Art Atom - by Bjarke Ingels (on Douglas Coupland)


from "Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything", editor Daina Augaitis


list of things I learned about Bjarke while reading his short essay on lego blocks and Coupland in "Art Atom"

1 - Bjarke made his first phone call ever at 5 years old to his father at work to request he purchase the yellow Lego Castle 375 from a toy catalogue.  Coupland's first and last Lego kit purchase as a child was Lego kit  No. 345 Modern House.

2 - Bjarke's two favorite writers are Douglas Coupland and William Gibson.

3 - Bjarke rediscovered Legos relevant as an adult through Coupland's Microserfs - noting "-as a kit of many parts for world-making with infinite complexity arising from a limited range of constituent parts."

4 - "...Douglas Coupland the writer who taught me in Generation X, Shampoo Planet and Microserfs to look out for the potential for meaning in the mediocre, to not make the mistake of disregarding everyday elements or contemporary clutter as noise void of content, but rather to distill from a landscape of highway overpasses, shopping malls, suburban homes and corporate brands a sensibility as rich in meaning as any traditionally charged cultural context." (Bjarke)

/\ Coupland's Digital Orca

Nov 16, 14 2:52 pm

Wow, I didn't get that message from Generation X at all.  To me it was about making a life that has meaning to you, even out of very small things, and even if it appeared meaningless to others, and that a large part of that effort would mean blocking out all the crap (corporate brands, shopping malls, greeting cards) that seemed to have meaning for others.

Nov 16, 14 6:33 pm  · 

but Donna I think that is the same thing right? 10 years later.

Nov 16, 14 6:36 pm  · 

I just want to point out, if I ever harp on Bjarke it's because he is only a few years older than me, and I feel like a failure daily.... and this one time!

One time, I taught this class at nights at Parsons NewSchool and the night Bjarke gave a lecture only 2 students showed up.  All the girls were gone except for one.  I asked the one lone girl - Is he that hot!?!

BIG had just won this competition

Nov 16, 14 6:49 pm  · 
vado retro

has BIG jumped the Bjarke?

Nov 16, 14 7:33 pm  · 

BTW, Douglas Coupland is a fantastic writer and a wretched artist.  God, his "fine art" work is so bad.

Chris, Bjarke may be attractive but in the spirit of equality let's not posit that his appearance is why people go to see him speak - if someone said the equivalent about a woman, after all, I'd get angry.

Bjarke is an excellent speaker - he's dynamic, engaging, charming, funny, well-paced...all those things that make someone fun to listen to no matter what they're talking about. There's a turtle expert at our local university; he's so passionate about turtles and simultaneously funny, quick-witted, and approachable - I could listen to him lecture about turtles for hours.  I don't give a damn about turtles, but he makes them fascinating.

Nov 17, 14 8:26 am  · 
vado retro

fYi when we were hanging with Bjarke at the Ideafest we talked about the Ice Storm.

Nov 17, 14 10:03 am  · 

Turtles or suburban shopping malls - as you point out and in Bjarkes words, you can and should find meaning in what appears the most mundane and meaningless............ I think much of the negative criticism aimed at Rem and BIG by other architects is actually aimed at their translations of what society desires - whether conscious or not. In other words the negative critique is indirectly aimed at contemporary culture or lack thereof. This is what Douglas Coupland makes obvious in his writing and art, which is why I was very excited to see Bjarke in this book noting Coupland as one of his favorite writers.........I read somewhere Douglas Coupland perceives words as objects.

Nov 17, 14 9:03 pm  · 

I never even knew Coupland made art.  I love his writing, although I also took the meaning Donna did and not Bjarke.

Nov 17, 14 10:18 pm  · 

Vado - tell us more!

Maybe it's a generation thing?  Donna says" was about making a life that has meaning to you, even out of very small things, and even if it appeared meaningless to others,..." like "...highway overpasses, shopping malls, suburban homes and corporate brands." (Bjarke)

Maybe we don't have a choice anymore? (late capitalism, global economy, global culture yada yada) .everything looks like an international airport - Junk Space is Real Space!)

I don't think I can remember my pre-internet brain, that was pre-teens for me, so doesn't count, so it really could be a generation thing. 

the little things, like Under the Bridge

Nov 18, 14 8:16 pm  · 

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