“The driving idea is turning a problem into a potential”
I’m going to start with a personal story, so if you don’t care and just want to hear about the book, skip to the next paragraph. Throughout my school career I would read only comic books, which got me in a lot of trouble when it came to doing reading logs and read-a-thons and such. I also used to make comic books for whatever school projects I could. I’ve got at least five comic books I made for classes like Language Arts, Geography, World History, and even Calculus. When I decided to go to architecture school, at the end of high school, I always said that I was going to make my architectural portfolio into a comic book. When I saw the this book existed I was extremely disappointed. So just know that I am biased against the existence of this book.
With that said, this is hands down one of the best architecture books I have ever seen. It documents the work of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) in what Ingels calls an “Archicomic”, essentially meaning a blend of images and minimal text to show the development and creation of the firm’s work. It is absolutely brilliant.
I had my first experience with BIG when studying abroad in Copenhagen. The firm’s work is, in my opinion, some of the best stuff that is happening in architecture now. They make fantastic looking buildings using reasonable and sensible tactics. I cannot give enough praise to the firm and their work.
In terms of content, this book is fantastic. It has beautiful renderings, meaningful text, model photographs, built project photographs, and, most importantly, countless diagrams! It is truly insightful into BIG’s work process and is really rather inspiring.
Verdict: GET THIS BOOK.
BIG is one of the better firms currently in the business and this monograph is unlike any other to date. It is meaningful. It is interesting. It is insightful. It is beautiful. Architects, designers, students, and even comic book fans should at least look through this book. After doing that, if you are able to NOT buy the book, then you are much stronger than I.
P.S. I hereby forgive BIG for stealing my comic book idea…