video lecture : bjarke ingels in vancouver

professor stephen toope (introduction to ian gillespie) :

ian gillespie :

00:47 “…we could have filled chan centre numerous times that night. it was really rewarding for me that people cared that much about vancouver and about the built environment in vancouver.

04:30 “architecture has the ability to solve many of the problems that we face: the issues of sustainability; the issues of affordability; the issues of growing a strong, vibrant, creative economy;”

professor leslie van duzer (introduction to bjarke ingels)  :

bjarke ingels :

01:49 paraphrasing william gibson “essentially what we are doing now will define our future. the things we surround ourselves with will define our future.”

03:28 “and i think that really gives us a realization also in architecture that we don’t have to look to astrology or complicated french philosophy or whatever architects have to find in order to complicate things, life already super-interesting and even in the practicalities of everyday life is all of the potential to create something meaningful and something poetic.”

michael green interviews bjarke ingels :

the question : if you were the chef architect of vancouver, what would your top priority be? 4 top themes: design culture, the future, issues of public space and challenges with the rules creating obstacles to great work.

04:36 bjarke “architecture is often misconceived as an elitist activity designed by architects for other architects and also the way we speak about it is often untransparent or nebulous. I think architecture is way too important to be just the concern of architects ’cause it is really the continuous and collective activity of trying to make our cities and buildings fit better with the way we want to live our lives.”

05:55 bjarke “architecture is not just a beauty contest but a question of making this more lively and more interesting city with more possibilities.”

10:18 bjarke “we can actually put forward ideas that really manifest and materializes the vision of our collective concerns and demands and desires; and through the power of ideas, we can actually get influence on where the world is going, even though we can neither pay for it nor decide it.”

14:12 steven cox “we need to begin by acknowledging the fact that we are at a place right now where the general population have a serious mistrust of the people that are generating the built environment that they live within, and i think that is a really serious problem that we need to address.”  15:17 “the only conversation that is going on right now in vancouver is a sales conversation … and we need to establish a conversation which is about why architecture is important, why development is important, why public space is important, and it’s not so much about granite countertops of my view. ”

25:04 bjarke “…all pollution is essentially an infinite resource we have not yet found the benefit of.” micheal “…this issue of durability and the tendency that we have started to create a disposable culture of building and that we haven’t changed that perspective that we were building for that 20 year term and i think you could largely suggest that as architects, we have that legacy mind and we think of our projects in terms of centuries … as opposed to perhaps shorter return of selling off condo and looking at a short term return…” bjarke “if you do great work and design great spaces, people are going to love them, and they are actually going to care for them and they’ll last. i was speaking with cbc in the break and they asked ‘all this sustainable stuff it’s gotta be very expensive, how can you pay for this sustainable stuff’ and i just told them that a friend of mine from sweden gave me a t-shirt that says ‘if you think good architecture is expensive, then try bad architecture’.”

28:20 omer arbel “we aspire to be the greenest city in the world, most of new construction that occurs here is built to last at most 30 years. that’s a disaster because the resources required to demolish and rebuild any building far outweigh any kind of green strategy that we can employ in constructing the building in the first place, so LEED and any kind of legislative or regulatory frameworks are actually meaningless.”

22:28 richard henriquez “many city policies discourage the creation of beautiful buildings primarily because as densities increase, these is not a proportional increase in the permitted building envelope. … in order for there to be a superb architectural response to any particular building program, flexibility is required in the permitted form of development.”

24:58 richard henriquez “…the envelope that we end up with is simply too tight and if you add the view cones on top of that, you end up with a situation where there is absolutely no choice of the form of development : you can’t respond to specific policies the city may have for creating extra density, for social housing, you can’t create public open space at grade, you can’t respond properly to neighbors because you are too close and consequently, i think we need to go and revisit how zoning entitlements are given find ways of giving bigger envelopes more flexibilities and i think in that way we will probably end up with better architecture.”

final words from bjarke ingels:

enforce the spirit – not the letter of the code

focus on the big public picture – and allow freedom in the little personal details

reward the careful – awaken the careless

welcome extraordinary projects – when they come with extraordinary ambition and commitment


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