BIG is a Copenhagen and New York based group of architects, designers, builders, and thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, interior design, landscape design, product design, research and development.
Bjarke Ingles a Danish architect. He is the founder and creative partner of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) since 2005. In his early year Bjarke was hoping to become a cartoonist and he began to study architecture in the hop it would improve his drawing skills. He is known for buildings that defy traditional architectural conventions and dimensions, ranging from representations of mountains to snowflakes. His designs incorporate sustainable development ideas and sociological concepts, along with sloped lines that are in tune with the surroundings. You could say that this is due to his nature of creating cartoons and interest in fantasy influences his architectural creations.
BIG believes that architecture doesn’t have to be conventional nor boring. Their 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 economical flows and communication technologies that all together require new ways of architectural and urban organization. The Big offices are filled with profficialals from different backgrounds, therefore Bjarke feels that is strengthens the outcome of conceptualizing ideas.
Big believe that in order to deal with today’s challenges, architecture can profitably move into a field that has been largely unexplored. Like a for example of they create architecture by mixing conventional ingredients such as living, leisure, working, parking and shopping. By creating a overlap between pragmatic and urban utopias, they believe that architects once again can find the freedom to change the surface of our planet, to better fit contemporary life forms.
One of the main reasons why I chose the Big architects for a case studie is that, I believe that their principles are a fundamental qualities in designing for the future. Browsing through their portfolio I found one project I found very interesting.
The martime youth house; this project was created for three purposes, to cover-up the polluted topsoil, this resulted in creating a new landscape that could cater as a social function. The way the space was designed allowed spaces for residents to park their boats but it also created an indoor space where a youth center is stationed. All of this was created ontop of what some would find unconventional breathing new life into a former desolate harbour. To me that’s what design should be all about creating innovate solutions, and looking at new ways how we can reusing or repurpose space. I would love to be able to work for such a design company where actually your ethnicity and culture is just as important as your experiences.
Made.com is a brand based in Londen, United Kindom. They brand designs and retails home wares and furniture online and across a network of showrooms in Europe. The company was cofounded by Ning Li, Brent Hoberman together with Julien Callède and Chloe Macintosh. in 2010.
At Made they believe that the high street and expensive designer brands give consumers a raw deal. That's because everyone along the way takes a cut, from agents to landlords. And you - our discerning customer - pay for that cut. So we're making a stand: taking on the high street to offer you original furniture design at affordable prices. Here's how they do it differently. The digital showroom presents a selection of the site's products and customers are able to take away fabric samples and create wishlists. MADE.COM does not own any of its factories, instead it commissions factories to meet its orders.
MADE.COM streamlines the furniture design and manufacture process allowing it take products from design to sale in as little as four months. The company minimises overheads by selling online, grouping orders of the same item, not owning its factories and building close working relationships with factories and designers.
Its website showcases furniture designs and encourages people to vote for their favourite. Crowd-sourced designs go into production and people who voted can go on to purchase them should they reach production.
Made advocate that their products are; Direct from the makers, affordable prices and uncompromised quality. No physical stores. No middlemen. They are just a passionate team bringing a new way to buy furniture: cutting out the fuss so you can get beautifully made pieces at a price to suit you.
Made work with fresh design talent to create our unique furniture collection. And then they find the best craftsmen to build it. Made is a very interesting company when it comes to rethinking how most people will shop in the future. By creating only one flag store and just online content customers in different parts of the world cant really feel or try their furniture. This could be a good or bad thing if you shopping for a new sofa, however they have made it very easy and transparent as how, and what materials they use by offering samples and addition product information. They also include the option of a full refund just in case you absolutely don’t like it.
I believe you will start seeing more companies like Made in the near future, but to me what set them apart is that are trying to reduce the carbon footprint by only manufacturing products that have been ordered. Nowadays trying to merge yourself within the design industry is pretty hard and I like the fact that they are looking at approaching new design talent. By creating a talent award every year every one has the chance to create a winning products that will be produced by Made for 1 year. To me this is a great notion and I hope more companies would pick up on this idea creating changes for more emerging talent.
One of the main reasons I chose Made to be apart of my case studie portfolio is because I believe that companies like made are the future, soon you might be able to take a photo of your living room and anyone could design it for you, this could open up new avenues for designers and other creative industries.
Christien Meindertsma is a Dutch artist and designer. She graduated in 2003 from the design academy in Eindhoven the Netherlands. She started off exploring raw materials in thoughtful ways, making simple books and products that lay bare complex and once-hidden processes.
For her first book, Checked Baggage, she purchased a container filled with a week's worth of objects confiscated at security checkpoints at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport after 9/11. She meticulously categorized all 3,267 items and photographed them on a white seamless background. Her second book, PIG 05049, documents the astounding array of products that different parts of a pig named 05049 could support -- revealing the lines that link raw materials with producers, products and consumers that have become so invisible in an increasingly globalized world.
With her product designs, Meindertsma plays with ancient, natural materials and processes. She has always been fascinated by wool. Her first projects consisted of working with famers to create garments form individual animal’s. In a project for the Nature Conservancy, she made the sensuous Idaho rug, knitted from inch-thick felted wool yarn from the fleece of sheep at Lava Lake Ranch in Idaho. Each panel of the massive rug was knitted (on giant wooden needles) from the fleece of one sheep, using a different stitch per animal to display the personalities that make up a flock. She also made the Urchin Pouf made from 100% wool from one crossbred sheep per pouf from New Zealand which is handknitted in the Netherlands.
Christien is certainly one of kind when it comes to designing suitable products. After her obsession with wool she recently started a new project the flax chair; for this design she won the Dutch design week award of 2016.
The flax chair is a biodegradable chair combines the natural fibers of wool and flax with strong bio-plastic fibers, resulting in a material that can be heat-pressed into various shapes. She has been researching the potentials of flax as a material for many years, to a certain point she even bought a flax farm to better understand how the material can be cultivated and processed. The chair was made using 2 by 3 feet sheet of composite with very little waste.
To me this project is a great example of of the result of long term research into material qualities. I feel that we have to learn to recreate value from existing materials in order to become more sustainable. Chirstien’s work is a great example of what we can accomplish if we were to investigate and rethink the way we use materials.