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Yes Is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution (Anglais) Broché – 13 novembre 2009

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Yes is more is the title of an exhibition and a book presenting B.I.G. in solo format for the first time in Denmark at the Danish architecture centre. Unlike a classic architectural monograph, this book is more of a popular cultural manifesto, which is also literally the first actual documentation of B.I.G.'s trailblazing practice. As the book demonstrates, this is a practice where method, processes, instruments and the approach to the concept of architecture is precisely as wild, unfettered and result-producing as the world it is part of and greets with an unqualified Yes. Bjarke Ingels attracts highly talented co-workers, but also gifted and ambitious clients from all over the world. He does so because his own talent is above all to swiftly create intelligent synergies out of indomitable `movements`, wild energies and unforeseen dynamics and transform them into hitherto unseen, surprising, functional, valuable and beautiful solutions to the specific and complex challenges in each task. The results of B.I.G.'s practice has already won awards from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the prize for `The World's Best Housing Project`, `Best Building in the Nordic Countries` as well as many other international kudos.The project and the title Yes is more is a double-edged wordplay on the dogma in modern architecture that `less is more`. Less is only more as far as dimensions go - the ability to encompass as many dimensions as possible (more) with as few expenses as possible (less). As a design parameter for an aesthetic retro minimalism this only amounts to idiosyncratic architectural idiocy.

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Amazon.com: 49 commentaires
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"YES! YES! MORE! MORE" 27 mai 2011
Par misfitsarchitecture - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
When shouting in italics isn't enough for this breathless, excitable book, it boldly screams. And when that's insufficient, it underlines it as well - and in red. It quickly becomes tiring. Every idea is WHAT WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR! No point left unexclaimed.

As a character in a book, Bjarke Ingels is best when he's bigging-up himself. He does that bigtime. He's not the first architect to make great claims for his buildings and won't be the last but, just because "YES IS MORE" is a comic, we shouldn't assume it's all true. Or that it's a simple book designed to efficiently entertain and inform us.

Once past the cover page, we have foreplay as foreword. A double-page spread of Ludwig Mies speech-bubbling "Less is more" is followed by Robert Venturi with "Less is a bore", Philip Johnson with "I'm a whore", a shout-out to Remment Koolhaas ("more and more, more is more"), a nod to Barack Obama ("Yes we can!") and, finally, B.I. bringing this false sequence to the false conclusion of "Yes is more". This is no simple book. In the credits, B.I. is credited with "Text". Whether this is for writing, dictating, or approving the text we don't know, but between that text and us are three translators and eleven (!) text "editors". We can be sure that every image and word has been crafted and calculated to create the impression of sincerity. Enjoyably audacious visual puns and cheesy verbal ones strike the right tone between intelligence and informality. Too clever by half, this book is a sophisticated and hard-nosed marketing tool for a successful architecture and publicity machine. It is wrong to dismiss it.

Although this review is a book review and not an architectural one, with BIG, it's impossible to completely divorce the two as both buildings and book are exercises in brand-building. Nevertheless. Although some might see it as a plus, the comic book conceit leaves no place for plans or sections that make demands upon the reader by requiring curiosity and skill to interpret. Instead, relentless commentary not only tells you what to think about a model or a graphic, but how brilliant it is as well. B.I never lets you get a word in edgeways, let alone a question.

The book claims to present the complexities behind the designing of buildings in a simple and accessible fashion but book format forces a chronological sequence onto it and the comic book conceit adds a tempo to that. The messy process of designing buildings become linear and compressed. Those lines are direct, wrong choices never made, alternatives rarely explored, and fruitless paths only documented if it leads to a "WE SUDDENLY REALIZED THAT..." breakthrough moment before a happy ending. Despite pitfalls that are always overcome, the sequence of one inventive step after another invariably leads to THE SOLUTION! In true comic format, the hero always wins, even if sometimes it's only a pseudo-moral victory against villainous clients unforgivably lacking in vision and money.

But, for architects, disingenuous-ness is par for the course. If you believed Le Corbusier, for example, you'd think he invented concrete columns and slabs. If you believe the commentary for "Bureaucratic Beauty" on pages 128-135, you'd think BIG invented the use of daylight setbacks to maximize floor area and, in the process, sculpt the upper floors of buildings. This is presented in reverse, with the funny roofline being the raison d'etre and - quelle surprise - "THE CLIENT LIKED THE INCREASED NUMBER OF SQUARE METERS!" Fact: Entire neighborhoods in Tokyo have been shaped like this for decades, and for the same reasons. Never ever trust anything an architect says.

All you really need to know about BIG's USP-cum-architectural stance is contained in a 600-word essay upfront. Titled "Yes Is More! A Theory of Evolution", it's illustrated by Charles Darwin bubbling "it is not the strongest of the species that survives but the one most adaptable to change". For architects, there is a lot of truth in that. It was the end of the line for Louis Sullivan, for example, when he failed to understand that the owners of department stores and office buildings didn't want to waste money on ornament, no matter how "organic" he said it was. Just like every contemporary starchitect, BIG have correctly concluded that the only clients these days with the money, the land and the desire to build are rich rulers and property developers.

So why did BIG create an "archi-comic" for people like us, unlikely to commission them? It goes like this. "YES!" and "MORE!" are two things rich rulers and property developers love to hear. Rich rulers and property developers aren't known for their architectural judgment. All that rich rulers and property developers want architects to do is to create an image that generates some MEDIA NOISE and sprinkles the FAIRYDUST OF FAME on their pet project or country. When the time comes for them to choose an architect, all they ask is "Who's big right now?" This book targeted at you, my friends, is part of that process.
19 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A good start 9 décembre 2009
Par I. Schopa - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The author begins this book by telling the reader that he wishes to communicate not just the main ideas and processes his office takes when developing a project, but also the little side stories that often get left out. In this regard, the book is a success. It is filled with entertaining and insightful facts that helped to shape some really interesting projects.

Where the book disappoints a little is in it's use of the graphic novel format. For me, the strengths of graphic novels lie in their ability to tell stories with minimal text. Here, many of the images are photographs and detailed renderings. Some of these do a good job of telling a story. Others are either too elaborate, or require excessive text to explain them. Another problem is that there is only one character: Bjarke Ingalls. While he always has something interesting to say, it could have been interesting to have, perhaps, an antagonist. Finally, the chapters are quite brief. Each chapter tells the story of the development of a specific project, but they usually end before they really get started. I would have favored longer chapters, even if they came at the expense of a few projects.

Despite a few shortcomings, I think the book will definitely be of interest to anyone who wants to learn more about this exciting office. But for architects it is a bit lacking in detail.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great for concepts and diagrams 23 octobre 2011
Par tavodu - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I have been following Bjarke Ingel's work for a few years now and I think he does a great job both with his designs and selling the B.I.G. brand to the world. This book is fun and will keep you entertained for a while, but if you have visited his website [...] and looked at the projects, you've pretty much seen all there is in Yes is More; these are the same projects with much less information. The ideas are clear but the format and layout become boring or tedious at some point (too much text placed all over the page). I still recommend it and wish I had had it during my first two years studying Architecture.
7 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Form Never Follows Function with Bjarke and Company 2 juin 2011
Par Nile G - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Bjarke Ingels may have spent 2 years at Rem Koolhaas' office OMA, but clearly all he picked up is how to sell himself well. The book is fun, exciting and full of beautiful renderings and diagrams, but the few built buildings are under-detailed and over formed. The ideas of Bjarke are form related. Yes, evolutionary architecture is a tremendous idea, but the idea shouldn't result in the shape of a skyscraper, but rather how it functions. There are plenty of good ideas in this book, both presentation ideas and architecture ideas, but do not think of it as a guide to "good" ideas. The popularity of this book is expected (and scary), but we need to remember the real purpose of architecture, to fulfill it's program. Go buy it, it's a fun read (so is Harry Potter).
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Better than most, but not life changing... 17 juillet 2010
Par Sub-Kontinental - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
A fun, unique and clearly written presentation of BIG's portfolio and do-everything-solve-everything philosophy. I commend BIG for laying off the scholarly vocabulary too--very refreshing. The graphic novel style and general optimism is a breath of fresh air in a discipline rife with cynics.

Its major flaw is one endemic to the "literature" of architecture: lots of showboating, which occasionally undermines the sincerity of the ideas.

If their next book builds off of this, I look forward to reading it...
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