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The Business of Design Success: How did BIG Get So... Big?

In recent years, the ever-increasing profile of Bjarke Ingels and his firm BIG have been hard to miss. For an office that is barely 10 years old, the number and scope of their projects is astonishing; to cope with demand, the firm has grown to employ almost 300 people. This growth, though, did not happen by accident. In this article, originally published on DesignIntelligence as "The Secret to BIG Success," Bob Fisher speaks to the firm's CEO and Partner Sheela Maini Søgaard in order to uncover the business plan behind the BIG phenomenon.

BIG may be the most appropriately named firm on the planet.

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) seems to have an outsized impact in all it does. The Copenhagen-based design firm turns conventions and assumptions upside down and combines contrasting possibilities in outrageously bold, imaginative and playful ways. Projects like Via at West 57th Street in New York City and the Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhagen are prime examples: the first a pyramid-shaped apartment building that defies the forest of rectangular towers around it, and the second a power plant that doubles as a smoke ring-blowing ski slope.

The world has taken note. Whether in praise or criticism, the architectural, cultural and business media tend to strike a heroic tone when describing the firm’s work: radical, ambitious, bold, confident. In short…BIG.

Danish National Maritime Museum, Helsingør. Image © Rasmus Hjortshøj Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium, Hellerup. Image © Jens Lindhe 8 House, Copenhagen. Image © Dragor Luftfoto Two World Trade Center in New York. Image © DBOX, Courtesy of BIG

AD App Guide: Morpholio Releases TracePro for iPad Pro

The recent unveiling of Apple’s iPad Pro and Pencil to the public have spawned fantasies of beautiful, precise, scaled drawings, able to be created digitally both quickly and accurately. Now, with Morpholio’s newest app TracePro, architects around the world will be able to create those fantasies themselves. As an update to their previous Trace apps for the iPad Pro (which will be released on Friday) TracePro is the latest in a line of ever-improving apps by Morpholio designed to make sketching and communicating with other architects easier than ever.

Open Call: From Border to Home - Housing Solutions for Asylum Seekers

The Museum of Finnish Architecture, in collaboration with the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA, organizes an open, anonymous architectural competition for the design of solutions to housing needs of refugees in northern Europe.
The submissions will form the basis of an exhibition to be hosted in the Finnish Pavilion at the forthcoming Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016. The main exhibition at the Venice Biennale will be curated by the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena. Its theme, Reporting from the front, is a call for proactive communal responsibility among architectural practitioners.

Australian Institute of Architects Announces 2015 National Architecture Awards

The 2015 winners of the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards have been announced at a ceremony in Brisbane.

Overall, 42 projects received 46 awards in 14 categories, including commercial, public, and interior architecture. Winners were selected by a jury from the Chapter Architecture Awards, held earlier this year.

Read on after the break for a list of the winners.

Is Edinburgh's UNESCO World Heritage Status Under Threat?

"A spectre," writes Kevin McKenna for The Guardian, "thought happily to have been exorcised from the heart of beautiful Edinburgh, is stalking the city’s old wynds and crevices once more." To put it more bluntly, the "formal recognition of [the Scottish capital] as one of the world’s most beautiful cities is under threat, amid a battle for the soul of its most historic quarter." As the UNESCO inspectorate moves in to determine whether the city's World Heritage Status should be renewed McKenna laments, through a series of case studies, the potentially bleak built future of one of Britain's most loved urban centres.

Provinciehuis of North-Brabant Renovation / KAAN Architecten

© Sebastian van Damme © Sebastian van Damme © Sebastian van Damme © Sebastian van Damme

T-House / Onur Teke

  • Architects: Onur Teke
  • Location: Mordoğan, 35970 Mordoğan/Karaburun/İzmir Province, Turkey
  • Area: 200.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Yercekim Architectural Photography, Courtesy of Onur Teke

© Yercekim Architectural Photography © Yercekim Architectural Photography © Yercekim Architectural Photography © Yercekim Architectural Photography

Great Wall Yunmo Winery / a+a Anderloni Associates

  • Architects: a+a Anderloni Associates
  • Location: Yinchuan, Ningxia, China
  • Area: 14500.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Nathaniel McMahon

© Nathaniel McMahon © Nathaniel McMahon © Nathaniel McMahon © Nathaniel McMahon

Glass Art Gallery & Residence / Jun Murata

  • Architects: Jun Murata
  • Location: Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
  • Architect in Charge: Jun Murata / JAM, IA Osmond Int’l JPN
  • Model: Nini, Weiwei
  • Area: 99.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Jun Murata

Courtesy of Jun Murata Courtesy of Jun Murata Courtesy of Jun Murata Courtesy of Jun Murata

Residence in Hawthorn / Alexandra Buchanan Architecture

© Itsuka Studio © Itsuka Studio © Itsuka Studio © Itsuka Studio

schmidt hammer lassen to Expand ARoS Aarhus Art Museum

schmidt hammer lassen architects has been commissioned to expand their ARoS Aarhus Art Museum in Denmark. The architects are expected to collaborate with American artist James Turrell, who will be designing two installations for the expansion's 1200-square-meter subterranean gallery: "The Sphere" and "The Dome." The €30 million expansion is being referred to as "The Next Level," symbolizing the museum's intent to "bring the museum into the world elite of modern art museums." The museum recently embarked on a similar collaboration that involved artist Olafur Eliasson, who designed "Your Rainbow Panorama."

Pixel Wall / HKU Department of Architecture

  • Architects: HKU Department of Architecture
  • Location: Tuen Mun Park, Hong Kong S.A.R.
  • Design Team: Abdul Yeung, Cheng Xiao Thomas, Guo Jia Jeff, Mao Yiqing Tim, Tiffany Leung of HKU Department of Architecture
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Abdul Yeung, Cheng Xiao Thomas, Guo Jia Jeff, Mao Yiqing Tim

© Cheng Xiao Thomas © Guo Jia Jeff © Cheng Xiao Thomas © Cheng Xiao Thomas

Video: Amanda Williams On Color(ed) Theory

In an effort to spark new ideas for "zero value landscapes," Amanda Williams has been painting abandoned houses in Chicago's South Side with a "palette of culturally coded, monochromatic colors" to "explore how academic and theoretical definitions of color map across veiled language used in American media/popular culture to describe racially charged city spaces... Think a female Gordon Matta-Clark parading around as a Black Josef Albers," says the artist. 

Watch the video above, commissioned by the Chicago Architecture Biennial and produced by Spirit of Space, to learn more.

North Vancouver House / Scott & Scott Architects

  • Architects: Scott & Scott Architects
  • Location: North Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Area: 150.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Scott & Scott Architects

Courtesy of Scott & Scott Architects Courtesy of Scott & Scott Architects Courtesy of Scott & Scott Architects Courtesy of Scott & Scott Architects