22-02-2018 11:56:15

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) - Social Infrastructure

The infrastructure of the industry of the past seems to be inevitably appropriated as the framework for the social and cultural life of the present. How could we conceive our public infrastructures with intended social side-effects?
Arrangør: IDA Trafik og byplan
Medarrangør: IDA Young Professionals
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The infrastructure of the industry of the past seems to be inevitably appropriated as the framework for the social and cultural life of the present.  The old train tracks on Manhattan’s lower west side have turned into the highline – the most popular park in NYC today.  The Tate Modern in London was an old power plant. The world’s first ski-lifts were repurposed mining lifts – rather than bringing metals down they began dragging skiers up the slopes. Somehow the pioneering of the infrastructure of industry or military paves the path for mainstream architecture.

Rather than waiting for past infrastructure to get decommissioned and reborn with a new social program, we could conceive our public infrastructures with intended social side-effects. Our public infrastructures for transport, industry, energy, waste, water, sewage etc. are major investments in our public budgets. However they always appear as grey areas on the city map. Like black holes in the urban fabric lost for the public realm, they are big ugly boxes that cast shadows on the neighbors or block the views.

What if we could harness those massive investments and imbue them with positive social side-effects from the get-go rather than in retrospect? What if we could turn a highway interchange into a man-made valley with a public park? What if we could turn the supports for a highway into a passage for people, flora and fauna? What if the massive volume of a waste-to-energy power plant could become a mountain with ski slopes in a city full of snow but without hills? By proactively cross-breeding public infrastructure with social programs we can inject new urban life forms in to the heart of our cities, and seize billions of dollars to the shrinking budgets for urban social philanthropy. Pragmatism becomes hedonism in the social infrastructures of our future.

Andreas Klok Pedersen fra BIG afholder foredraget på dansk.

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