvent his tasks and efforts. His central concerns involve a simultaneous engagement in practice and research and understanding the dreams and desires of the users and then use that as a driving force for the efforts we put forward as designers. Once the concepts and questions are clear, any architect can come up with a solution that will no longer need the importance of anyone’s approval but only the user’s.
Ingels further demonstrates the process of understanding a design as a student with his own experience- on how clear understanding of a design does not come simply by reading the design brief or by seeing the design. A clear understanding of a design only comes when we analyze all the processes and the efforts that the architects put forward and then face the assumptions behind the design. Once we face those hypotheses and premises all our understanding and beliefs kind of collapse and we get rid of all the values towards which we got biased and start looking at the design in a new way assigning a fresh understanding to functions and space and aesthetics.
Architecture is not a stand-alone discipline and Ingels’s insight on it is not a dystopia. He contemplates his working days with Rem Koolhas and how he was blown away with his experience of work; that architecture was never a stand-alone and autonomous art form but it is a reflection of the society and how socio-political as well economical changes can result in a different perception about architecture! To Ingels, architecture is fundamentally the art and science of accommodating lives.
It is just the vision of the society and the people to make a world they dream and seek.
Geologists have termed this era where we now live as Anthropocene which is a geological epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems.
This clearly points to the significance of humans in the world where we are the force of change in our earth’s geography, which can have both positive as well as negative impacts.
Architects are designers and the term is broad and hence since historic times the moment humans became creators we have started an inversion of evolution since Darwin’s theory of evolution is strictly the evolution of individuals by adapting to our surroundings and now architects have to design keeping in mind the surroundings and adapt to it. Ingels’ advice to the young people is to grab this opportunity and design and reshape the world for the betterment of society, not only at a micro level but also at a planetary level. Ingels quotes, ‘With great power comes great responsibilities’ which is what he advises since architects have the power of reshaping the world!
Ingels further gives his insight on architecture as a whole and not as something, which cannot be perceived by anyone. He believes that architecture is for everybody and for young architects to become good designers, they need to design for society and not for themselves so they have to interact more with people who are not architects. People perceive architects as someone who is difficult to understand and are often intimidated by them but fundamentally they are the ones who shape architecture and not architects.
The goal of an architect is to shape the users’ dreams and aspirations into a positive reality! Architecture has always been isolated within its own bubble not only professionally but also academically and we could see different styles of architecture popping up in history like post-modernism, deconstructivism, etc., and we have to break free of that. As architects and as humans we are the individuals who have to work together as a species and decide on what kind of world we want to live in and give to future generations!
In his approximately eight minutes interview, Bjarke Ingels has given a powerful insight on architecture and society and how architecture can keep on evolving depending on humans and their interaction with surroundings and nature. His advice to young minds is not restricted to a micro-level analysis of the discourse but to analyze it on a multidisciplinary level to change and reshape the world based on the society and the users’ desires.