Top Quotes from Bjarke Ingels

In the big picture, architecture is the art and science of making sure that our cities and buildings fit with the way we want to live our lives.

Bjarke Ingels

Our cities are not polluted or congested because they have to be. They are what they are because that’s how we made them.

Bjarke Ingels

The one thing all humans share is that we all inhabit the same limited amount of real estate, which is Planet Earth.

Bjarke Ingels

Sustainability can’t be like some sort of a moral sacrifice or political dilemma or a philanthropical cause. It has to be a design challenge.

Bjarke Ingels

Design our world so that we have positive social and environmental side effects.

Bjarke Ingels

I believe that architecture, as anything else in life, is evolutionary. Ideas evolve; they don’t come from outer space and crash into the drawing board.

Bjarke Ingels

A kid in Minecraft can build a world and inhabit it through play. We have the possibility to build the world that we want to inhabit.

Bjarke Ingels

St. Petersburg is a wonderful city. You have wonderful parks, birds singing in the trees, manatees in the water, pelicans. So it’s like this little paradise on Earth.

Bjarke Ingels

Instead of trying to change people, we could change the world.

Bjarke Ingels

All evidence shows that we are actually getting smarter. Roughly we are getting 10 IQ points smarter every decade. The speed of innovation is also faster.

Bjarke Ingels

The fact that something is actually understandable and relatable doesn’t mean that it’s unsophisticated or banal. It just means that it’s crystal-clear. And if you can’t explain it, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s so brilliant that ordinary mortals can’t fathom it. It might just mean that it makes no sense.

Bjarke Ingels

In the traditional modernist planning that created the suburbs, you put residential buildings in suburban neighborhoods, office spaces into brain parks and retail in shopping malls. But you fail to exploit the possibility of symbiosis or synthesis that way.

Bjarke Ingels

For me, architecture is the means, not the end. It’s a means of making different life forms possible.

Bjarke Ingels

I think the avant-garde often hides itself in the highly incomprehensible because they are frustrated that the real world is so boring.

Bjarke Ingels

If you are not able to transmit what you’re trying to achieve to your collaborators, you will only have minions – or morons.

Bjarke Ingels

If I was misogynist, would I hire a woman as my CEO? Probably not. I grew up in Denmark, for crying out loud. Denmark is probably one of the places where equality is actually fully achieved. Our political system is practically a matriarchy.

Bjarke Ingels

Architecture is restricted to such a limited vocabulary. A building is either a high-rise or a perimeter block or a town house.

Bjarke Ingels

I really focus on the ball, I really focus on the work, and I really focus on creating all the growth opportunities for anyone in the organisation that’s willing to do it.

Bjarke Ingels

I think architecture is rarely the product of a single ideology. It’s more like it can be shaped by a really big idea. It can accommodate a lot of life forms.

Bjarke Ingels

I don’t have to come up with the best idea. It is my job to make sure that it is always the best idea that wins.

Bjarke Ingels

When I started studying architecture, people would say, you know, ‘Can you tell me why are all modern buildings so boring?’ Because, like, people had this idea that in the good old days, architecture had, like, ornament and little towers and spires and gargoyles, and today, it just becomes very practical.

Bjarke Ingels

It’s legendary how architectural lectures can be incredibly boring.

Bjarke Ingels

Maybe our work appeals to some people more than others. But the opportunities that I present to my colleagues are completely uninfluenced by gender, race, sexual orientation, or religion.

Bjarke Ingels

People outside the profession of architecture perhaps often lack the understanding of how their physical environment comes into being. What are the processes, the concerns and considerations? What are the parameters that shape the world around them?

Bjarke Ingels

You can say, like, planet Earth has an existing geology, and what we do as human beings and as architects is that we try to sort of alter and modify and expand the geology.

Bjarke Ingels

Something like ‘Abstract’ can really give people access to the behind-the-scenes of how our physical surroundings take shape.

Bjarke Ingels

Architects have to become designers of eco-systems. Not just designers of beautiful facades or beautiful sculptures, but systems of economy and ecology, where we channel the flow not only of people, but also the flow of resources through our cities and buildings.

Bjarke Ingels

In Copenhagen, there’s a long-term commitment to creating a well-functioning pedestrian city where all forms of movement – pedestrian, bicycles, cars, public transportation – are accommodated with equal priority.

Bjarke Ingels

New York is flat – it’s ideal for bicycling.

Bjarke Ingels

All comic books take place in built environments, and I was very good at drawing people and animals, and stuff like that, but I hadn’t spent much energy drawing buildings. So I thought, maybe I could, and then I became an architect.

Bjarke Ingels

I almost never listen to the radio.

Bjarke Ingels

My drawing skills probably froze around when I was 18… Now I’m more interested in the story, how the drawings, the layout can help express the stories and communicate them.

Bjarke Ingels

I think the biggest backhanded criticism-compliment I get is that I’m ‘good at communicating.’ Which implies that you’re bad at doing.

Bjarke Ingels

When I moved to America, everybody was asking, ‘Why the hell are you going to America? It’s over; you should be going east.’ But it turned out our timing was miraculous.

Bjarke Ingels

I wanted to be a cartoonist, but there was no cartoon academy. So I enrolled in the Royal Danish Art Academy School of Architecture. But then I really got smitten by architecture.

Bjarke Ingels

I think if I would have started BIG in America, I would probably never have called it BIG. There was nothing but a little bit of local small country humor in the idea.

Bjarke Ingels

I love computer programmers. They have a very beautiful definition of complexity as ‘the capacity to transmit the maximum information with the minimum data’.

Bjarke Ingels

Silicon Valley has been this global engine of innovation and economic growth over the last few decades, but a tidal wave of innovation that has been focused very much in the digital realm.

Bjarke Ingels

The ‘International Style of Modernism’ came with the advent of building services. In the end, the architecture became like a container space, essentially like a boring box with a basement full of machinery to make it inhabitable. As a result, buildings literally started to look identical all over the planet.

Bjarke Ingels

Today, we have sophisticated building technology: we can calculate and simulate the environments and performance of the building, the thermal exposure of envelop, or the air flow through an urban space or structure.

Bjarke Ingels

We can engineer a building and design a building with least reliance on active machinery to make it inhabitable.

Bjarke Ingels

One of the dilemmas of architecture in general is that there is a Catch-22 – you can’t actually get to be commissioned to do certain types of building until you’ve already built that type of building. So it seems to be incredibly hard to get going.

Bjarke Ingels