How Can Architecture Measurably Improve the Lives of the People Who Use It?

Moving beyond architecture as simply form-making to empowering systems, people and communities.

Twenty years ago, Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, opened to immense praise from the global architectural community. It then quickly transcended the profession and became a global phenomenon for its sweeping curves and iconic form.

In 2017, one of the most notable architecture projects may be Bjarke Ingels’s Waste-to-Energy Power Plant in Copenhagen. The project is notable for its synthetic ski slope, as well as the rings of steam that will blow from its stacks and serve as a reminder of how much carbon is created from a traditional power plant.

This move from a museum to a power station as potentially the world’s most iconic building reflects a global shift in the understanding of the potential of architecture to actively contribute to the cities and systems that support us. A steam-blowing power station is only the beginning.