Theory meets pragmatism meets optimism in Bjarke Ingels' architecture. His big-think approach is informed by a hands-on, ground-up understanding of the needs of a building's occupants and surroundings.

Why you should listen

Bjarke Ingels is principal of BIG, based in Copenhagen. An alumnus of Rem Koolhaas' OMA practice, Ingels takes a similar approach: 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. His most famous works include: the Stavanger Concert House, Tallinn’s city hall and the VM Houses. He recently won a competition to design Copenhagen’s waste-to-energy plant with a design that will place a ski slope on top of the structure.

What others say

“We come under the impression that clash of opposites doesn't bother you. On the contrary, you like to compromise them.” — WhATA.org interview with Bjarke Ingels

Bjarke Ingels’ TED talks

More news and ideas from Bjarke Ingels

In Brief

Wireless advances in treating spinal cord damage, morphing wings for aircraft, and the world’s tallest tropical trees

November 22, 2016

Just a few of the intriguing headlines involving members of the TED community this week: Advances in treating spinal cord damage. In Nature, Grégoire Courtine and a team of scientists announced that they had successfully used a wireless brain-spine interface to help monkeys with spinal cord damage paralyzing one leg regain the ability to walk. […]

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TEDxNASA and TEDxAmsterdam stream live tomorrow!

November 19, 2009

Tomorrow, Friday November 20th, two of our most exciting TEDx events so far will be streamed live. TEDxNASA was organized by NASA’s Langley Research Center and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA). It’s a full day of talks on science, technology, entertainment and the arts. Speakers include author Mitch Albom, experimental artist Chakaia Booker innovation […]

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Architecture

Q&A with Bjarke Ingels: On architectural alchemy

October 30, 2009

The TED Blog caught up with Bjarke Ingels several weeks after he gave his TEDTalk at TEDGlobal 2009. How have the reactions been to your talk? Well, in the comments on the website, there’s been a lot of meticulous debate about whether or not you can actually see the Great Wall of China from the […]

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