During his talk ‘Social Infastructure’ in Abu Dhabi, Danish architect Bjarke Ingels who heads design studio BIG, was asked to advise students and young architects who are beginning their career in architecture.
“There are two things that two different professors told,” he began. “The first one was later on in my studies when I met a Spanish architect and he said something that I loved and I love to quote him. He said: ‘don’t talk, work; don’t sketch, draw’. And I think the message is don’t just talk about it, do it.”
He continued: “The second one was during day one at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, there was a professor at the department who did a lot of social housing and he would say it doesn’t matter what it costs as long as it looks cheap.
“But the most important thing he said was ‘I don’t care if you study all the books in the curriculum, I don’t care if you learn all the skills if you have to but I just want you to promise me that when you leave the school you will leave with something at heart because it doesn’t matter what you can do if you don’t know what to do with it’.
“In that sense, the ‘why’ comes before the ‘how’ and understanding comes before the action. More than anything else you should know why you are passionate about [architecture] because once you know what your mission is, it becomes much easier to create your vision.”