Just weeks ago the Danish architecture office BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) made it very, very big, unveiling their design for a new pyramid-shaped apartment tower in midtown Manhattan. So their first monograph, “Yes is More,” comes as a happy surprise. Unlike typical starchitect monographs, packed with stiff, self-congratulatory photographs, it’s a comic book that casts Bjarke Ingels, the office’s charismatic young leader, as a superhero who flies around the world designing buildings, calling upon his tireless staff of architects back home in Copenhagen for support.
It’s a saucy, surprising self-presentation. Most architects, especially successful ones, take themselves very seriously. The book’s title is a playful — and useful — inversion of modern architect Mies van der Rohe pronouncement, “Less is more.” It’s also a bright spot of optimism in the face of a troubled global economy that has devastated the construction and architecture industries. Bjarke Ingels, superhero, challenged by limited budgets, restrictive schedules, and demanding clients, nonetheless always finds a way to get things done.