Rhiannon’s Design Icon – Bjarke Ingels

The design team at Paramount are constantly looking at the latest workplace design trends and keeping up to date with the architects and interior designers creating innovative, inspirational working environments.

As part of our Design Icons series, we ask members of the Paramount team to tell whose work they admire in the design world.

Having shared her own thoughts on the office design trends of collaboration and homely design, we asked our Project Designer Rhiannon to tell us more about her design icon; Bjarke Ingels.

Photo by Steve Benisty. Source: Smithsonian

An inspirational innovator

There are a ton of leading pioneers out there that I could choose to talk about. 

You’ve got the classic top dogs such as Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Or perhaps even the extraordinary Zaha Hadid

They are all innovative inventors but today, I’m going to focus on Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels. 

I actually know little on the man but from what I’ve come across in the past, it’s been pretty incredible.

Photo by Julian Love. Source: Wired

Thinking BIG

Bjarke Ingels is the founding partner of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), a national architectural corporation based in Copenhagen, New York and London. 

He has taught at Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, and Rice University and is an honorary professor at the Royal Academy of Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen.

Relatively young to have garnered ‘star’ status in the architecture world, he was born in 1974, Ingels has created some truly inspiring projects since BIG launched in 2005 and was named Innovator of the Year for Architecture by the Wall Street Journal.

In 2016, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential People.

Renowned as someone who pushes the boundaries of architecture, his first published book was actually a graphic novel; “Yes is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution”.

Source: Taschen

He has also appeared in a movie about parkour and in 2014 released a video introducing his concept of using video games like Minecraft to inspire architecture that turns "surreal dreams into inhabitable space".

Here are a few of his creations.

The LEGO House

Source: Time Magazine

Opened in 2017, the LEGO House is a tourist attraction, exhibition space, café and LEGO store.

Created to look like a pile of building-sized versions of the famous building brick, it even has its own LEGO set so that you can build a mini version of the house.

WeGrow School

Photo by Dave Burk

We’ve already looked at how the design of classrooms can inspire office design and BIG designed a stunning micro school in New York.

The WeGrow project opened in 2018 and challenged the established education system with an environment where children could learn through discovery and socialising.

Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet

Based in Le Brassus, Switzerland, this pavilion is currently under construction for Audemars Piguet, a family-run watchmaking business, and will celebrate the art and science of watchmaking.

As stated by BIG, the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet, “must be rooted to the heritage of watchmaking in La Vallee de Joux, which goes back centuries and is nested in the nature and culture of the place and the people of the valley.”

I particularly like the fact that the structure emerges from the ground as if it grew there, making a striking combination of old and new alongside the traditional buildings.

A BIG impact on workplace design

The work of BIG is meaningful and thought-provoking, with the client’s culture and ethos at the heart of the design. 

Source: BIG

As well as being innovative and futuristic, the proposals are carefully designed. 

I believe this is something that all designers should consider – each project is personal to the client and were set out to meet each requirement.

However, it is also crucial that designers provide the necessary guidance and assist the client along the way.

Personally, I think it’s about getting the balance right between the client’s desires and the practicality and functionality of the space.

I recommend to anyone, not just designers, to take a browse through the work of BIG. It’s definitely worth a look.

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