Social Infrastructure

Bjarke Ingels
Founding Partner
Bjarke Ingels Group, New York City



With the rise of technological solutions, the practice of architecture is often divorced from the cultural, social, and environmental contexts where we build. Buildings have become closed systems, connected to life-support machinery that compensates for the design principles we have forgotten over time. This is particularly true of tall buildings, especially since the rise of the International Style in the middle of the 20th Century. We have much to “re-learn” from vernacular architecture in the regions where we work, but we must also put our latest technological advances to work in realizing these principles. This presentation articulates a vision for a world in which tall buildings can be “engineered without engines.” It is a call for architects to return to a more central, yet more collaborative role with engineers, rather than let the content of their buildings be driven by engineering standards’ conflict with arbitrary shapes.

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