Prehype, a venture development firm, has released its latest in a series of podcasts by partner Henrik Werdelin, featuring Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. Having worked with Prehype on investments into tech development, Bjarke Ingels discusses his experiences and perspectives on the industry, drawing parallels between entrepreneurship, tech development and architecture.
Beginning the interview, Ingels describes the cross-pollination of start-ups and tech developments and architecture. Especially recently, tech and web design have crossed heavily into a dialogue of “building” – that is to say, the architecture of hardware and software.
“In many ways they are doing the same things – solving problems. Architecture is the art and science of creating the framework for the life we want to live. It’s not the goal, it’s the means. The goal is life, to maximize the possibility for enjoyment of life in all aspects,” says Ingels in the podcast.
He continues to draw parallels, as well as some distinctions. When asked about his recent ventures into angel investing, he brings up the crucial difference between architecture and tech development, and what is missing in architecture that draws him to investing in tech start-ups.
“Even if we have the best building in the world, once it’s designed and built, then it’s done…Our work is done when we hand over the keys to the new owners, but that’s when the life of the building begins. In your world, your work has almost just begun when you launch the app or the product,” he says, “Then it begins growing, and maybe failing and you have to change or tweak it. But buildings stand forever. For a lot of people that’s the draw of architecture, but for architects they let it go as soon as they hand over the key and everyone else gets to enjoy it. If my entire career has been dedicated to creating the framework for life, these businesses are about how we inhabit those frameworks.”
However, Ingels goes on to consider the role of tech in the physical world: “There’s currently a convergence between the architecture of the physical and tech worlds. A lot of the now multi-billion dollar companies are all about organizing the virtual world, whereas more recent giants like Uber and AirBNB are more linked in the physical world. Suddenly tech starts invading the physical world.”
Listen to the whole conversation, including forays into climate-adaptive design, recent innovations in the industry of architecture, and how an entrepreneurial mindset has shaped the design of BIG’s recent Google building, here.