Being an Architect

Reflections on the profession, design, art, books and life in general



The power of an idea

Nothing is as exciting as an idea.

The power of an idea is the driving force for many design professionals. The contemporary architectural scene is shifting more towards idea-centric designs from the popular form-centric ones. 

But not everyday that you will witness a barrage of ideas..!

It was during mid May that I got a chance to visit the exhibition HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation featuring the recent works by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group in the Great Hall inside Washington DC's National Building Museum. 


"I hadtaught myself that my work had to be fresh, different, seemingly outrageous. From then on, I understood that nothing is as exciting as an idea." George Lois

The Hot to Cold exhibition gives a comprehensive overview of their recent work across the globe, ranging from the hottest to the coldest climates and hosts 60 models of conceptual and completed buildings, for BIG's first ever exhibition in North America. Criticised by many as utopian, the firm's works bring forward an alternate way of thinking. Each idea seed presented has the potential to grow up and flower on its own; not necessarily in the particular project.


George Lois, the iconic adman narrates an incident which manifests the power of pure idea.

"In the last class of the year, when Mr Patterson asked us to create a design on 18 x 24 illustration board using only rectangles and called it a final exam, I made my move. As my 26 classmates worked furiously, cutting and pasting, I sat motionless. Mr Patterson, eyeballing me, was doing a slow burn as he walked up and down the class room, peering over the shoulder of each student. Time was up. Growing apoplectic as he stacked the final designs, he went to grab my completely empty board, when I thrust my arm forwards and interrupted him by casually signing "G. Lois" in the bottom left hand corner. He was thunderstruck. I had 'created' the ultimate 18 x 24 rectangle design! "



You cant argue on that..!