Architecture, the pandemic and the future of design: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group,

Ulrik Jantzen,

Medical Emergency Covid19,

In only a few months, everything has changed completely. Even the world of architecture. In search of possible new scenarios, Floornature opens the discussion of a new approach to design for a time of public health emergency, publishing a series of interviews with architects all over the world.
How are the big studios organising their work, and what has been the impact of the current situation on smaller architectural practices?
What does it mean to design infrastructure, cultural centres and living spaces while avoiding social contact?
Might the resilience we seek in buildings also be applicable to the profession of architect?
Here are the architects’ responses, some in text form and others in videos, in the usual style of our portal.

Architecture, the pandemic and the future of design: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

Sheela Søgaard, CEO and Partner, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

1. How did your firm handle the lockdown?

2. What new forms of work are you experimenting with and how about the results?

“At its core, our business remains unchanged. We remain focused on producing and delivering for our clients on time and to a high quality. In terms of how we work, much has changed in that everything is now run remotely with a high reliance on digital competence and remote conferencing. With current tech-focused clients like Google, Terminus and others, we have already been integrating a lot of their digital tools for remote working and conferencing over the past years so our staff is very adept at this and as such we have maintained our productivity. From a medium- and long-term business perspective we are spending more time understanding clients’ outlook and their concerns and trying to adapt to these as well as looking for opportunities to take this inflection point we find ourselves in to think of new ways our profession can take a leadership position in shaping the values that will give form to our future.”

3. How do you think this experience will affect the future management of an architectural practice?

“We are learning a new way of working. One that perhaps will reduce our need for frequent travel. One that will teach us to be efficient remotely. We are learning new styles of management that depend on the ability to disperse assignments efficiently across team members and rely on their deliverables without as much supervision or guidance as normal. We are approaching this situation as an opportunity for growth of our leadership and BIGsters alike.”

Bjarke Ingels portrait by Ulrik Jantzen


Stay in touch with the protagonists of architecture, Subscribe to the Floornature Newsletter