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Formgiving: Giving Form to the Future - Kai-Uwe BERGMANN, FAIA, Partner BIG [Bjarke Ingels Group]

Nov 17, 2020

Introduction and Respondent: Maria R. Perbellini, Dean and Professor, NYIT School of Architecture and Design

Formgiving: Giving Form to the Future - Kai-Uwe BERGMANN, FAIA, Partner BIG [Bjarke Ingels Group]

Lecture Description:
Formgiving – the Danish word for design – means to give form to that
which has not yet been given form. In other words: to give form to the
world that we would like to find ourselves living in the future. A task
more important than ever, as humans are the greatest force shaping the
planet today. To feel that we have license to imagine a future different
from today – all we have to do is look back ten years, a hundred years,
a thousand years – to realize how radically different things were then
than now. The same would be true if we could look forward with the same
clear sight. Since we know from our past that our future is bound to be
different from our present, rather than waiting for it to happen on its
own we have the power to give it form. Formgiving takes you on a journey
across time to sense how the world around us has been shaped, from the
past to the present and beyond - from the Big Bang to Singularity.

BIG is a Copenhagen, New York, London and Barcelona based group of
architects, designers, urbanists, landscape professionals, interior and
product designers, researchers and inventors. The office is currently
involved in a large number of projects throughout Europe, North America,
Asia and the Middle East. BIG’s architecture emerges out of a careful
analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes. Not
least due to the influence from multicultural exchange, global economic
flows and communication technologies that all together require new ways
of architectural and urban organization. We believe that in order to
deal with today’s challenges, architecture can profitably move into a
field that has been largely unexplored. A pragmatic utopian architecture
that steers clear of the petrifying pragmatism of boring boxes and the
naïve utopian ideas of digital formalism. Like a form of programmatic
alchemy, we create architecture by mixing conventional ingredients such
as living, leisure, working, parking and shopping. By hitting the
fertile overlap between pragmatic and utopia, we architects once again
find the freedom to change the surface of our planet, to better fit
contemporary life forms.

Kai-Uwe Bergmann, FAIA is a Partner at BIG who brings his architectural
expertise to proposals around the globe, including work in North
America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Kai-Uwe heads up BIG’s
business development—which currently has the office working in over 35
different countries. He also oversees BIG’s Urban scales projects and
supports BIG’s Landscape projects. He is registered as an architect in
the USA (13 states) and Canada.
Kai-Uwe most recently contributed to the resiliency plan BIG U to
protect 10 miles of Manhattan’s coastline. First envisioned through the
Rebuild by Design competition to develop proactive responses to
Superstorm Sandy, it is now being further developed and construction
will begin on the first 2.5 miles in 2020. Further projects include
Brooklyn Queens Park, Smithsonian Master Plan, Pittsburgh Master
Plan,Miami Beach Square and Zira Island Master Plan. He complements his
professional work through previous teaching assignments