Most of the architects that K-12 students encounter in the school curriculum are older or have already passed away. Few architects gain recognition and establish their reputations at a young age. This sometimes makes it difficult for students to identify with architecture as something in which they might be interested. Bjarke Ingels is a young architect who might be of interest to high school students.
Bjarke Ingels (left) is the head of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), based in Copenhagen. He is one of the youngest heads of an architectural firm to be getting international attention and is involved in some very inspiring projects (right).
An alumnus of the famous Rem Koolhaas' OMA practice, Ingels takes a similar approach as that of his mentor: experimenting with pure space, but never losing sight of the building as a solution to a real-world problem. His manifesto "Yes Is More" takes the form of a giant cartoon strip, 130 meters long, that reminds people to keep thinking big -- to see all our modern problems as challenges that inspire us. (The manifesto is now available in comic-book form.)
His deeply-thought-out and often rather large works, including several skyscrapers and mixed-use projects in a developing section of Copenhagen, plus a project for a new commercial harbor-island, work to bring coherence to the urban fabric and to help their occupants and users lead better lives. He designed the Danish Pavilion for Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The pavilion's design included provisions for 1,500 bikes that Expo visitors could borrow.
Click on the heading above to see Bjarke Ingels' presentation at a TED conference and consider showing it to your students. Click on the pictures above to see larger versions.