The Prince: Bjarke Ingels’s Social Conspiracy

© DAC / Jakob Galtt

A version of this essay was originally published in Thresholds 40: “Socio-” (2012)

Few architects working today attract as much public acclaim and disciplinary head-scratching as . Having recently arrived in New York, this self-proclaimed futurist is undertaking his own form of Manifest Destiny, reminding American architects how to act in their own country.

While his practice is often branded by the architectural establishment as naïve and opportunistic, such criticism is too quick to conflate Ingels’s outwardly optimistic persona with the brash formal agenda it enables. In the current economic climate, there are any number of gifted purveyors of form languishing in New York City. Despite this, Ingels has somehow managed to get away with proposing a pyramidal perimeter block in midtown New York, a looped pier in St. Petersburg Florida, and an art center in Park City, Utah massed as torqued log cabin while maintaining a straight face. Why, then, is his mode of operation considered unsophisticated by so many within the discipline?

Clearly, Ingels has figured something out about harnessing and transforming “the social” that American architects would do well to identify. So, in the manner of any good conspiracy theorist in search for the hidden method, let’s go to the chalkboard, or rather, the diagram…

Part of the answer may lie with Ingels’s brand of populism, which is as much about being social as it is about the social.

“Our world could be much more accommodating, ecological and enjoyable than it is; our cities could be more fit for human life, more adaptive to the specific climates where they are located. The reason they’re not is that there are interests that are unconcerned with the common good, and not invested in creating the best world possible. By claiming that these interests have formed an unholy alliance and are systematically killing architecture’s protagonists, perhaps it’s possible to get a bigger audience interested in understanding the challenges faced by architects. There’s nothing like a good old fashion conspiracy theory to get people’s attention; whining architects do not exactly make a bestseller.”—Bjarke Ingels [1]

“Sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power brokers. That’s why true reform is so hard to achieve. But with the support of the citizens of Alaska, we shook things up. And in short order we put the government of our state back on the side of the people.”— Sarah Palin [2]

“A wise prince should establish himself on that which is in his own control and not in that of others; he must endeavour only to avoid hatred, as is noted.”— Niccolo Machiavelli [3]

From his “archicomic” monograph (now published for the iPad) to his recent appearance in a number of glossy, culture magazines, Ingels is cutting out the middleman and bringing his message directly to the people. Bred as an insider (first at OMA, and then at Columbia and Harvard), he has since “gone rogue” by positioning himself outside of the elitist currents that make up avant-garde practice. The message is that Ingels is of the people and therefore his work has the people’s best interest at heart.

St. Petersburg Pier. Image by and MIR, courtesy of

This Palin-esque sleight of hand is not only powerful as a means of attracting clients, but also provides him with tactical agility. Architects have always tried to slip design elements past their clients through flattery, but Ingels goes beyond the timid hide-the-medicine-in-the-applesauce approach. His is one of radical transparency, quite literally telling the client everything in order to free his forms from political oversight and its requisite headaches.

Ingels’s mentor, Rem Koolhaas, remains a critical darling because, despite his corporatist rhetoric, architectural insiders consider him a fashionably sinister figure, dangerous rather than accommodating. While the most straightforward reading would suggest that Ingels has jettisoned the schizophrenic attitude of the latter in favor of a singular, wide-eyed deliriousness, one might also view his project as being far more complex in its coupling of populism and Machiavellian exceptionalism—the two seemingly opposite poles of American political thought.

Ingels’s paean to optimism, Yes is More, opens by suggesting a direct parallel with Obama’s campaign slogan, “Yes we can.” While Obama’s phrase served as a stand-in for his goal of consensus-building pragmatism, Ingels’s slogan suggests excess over compromise, or perhaps excess via the rhetoric of compromise. Demand to resolve the impossible and something interesting might emerge: “What if design could be the opposite of politics? Not by ignoring conflict, but by feeding from it. A way to incorporate and integrate differences, not through compromise or by choosing sides, but by tying conflicting interests into a Gordian knot of new ideas.” [4]

West 57th Massing Diagram. Image courtesy of BIG

While the Gordian allusion may be apt, it seems that Ingels is simultaneously playing the roles of both Gordius and Alexander, weaving difference into a coherent formal puzzle while cutting through “politics” with a decisive stroke.

In Taming the Prince, conservative political philosopher Harvey Mansfield locates this political ambivalence as a latent Machiavellian thread inherent in the executive branch of the US government. Unlike an authoritarian ruler who exerts power based solely by claiming the right to do so, the executive executes decisions on behalf of the sovereign who have elected to abide by such rulings. Being of the people allows a leader an exceptional capacity to take decisive actions while remaining distanced from their outcomes. This rhetorical latitude is a double-edged sword, being both extra-constitutional (outside) and grounded in its formal provision (inside).

For Mansfield, the ambivalence of the executive is the position’s greatest strength. It is absolute formal power in a populist guise. Curiously, such power can also be considered “performative” which, as Robert Somol suggests, “operates in such a way that the saying of it makes it so.” [5]

West 57th, New York City. Image by BIG and Glessner, courtesy of BIG

Much of Ingels’s work assumes this character of assertion. His self-described “pragmatic utopian” brand of the performative is, in fact, its own kind of Tea Party Express—that undeniably revolutionary platform that somehow manages to reconcile such outwardly incommensurable positions as tax reduction and increased military spending into one loud, populist leviathan. It remains to be seen whether Ingels’s desire to have his cake and eat it too, or “BIGamy,” [6] is more closely related to the Tea Party’s brand of cognitive dissonance or some imagined urban win-win scenario brought to bear through sheer force of will. But, then again, does it even matter so long as the strategy pays off?

“The logo can slip from foreground to background as the situation warrants.” — R. E. Somol [7]

“The unity of the office [of the president] implies the possibility, though a remote one, of an ideal executive. Such a person would combine in himself the ambivalence inherent in the office, ducking out of sight and leaping into view when necessary and appropriate. And his knowledge… would encompass the doctrine of executive power, uniting its two aspects while justifying their separation.” — Harvey C. Mansfield, JR. [8]

As with BIGamy, the disruptive potential of the Tea Party, like so many populist movements before it, lies in the directness of its attitude rather than the consistency of its positions. Its ideological diversity is kept in check through cults of personality and patriotic displays. Likewise, one could say that the seemingly irreconcilable socio-political issues that Ingels ostensibly seeks to absorb into his work are held together through the use of shape.

The bulk of his projects straddle the gulf between the scale of the building and the scale of the urban master plan, and indeed, much of the criticism directed toward the work itself concerns matters of detailing and “program-stuffing.” Unable, perhaps, to exert building-scaled control over his projects, and conversely unwilling to relinquish formal control over the design of the larger plan, Ingels uses the bluntness of shape to broker a tenuous peace and gain some degree of maneuverability within this scalar high-wire act. Shape, then, corresponds to attitude, a mode of operating that covers for both scalar and ideological ambivalence.

Contrary to Somol’s largely depoliticized conception of shape in which the “non-necessitarian possibility” [9] of the graphic allows it to disappear into the background, Ingels’s work demonstrates the efficacy of shape as an insurgent socio-political force. Somol perhaps unintentionally hints at this capacity when he suggests that “the graphic can only be artificially asserted and subsequently played out.” [10]

In the context of American executive power, however, the exceptional assertion is permissible only through an appeal to necessity and to the extraordinary circumstances that force a leader to go beyond the normal call of duty. For Ingels, the necessity of materializing his projects requires the construction of a receptive audience, primed to believe that the abstraction of the diagram somehow corresponds to their experience of the city. Whether post-rationalized or generative, BIG’s diagrams project an attitude of inevitability, suggesting that the final form is the necessary result.

While such alibis are not new to the architecture profession, Ingels takes it a step further, actively working to shape the social environment within which the final project is judged—placing himself firmly in the world of politics, big developers, public relations, and popular media, so that the forms themselves are walled off from scrutiny. Here, TED Talks, CNN appearances, World Economic Forum “innovation” work-shopping, and Audi partnerships all become integral tools of the architect’s trade.

The Mountain, Copenhagen. Photo by Carsten Kring, courtesy of BIG

However, for all the valuable rhetoric about embracing a diversity of socio-political and economic forces, Ingels’s work is relational only within the autonomous social context that he has rendered for himself. From the image of a mountain screen-printed onto the side of his housing complex in Copenhagen known simply as “The Mountain”, or the projection of the face of Princess Victoria onto the façade of the Arlanda Hotel, to the use of Lego people in “Lego Towers”, Ingels constructs a graphic social ecology that is as hermetic as it is self-serving. Within this framework, there is little tangible embrace of the contingency of urban life. Rather, the value of the work lies in the reductive and monolithic fiction of the world he presents—a plausible, seductive alternate reality to (and an implicit critique of) “our reality” of winning, losing, and bargaining. Ingels’s true craft is in acting as though this gap between the two parallel realities doesn’t exist.

Lego Tower. Image courtesy of BIG

“Bjarke Ingels is a ‘yes man.’ He rises to the challenge of just about any demand, be it reasonable or otherwise, with an unqualified ‘yes.’ This fuels his ambition to absorb all the political interests surrounding a project and to turn them into backbending forms that disarm the opposition.” — Bjarke Ingels [11]

It is interesting, then, that someone who claims to have the capacity to “absorb” all differences within a project can also claim that he has an “opposition” to “disarm,” as the idea of opposition is foreign to his win-win conceptual narrative. While language has a way of betraying the gap he seeks to dispense with, Ingels’s insistence on making the impossible into a viable alternative gives his work its critical potency. Neither a purely heuristic device nor a prescriptive utopia, Ingels’s “yes” offers the promise of an attitude adjustment in the public imagination—a seed that reframes the way we perceive the world and its antinomies, prefiguring our reactions to his future visions.

“Government has the ambivalent task of bringing necessity home to the people, so that they survive, while concealing it from them, so they are happy and innocent.” — Harvey C. Mansfield, JR. [12]

“This idea of the paranoid—of noticing aspects of the world that other people don’t see—is a very powerful tool for the architect.” — Bjarke Ingels [13]

One of the defining features of any conspiracy is its internal coherence. Irrespective of the ends, conspiracies perform, yet how well they perform is a function of the skill with which these autonomous Gordian constructs are planted within the collective consciousness. Such skill underwrites the soft power of influence. While architects’ desire for influence is as old as the profession, the strategies for achieving it have varied widely. More often than not, they entail an appeal to the architect’s ability to manage material and economic efficiency, effectively abandoning the excess inherent in any architectural act.

Ingels, however, engages the social so as to justify this excess, using his own personal brand as a sideshow to secure autonomy for his exuberant formal agenda—an agenda that is anything but inevitable. This two-front maneuver reflects at once a profound sympathy for Koolhaas’s appropriation of the Paranoid-Critical method in Delirious New York as well as an intuitive understanding of the ambivalence that underwrites American power structures. If, paradoxically, Ingels has conspired to pry open a space for division, or disciplinary autonomy, through a social project of fictive unity and consensus-building, then perhaps an evolution in his work will emerge when he moves to free his shapes from the lingering rhetorical vestiges of populism and examine form itself in relation to the irreconcilable political necessities that drove him to conjure such an ambivalent knot from the start.

In our world, yes is great but no means no. By subverting the necessity of trade-offs in a zero sum game, Ingels is offering an internally coherent conspiracy theory and seeking converts to share in the BIGamy. It’s up to the rest of us to decide if Ingels’s program represents a temporary suspension of reality or if it effectively re-writes the rules entirely.

Justin Fowler is a PhD student at the Princeton School of Architecture and a founding editor of Manifest: A Journal of American Architecture and Urbanism.

WORKS REFERENCED

[1] Bjarke Ingels, “Bjarke Ingels: Interview by Jeffrey Inaba,” Klat, no. 4 (Fall 2010): 89.

[2] Sarah Palin, “Acceptance Speech at the Republican National Convention,” September 3, 2008.

[3] Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. W. K. Marriott (Costa Mesa, CA: Plain Label Books, 1952), 92.

[4] Bjarke Ingels, Yes is More (Cologne: Evergreen, 2009), 14–15.

[5] R. E. Somol, “Green Dots 101,” in Hunch, no. 11 (Winter 2007): 29.

[6] Bjarke Ingels, “Bjarke Ingels,” 94.

[7] Somol, “Green Dots 101,” 33.

[8] Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr., Taming the Prince: The Ambivalence of Modern Executive Power (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), 15.

[9] Somol, “Green Dots 101,” 37.

[10] Ibid., 34.

[11] Bjarke Ingels, Yes is More, author’s note.

[12] Mansfield, Taming the Prince, 145.

[13] Bjarke Ingels, “Bjarke Ingels,” 86

Cite: Justin Fowler. "The Prince: Bjarke Ingels’s Social Conspiracy" 02 Jul 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=396420>
  • Laszlo Kovacs

    For me personally, the work is just not interesting. The person and the brand are much more interesting than any of his projects. Good luck to him I guess. The critics and the press can praise him all they want, I just don’t see any greatness in the work at all.

    • El Jiji

      This article is not concerned, primarily, with the general quality of the architecture produced (is it great architecture/is it not great). It rather identifies an ideology (BIGamy), which is becoming popular, (which is visible in the public sphere) and which is also big (scale is definitely a factor when considering BIG). It then tries to describe the ideology’s “modus operandi”.

      Not many young architects today promote a design philosophy, not many dare to think big (and disruptive), and few of those who do actually build. Because of this I think Mr. Ingels is an interesting topic, the article is totally worth it.

  • Jerome

    what a load of waffle. This article revolves around nothing but superficial gravity.

  • Silky Johnson

    POMO Nouveau… however you want to put it.

    There is really no depth in the work of this guy. He is neither worth the association to Somol’s notion of Shapes.

    This guy’s time is gone… same ol’ tricks.

    Time for detournment…

  • Johannas

    I’m not sure if there are enough extraneous sentences and words in this article, very difficult to make any sense of.

  • James MD

    His work isn’t unique, nor are his ideas. It’s not really a big secret or a conspiracy as to why he’s able to produce so much work. It’s not the social, it’s the socialism. Denmark subsidizes their citizens’ lives in a way that allows BIG to have lots of workers and produce a lot of work for less personal investment. New York architects have to plunk down far more cash to put architects to work. Denmark has the happiest citizenry on the planet, because life there is actually pretty great and relatively easy. The country’s government also promotes people like Bjarke worldwide. That isn’t done by the US government. BIG gets lots of work and is able to be so optimistic because they live in a very healthy social democracy where their government helps them quite a bit. The US chooses not to do that for its architects. It’s not about Bjarke, it’s about the country he lives in compared to the one we have. And good for him, but the real credit lies in the form of government in Denmark, and less in his ideas.

  • James MD

    FYI, the Tea Party Express was led by a white supremacist who was forced to resign after outing himself in public statements. He was the one who organized most of the local Tea Party Express leadership who still run the group (also racists). The TP Express is only one network of Tea Party groups, but it’s certainly dominated by a theme of white supremacy. Many other TP groups are as well, but the TP Express is unique in how monolithic it is in the leadership. That’s why it’s lost some of its political clout among mainstream conservatives, it was outed. I don’t think it’s the appropriate metaphor for Bjarke Ingels at all. Not than Americans would bother learning about their own recent history.

  • Rotterdam Architect

    Fantastic article, great to see very theoretical articles appearing on ArchDaily. I agree with the commenter above in some sense, but feel compelled to say, rather cynically, that the former ‘critics and the press’ (though of course it is so much more than that, indeed a whole industry) matter far more in architecture these days than greatness. This is both as a result of the globalisation of the market, and the internet and communications technology itself.

  • aleks

    BIG is not an architecture but a graphic design approach on bigger scale…it is just a small bubble that will be forgotten soon (its whole aesthetics is passing actually…)

    • MGD

      Architects are the biggest bunch of ego bruised critics in the world. They can all figure out what architecture isn’t. However, they also realize the “foot in mouth” effect that will ensue if they try to explain what it is.

      They point of the article is that BIG has been successful in developing a popular collective response to their work while the sophists bitch to their abdomens with their gaze eternally fixed to their navels. So, “aleks”, if BIG is not architecture, is Venturi architecture? I would love to read your essay on why Venturi is not architecture. Actually I would first like to hear your definition of architecture. Please, elucidate!

  • John

    Too many words wasted trying to defend mediocre architecture. This is a titanic apology serving empty an figure.

    • Richie

      Maybe I misread the article, but I don’t see a defence here of BIG’s style, it felt more like an attack or at least an interrogation? I don’t like this academic paper style of writing though, the language clouds the meaning.

    • Silky Johnson

      BIG’s stuff is nothing more than POMO Nouveau… No new tricks here.

      Time for detournment please!

  • Patrick H

    I’m going out on a limb here to defend Ingels’s work. To me he represents a new generation which values populism, communication, transparency, sustainability, and yes, sensational/theatrical designs which grab the public imagination. And what’s wrong with that? Maybe other architects don’t like him because he is pulling back the curtain and exposing the profession and its entrenched interests. Maybe they fear his “Yes” because they are trapped in a world of duality where someone must lose in order for someone to win. Or maybe most architects are so accustomed to suckling at the teat of the wealthy that they mock and reject his “populist” architecture out of fear. Either way, BIG’s work is the most exciting thing happening in architecture today, hands down. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

  • Patrick Langford

    Sarah Palin and the Tea Party are dead. Long live hedonism! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  • Michael

    Justin….you’re a PhD student? At Princeton? I find this shocking, because this is not scholarship. This is drivel. When half of your sources on this “scholarly” piece on Bjarke are written by the man himself, I have to wonder if you’re actually working on BIG’s PR team.

    Youre over-intellectualizing work that is just plain and simple not very interesting anymore. There are many interesting architects out there worth investigating. This is not one of them.

    • Gene

      Michael, totally agree. But at least it’s not as over-the-top nauseating as the article on BIG’s power plant, written by, ironically, an ArchDaily editor. “This is BIG 2.0!” (What!?)
      http://www.archdaily.com/339893/bigs-waste-to-energy-plant-breaks-ground-breaks-schemas/

    • connor covey

      Well I would say most people would disagree with you. Developers and clients are hiring him left and right. You only live once, and as an Architect I think the best thing to do is push your idea and be brave and creative. Every Architect technically places people in a “new reality,” how could they not? If you are the Architect designing the project then you are visualizing it in a certain way, so your going to obviously portray that to the client. How can you not find it interesting? The sole fact that you commented on here tells me that you are slightly interested, or upset because you know his style is working in every way. I love the radical rejection of producing the same thing over and over again. There cannot be only one right answer for architecture in this world, or we are all going to be very dull. The fact that people preach minimalism and modernism is a joke, people could design most of those projects in their sleep, and it doesn’t respond to anything but being cheap and efficient. Face it any architecture that becomes popular will always become commercial like, money will always be the sole interest, not interesting Architecture that is for the people and for the city….. well as long as developers are involved.

  • James MD

    Oh please people. Get over yourselves. Bjark Ingles is a great architect and his work is extremely good. Justin’s article is fine as an academic piece. He’s trying to be provocative, and that’s fine too. Listing Sarah Palin as a source is hilarious, and if you don’t get it then you don’t get it, but that’s your bag and not Justin’s problem.

  • Sudar Khadka

    Actually, I appreciate this article by being able to clearly put into words the main reasons why BIG is controversial.

    “the necessity of materializing his projects requires the construction of a receptive audience, primed to believe that the abstraction of the diagram somehow corresponds to their experience of the city.”

    “Ingels constructs a graphic social ecology that is as hermetic as it is self-serving.”

    There are strong similarities with the way he pursues his practice and the way cults or other religious groups function. They are all quite effective within the audience that they have created.

  • erm

    I think the article is too pompous, trying to be a deep using references like The Prince and Delirious NY / Dali while mixing it with allusions to the day to day like The Tea Party and Conspiracy theories and adding forced pseudo portmanteau like BIGamy. I think it shows a PhD candidate who has sampled how great architecture critics have produced great pieces of writting after years of arduous study un the past, and tried to deploy this ‘traits’ on a writing piece but with no substance. If you skin through it looks like what a Reinhold Martin would write but if you really read it, it has absolutely no depth or sense, worrying for Princeton. The great thing though is that Ingels does exactly the same thing in the realm of architectural projects, or better, selling architecture. He is a good marketing person who has sampled the great things good architects before him have used to make their projects great, and deploys them like generic receipes for all projects he tackles, but with absolutely no depth. This is a key reason why he seems to be producing proposals everywhere for everything. Quality takes time. The sad thing is that he and the writter of the piece seem to hearld a new low for the profession, the most dangerous of lows, a low that tricks many to think they understand and are in the precense of a high.

    But I appreciate Ingel’s energy, charisma, and his ability to get media outlets and potentially inteligent people to promote him.

  • Robert Davies

    “here’s a little rule of thumb, too clever is too dumb” – Ogden Nash

  • Abe Froman

    Years ago when BIG and JDS were known as PLOT, they were savvy enough to use the emergence of the new internet design blogs, like Arch Daily, Cool Hunter, and Dezeen, to make themselves known in the architectural world. Recognizing the internet’s need for content, they entered every competition they could and cranked out models and images of architectural forms on the landscape at a scale that was quite provocative at the time. With actual architecture magazines and theoretical journals giving way to the ease and editorial freedom of the internet, BIG/PLOT/JDS was in the right place at the right time when the profession was imploding in on itself with the economic crisis.

    You have to give credit to Bjarke Ingles for his charismatic ability to make himself famous; but outside of the hyper-fantasy imagery and dumb diagrammed tectonic approach to architecture, the work itself reveals itself to be quite shallow, clumsy, and dull. We live in a digital age where almost anything can be put on the internet and deemed legitimate or believable by people, simply because it is on the internet (see Tea Party). No need for real criticism or in-depth counter arguments, because if that is what people really wanted, they wouldn’t be on the internet everyday scrolling through websites sourcing for visual inspiration.

    BIG has earned their right to exist in the world, but it is quite boring to see academia (once again, as always) and the new media establishment of the internet constantly prop up and promote Ingle’s infantile design propaganda. There are many young and talented architects working today that, truth be told, were not trust-fund babies working at OMA and not competing to be Rem Koolhaas’ heir to the throne. You would think that architecture would have learned its lesson over the years, but articles like this only demonstrate how shallow and lost this profession is.

    • DJG

      Abe… Well stated, I see you have not drank the koolaid!!!

  • ladziuk

    make attempt is always good. good luck.

  • ladzia papruha

    make attempt is always good. good luck

  • rastra yanatama

    BIG has earned their right to exist in the world.

  • erm

    in truth everyone has a right to conduct their business / marketing strategies as they see fit. The problem to me is the covert devaluation of our practice. Again, masking irrelevance with world-saving enthusiasm. I think this confuses a lot of young students who are the future of our profession. I would wich to see people like Ingels, being honest and saying that the market, the developers love this diagrams and ‘stories’ and it is for them that he produces them, but this is not Architecture or architectural theory, is just business, with good graphich design. I think that type of honesty would be really interesting as a discourse and as a true representation of today’s culture. Futhermore, being an GSAPP alumnus and having loved my experience there, I understand that deans of all schools are forced to hire people with high online notoriety to attract their foreign students, but its really says something about the business of architectural education vs architectural education

  • pod

    “Yes is More” is not about Obama slogan, but about Mies van der Rohe “Less is More”

    • MTD

      It’s about both.

  • Steven

    Explain to me just how Sarah Palin is concerned with the common good? The Tea Party–along with the two other major political parties in this country–is concerned. it seems, with increasing corporate profitability and unaccountability at the expense of the common good. So, when I read that Ingels is concerned with the common good, I feel like he is concerned with something else–something Mr. Fowler seems too irresponsible to problematize. I also feel that there may be other ways of critically celebrating and putting to question Ingels’ work without resorting to FOX News tactics. Instead, Mr. Fowler’s conservatism–both politically and architecturally–seems to be the only thing that is transparent in this article.

  • Travelii fugeele

    I enjoyed the article and the lively discussion.

  • aspiring architect

    Can anyone please explain why BIG’s projects lack depth? I’ve heard this remark several times without further explanation. My question is not in defense of BIG, just a question posed by a young architect trying to figure his way through this profession. Perhaps a few examples…comparisons? I understand the implicit question “what is architectural depth” may lead to a foot or two in the mouth but hope that isn’t discouraging. And it’d be great if any responses are with genuine intention and not tit for tat. Thank you!

  • Gabriel Girnos

    Close to be the best short analysys on BIG’s rethorical mechanism I’ve seen until now. The quotation of Sarah Palin (to whom Ingels certainly would not like to be related) is cunning as a way to show how populist discourse works, independently of what it actually stands for. Some of the quotations of Bjarke are out of context, but the conclusions are still relevant.
    Some people consider BIG to be a media bubble, unworthy of intellectual attention; other look at it almost as a salvation novelty (the “BIGamy cult” people); and some see it as the signal or possibility of something “big” going on in the architectural world, for good and for bad.