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Formgiving by BIG – The Future is already here

Mandana Bender

Bjarke Ingels Group has published the book “Formgiving” that take a visionary look onto the architecture throughout the course of time. A review.




The BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group has published a new book which has no less goal than to take a visionary look onto the architecture throughout the course of time.

The word “formgivning” means “design” in Danish – the home of star architect Bjarke Ingels. But if you translate it literally, it means “to give form to that which does not yet have form” – in other words, to think into the future. Architecture plays an outstanding and important role in this matter, because it can be used for designing how we want to live and work in the world of tomorrow.

Formgiving – Past, Present, Future

In “Formgiving – an Architectural Future History”, the third part of a trilogy of books by the BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (“Yes is More – An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution” and “Hot to Cold – an Odyseey of Architectural Adaption”), one can view projects personally selected by the star architect over 700 pages, using a textbook-like structure divided into the sections Past, Present and Future: Each is further structured around six major themes – Making, Feeling, Sustaining, Thinking, Healing, Moving – which are explained in the first part of the book, “Past”, and represent, so to speak, the “Big Bang” of architecture. However, they are also representing concepts which, according to BIG, should apply to the architecture of the future.

The book is also a catalogue for the exhibition of the same name, which had its first stop at the Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen between summer 2019 and winter 2020 and is to be presented at other locations. The concept of the book corresponds to the three major chapters of the exhibition: Past, Present and Future.

Sustainable and seemingly effortless Projects

The projects are presented in the main part of the book (Present): From the innovative project Copenhill to the colourful LEGO House to residential buildings like the Klein House in the USA or the conversion of a World War II bunker into the contemplative Tirpiz Museum (Denmark) to future projects such as the Vertical Oases in the Observation Tower in Dubai, which is still under construction, or visions such as the City of New Hope, a possible city on the moon, one gains an insight into Bjarke Ingels’ ideas and thoughts to become inspired for sustainable and at the same seemingly effortless projects.

The architect is a master in overcoming boundaries: he creates innovative yet sustainable architecture that enables people to live and work in a new and modern way. In Formgiving, developments and projects are presented that reach up to fifty years into the future, often of fantastic and imaginary proportions, but pragmatically implemented by BIG to create the world of tomorrow.

Insight into the universe and the way BIG thinks

In addition to previously unpublished essays by Bjarke Ingels, Formgiving includes photographs by renowned (architectural) photographers such as Laurian Ghinitoiu, Iwan Baan and Rasmus Hjortshøj. There are also images of Lego models from BIG’s projects that were on display in the exhibition and the Masterplanet project – the collective master plan for global crowdsourcing. Formgiving is thus a comprehensive and exciting insight into the universe and the way BIG thinks.

You can find the book to order here.

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City of New Hope axonometric by BIG. The City of New Hope is a vision for a long-term human outpost on the moon anchored in commercial activities for Earth and space-oriented satellites, science, quantum computing, mining, and tourism. © BIG