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BIG's Latest Publication Formgiving Explores the Architecture of Turning Fiction into Fact

BIG's Latest Publication Formgiving Explores the Architecture of Turning Fiction into Fact

If we ever wonder what the future could look like, all we have to do is take a look into our past, and observe how far we have come since thousands, a hundred, or even ten years ago. Life was radically different back then and it will be just as different in the future. And since we are well aware that the future merely resembles the present, we have the possibility to shape our future the way we want to. TASCHEN's latest BIG book installment Formgiving. An Architectural Future History explores the past, present, and future, drawing a timeline of the built environment from taking shape to giving form.

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TASCHEN first collaborated with BIG architects to produce Yes is More. An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution, a comic manifesto of the architecture firm’s new concepts of architecture. The second publication Hot to Cold. An Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation, is a book which explores case studies of architectural adaptations in critical and extreme environments.

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Courtesy of BIG

Formgiving. An Architectural Future History, is the latest installment in TASCHEN's BIG trilogy. The book takes readers on an explorative look inside the innovative thought process of BIG and its monumental architectures. The monograph draws a timeline of how the world has taken shape from the earliest point in history, up until present times, and using that same trajectory, foreshadows what the future will look like. This installment tackles the development of intelligence, sustainability, migration, and architecture, to give form to the future world we want to live in.

As architects, we have the power of giving form, to go above and beyond what we have been asked to do and give the world a gift that makes the world more of how we wish it to be. -- excerpt from Formgiving

The book starts with a quote by William Gibson stating that "The future is already here, it's not just very evenly distributed". Following Gibson's words, the monograph explores how we can already shape the future based on an observation of our past. In other words, we know what the future will look like -  we have the power to give form to the future, and using this power, rather than allowing the future to take shape on its own, is very crucial as our impact on the planet continues to pose challenges on all living beings. 

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Courtesy of Rasmus Hjortshøj / BIG

To visualize how the world has evolved since our ancestors, the book is divided into a timeline that describes the past, present, and future. The book talks about the past through 6 action verbs: making, sensing, sustaining, thinking, healing, and moving, the present through keywords that define BIG's projects: The Oxymoron, The X-RAY, The Response, Reincarnation, The Z-Axis, The Symbiote, Productization, Biophilia, Collective Intimacy, and Mindpool, and as for the future, the book explores life in outer space with chapters about: The Moon, Mars, and The Earth. Each fragment in time is complimented is with projects from BIG's portfolio that further explore its designated timeline. 

To explore the notion of the gift as the proactive power of architecture, we have organized our work according to the gifts that they give. To their users. To their neighborhood. To the city. To the landscape. To the environment. To the world. And to the future. -- excerpt from Formgiving 

The past begins with a decelerating timeline that counts down from the Big Bang, up until the present day. One of the most prominent keywords throughout the entire monograph is evolution; the evolution of matter, the evolution of sensing, thinking, moving, etc. All six action verbs included in the Past chapter, and how they have evolved, allow us to form a thread between the past, the present, and the future. These action verbs are seen as trajectories in the monograph, allowing us to "place a firm gaze on the horizon of time to prevent us from being derailed by the random distractions of today". 

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Courtesy of TASCHEN

Architecture defines spaces that become fragments of the future in the making. As the book's timeline reaches the present, the reader is met with a selection of projects built by BIG across the world. These built projects were once 3D models, sketches, and drawings all laid across the studio's four offices in Copenhagen, London, Barcelona, and New York. Before they were transformed from imagination to reality, they were fragments of what was considered back then the future. The models and sketches being created today are the future-in-making - not definitely, but potentially.

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Courtesy of TASCHEN

As for the future, the book explores life beyond our current boundaries with a vision towards life in outer space. The final chapter analyzes geographical, physiological, and environmental aspects of the moon, Mars, and the Earth, and proposes means of shifting our built environment onto extraterrestrial bodies, or how we can sustain life on our planet. Bjarke Ingels Group is no stranger to architectural proposals outside our planet. In a recent TED talk, Bjarke Ingels introduced the Mars Science City project. The $140 Million USD research city aims to serve as a “viable and realistic model” for the simulation of human occupation of the Martian landscape.

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© Dubai Media Office
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Courtesy of TASCHEN

Although we can't predict the exact state of the next decade, we can propose how we envision it, which becomes a first step into the shaping of our future. Formgiving explains that regardless of how limited or minimal our impact may seem, an effort by one individual adds up to 8 billion collective impacts, which will then make a definite difference. With that in mind, our future is the manifestation of today, and we are its architects, so how do we design our future? 

Formgiving. An Architectural Future History is available with ArchDaily's referral code: ?tag=arch05-20

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Cite: Dima Stouhi. "BIG's Latest Publication Formgiving Explores the Architecture of Turning Fiction into Fact" 07 Jul 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/964600/bigs-latest-publication-formgiving-explores-the-architecture-of-turning-fiction-into-fact> ISSN 0719-8884
Courtesy of BIG

BIG 新书《Formgiving》,未来建筑构想

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