Yes is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution

Yes is More is unique book written by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, head of the well-known architectural practice BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group).

It’s a manifesto of architecture, a comic book about architectural evolution told in a simple way, in the style of a graphic novel. This book shows that Bjarke Ingels is not only a great architect, but also a great writer and speaker.

As foreword there are several two-page spreads with phrases: the first is Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s phrase “Less is more” (rule for minimalist design); Philip Johnson replies “I’m a whore”; the next is Rem Koolhaas who said “more is more”; as culmination, Barack Obama said “Yes, We Can!”; and finally Bjarke Ingels has the last word: “Yes is more”. Ingels introduced book saying that we are interested in evolution rather than revolution. Principles of Darwin’s theory of evolution are the same for architectural evolution. Ideas, like species, needs to be adaptable to change. Architecture needs to allow you to say yes to all aspects of human life.

Bjarke Ingels is the only character in book. Actually, the book is presentation of BIG’s portfolio. Each of the 35 chapters tells the story of the development of a specific BIG’s project, from preliminary design through completion. It describes the whole design process and it is full of diagrams, models, renderings, and without plans and sections. Accompanying text is very readable, but in some cases there are too much text if you consider book form. In addition to this, at the end of the book, there are diagram showing BIG’s architectural evolution – an ecosystem of ideas, BIG’s project index (1999-2009), review of Kaspar Astrup Schröder’s documentary MY PLAYGROUND, Yes Man – interview with Bjarke Ingels for Volume magazine.

Yes is more brings freshness into architecture with its language of popular culture and optimistic tone. The book tells a complex story in a simple way, so it’s very acceptable for those who are learning architecture. For professional architects it is lacking in detail. It has been also developed digital version of the book for the iPad. Yes is more is one of the best-selling architecture books in the last few years, so it’s good recommendation for you to buy this book.

yes is more From foreword, last words after several citations © BIG

yes is more From first chapter named Found in Translation, Ren – People’s building © BIG

yes-is-more-2 From twenty sixth chapter named National Bank Stage of Iceland, Landsbanki © BIG


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