Design Observer

About
Books
Job Board
Newsletters
Archive
Contact



Observatory

About
Resources
Submissions
Contact


Featured Writers

Michael Bierut
William Drenttel
John Foster
Jessica Helfand
Alexandra Lange
Mark Lamster
Paul Polak
Rick Poynor
John Thackara
Rob Walker


Departments

Advertisement
Audio
Books
Collections
Dear Bonnie
Dialogues
Essays
Events
Foster Column
From Our Archive
Gallery
Interviews
Miscellaneous
New Ideas
Opinions
Partner News
Photos
Poetry
Primary Sources
Projects
Report
Reviews
Slideshows
The Academy
Today Column
Unusual Suspects
Video


Topics

Advertising
Architecture
Art
Books
Branding
Business
Cities / Places
Community
Craft
Culture
Design History
Design Practice
Development
Disaster Relief
Ecology
Economy
Education
Energy
Environment
Fashion
Film / Video
Food/Agriculture
Geography
Global / Local
Graphic Design
Health / Safety
History
Housing
Ideas
Illustration
India
Industry
Info Design
Infrastructure
Interaction Design
Internet / Blogs
Journalism
Landscape
Literature
Magazines
Media
Museums
Music
Nature
Obituary
Other
Peace
Philanthropy
Photography
Planning
Poetry
Politics / Policy
Popular Culture
Poverty
Preservation
Product Design
Public / Private
Public Art
Religion
Reputations
Science
Shelter
Social Enterprise
Sports
Sustainability
Technology
Theory/Criticism
Transportation
TV / Radio
Typography
Urbanism
Water


Comments (5) Posted 07.12.11 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Mark Lamster

Bjarke Ingels Has Something to Sell




Bjarke Ingels is the golden retriever of contemporary architecture. He's adorable, he's full of energy, he always seems to be pushing up against your leg, begging you to toss his stick so he can show you what he can do. 

Ingels's relentless positivism is not just a personality trait, it's an operating philosophy. As I write in a review of his recent monograph, Yes Is More, for Ingels, "every problem is an opportunity, every constraint a solution in disguise.  Ingels’s particular gift is what management consultants call 'getting to yes.' ”

He's been getting there quite often of late, and the projects he would build seem to be ever more ambitious. I don't think we've seen an architect so committed to the megaproject since the late 1960s. He certainly has a sense of history, and his place in it: in the opening pages of the book, he positions himself at the end of a teleological sequence that moves from Mies to Venturi to Johnson to Koolhaas to Obama. It concludes with the image, of Ingels and his Chesire grin, you see above. 

Ingels is selling not just his own work, but his way of working in the world, a Koolhaasian conflation of pragmatism and idealism. It is proactive and empowering, and when delivered with his optimistic pitch, it is proving hard to resist.
|
Share This Story

Comments (5)   |   JUMP TO MOST RECENT COMMENT >>

This is what passes for acceptable writing on the DesignObserver blog? A promotional blurb for a half baked book?
Phil
07.12.11 at 04:27

Has anyone heard Rihanna? She's pretty great too! If we're just saying the names of stuff we like.
david
07.12.11 at 11:32

So architects are optimistic-positivists. Tell us something we don't know.

For example, tell us about how positivity can be harmful. Look at the corporate world. When hundreds of thousands of decent full-time jobs are cut or exported abroad, the unemployed are told "don't worry. this is a good thing. chin up. cheer up. only your positive attitude can get you out of this one. oh, and, no matter what you do, don't complain!"

What a great way to keep people down, and keep dissent off the table.
C. Tate
07.14.11 at 01:00

i am generally reluctant to respond to comments but suffice it for me to say here that the suggestion that i am some kind of lap-dog, blind enthusiast for bjarke ingels is ridiculous, and so much should be evident to anyone who takes the time to read the full review to which this piece is linked.

funny, i thought the comments here would berate me for being condescending.

sometimes you can't win for losing.
mark lamster
07.14.11 at 05:18

good to see a positive review of a positive architect, self proclaimed or not.
if you have the resources to put together a book about yourself, manifesto and product, why not. a well tried and trodden path.
extent of completed work on the ground maybe slight, so what. nothing new there.
positive ambition should be respected and enjoyed
jonathan
07.15.11 at 12:59


Design Observer encourages comments to be short and to the point; as a general rule, they should not run longer than the original post. Comments should show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.
Read Complete Comments Policy >>


Name             

Email address 




Please type the text shown in the graphic.


|
Share This Story



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Lamster is the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture. A contributing editor to Architectural Review, he is currently at work on his third book, a biography of the late architect Philip Johnson. Follow: @marklamster.
More Bio >>

DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS