“If documentary is to document our world as it already is, fiction is to fantasize about how it could be,” says architect Bjarke Ingels in a video that examines how new and seemingly surreal design concepts can and should become architectural standards. In much the same way that our favorite works of fiction have the ability to transport us to those fantastical places that lie just beyond the curtain of dreams, or even reintroduce the familiar as something renewed, magical and mysterious, so too does architecture.

Ingels envisions his chosen discipline outside of cold numerical values and measurements, rather seeing it as “the fiction of the real world,” and “the canvas for the stories of our lives.” His aim is to create “promiscuous hybrids” that will turn our most daring design visions into concrete realities.

Ingels believes that architecture should never force the world to choose one benefit at the expense of foregoing another. Thus, “promiscuous hybrids” combine the best elements of technology, futurism, eco-consciousness, aesthetic beauty, simplified living and more. For instance, Ingels proposes a clean energy plant in Copenhagen which will be wrapped in a mountain-like structure and double as a ski slope. Because the city lacks actual mountains but has snow, and any waste excreted from the plant will be non-toxic, Ingels further proposes designing a chimney to expel impish-looking steam rings. In addition to being a lighthearted way of relieving the plant’s steam, he says it will also create the effect of having a fresh mountain breeze on the pseudo mountain top. 

Ingels also references immersive virtual worlds like Minecraft where delineation between fantasy and reality does not exist, and anything one conceptualizes can be made. According to him, our physical world isn’t so different: If we apply the same principles found in virtual reality to architecture, we can eventually shape a similar way of living; and this vision is something he calls “worldcraft.” It’s a playful, future-facing and achingly poetic way of seeing our world, and it’s certainly something we’d like to see realized.

  • Source: Arch Daily
Words by Stephanie Smith-Strickland
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