Quote for the Week – Make your work look effortless – 3 April 17

Let’s start the week with a little inspiration from a young talent. Bjarke Ingels, is a an optimistic Danish architect. He has reached great heights in his industry for his 42 years. These have not come without many battles, rejection and knock backs. Thankfully there have been some revolutionaries willing to back his crazy concepts. Now he is at the top of his game.

He was inspired by comics, the environment and many impossibilities. He reinvents spaces that no one saw potential in and only now the rest of the world is starting to understand.

He believes the future can be great, and that we can exist in our new environments by contributing and enhancing their elements. He believes that building a giant ski slope on power plant is a is a positive step for everyone.  He believes that our future living spaces can be sustainable and fun at the same time.

“There’s something magical about architecture, about making the world a little more like your dream, about taking things that are ideas but manifesting them into physical reality.”

“When architecture is at its best that’s what you’re doing, you’re coming up with something that is pure fiction.”

And it all started with drawing…

I was always really good at drawing, so I thought I was going to become a cartoonist. When I graduated from high school, there was no cartoon academy. So I enrolled in the Royal Danish Academy’s school of architecture. Education is free in Denmark, so you can be a little more frivolous about your choices. I had always been drawing people in action or people in helicopters or explosions, not so much buildings or landscapes. So I thought I would spend two years getting better at backgrounds, and then I could really make an amazing comic book. But somehow I got sidetracked into architecture.

He often refers to graphic novels and uses them as an example to illustrate the creation of an idea. “They create the framework for narratives using images — you create a structural framework that allows a narrative to unfold. Architecture is the art of creating the framework for life. The more exciting the framework, the more amazing the narratives you can create.”

Apart from his tenacious enthusiasm, it is the hard work behind it all that impresses me the most. I love those creative folks who are always biting off more they can chew, and then chew like hell.

Never shall they go down without a fit! And it is this reality check, this practice of ‘Yes is more’ that I admire the most about Mr Ingels. His philosophy toward the end product is what I believe we, as artists are all striving for:

“The final product or solution should feel natural and effortless;

Prepare for criticism if … Yes, there is hard work and a lot of effort that goes into the work, but in the end, it should look and feel so simple.“

As a practicing artist this is what we all want to achieve…when you look at your finished pieces they should look effortless. Just like a Kandinsky work, every time you look at it looks fresh and immediate.

That should be easy right? No we all know it’s a life long practice. If we are truthful we are ok if it isn’t easy be easy, we just want it to be good, really, really good!

And Bjarke Ingels is that and more. If only we had him come visit our rebuilding Sydney venture we might just be a little more excited about the next reinvention of our city scape. We might even look forward to the innovation it may provide? Of course this all needs someone to promote some positive marketing about the venture and not just a ‘be patient we’re making it less worse than now’ attitude. Time will tell.

Bjarke Ingels makes us feel the future of design can be an exciting and innovative one. A world that will make us all feel like super heroes in our own movie. I am thinking that maybe I should be turning my art apron into my superhero cape? Every time I enter the studio, I have to work hard, really hard so that the outcome will look effortless!

Click here to check out on of Bjarke Ingels TED Talks 

See the trailer for the episode on Bjarke Ingels in the Netflix original documentary series, Abstract: The Art of Design. This is a fantastic 8 part series focused on today’s most creative thinkers and imaginative minds working in the world of art and design. Check out the trailer for the episode on Bjarke Ingels. 



The Danish Expo pavilion 2010


The Mountain

Bjarke Ingels


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