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Kai-Uwe Bergmann / BIG

Hedonistic Sustainability
November 7, 2012 - 5:30pm


Kai-Uwe Bergmann will present the lecture Hedonistic Sustainability at 5:30PM on Wednesday, November 7 in Knowlton hall's Gui Auditorium. A reception following the lecture will take place in the Knowlton Hall Jury Space.

At the center of our culture’s general perception of sustainability is the idea of a moral code: How much of our existing quality of life are we prepared to sacrifice in order to afford being sustainable? It is the Protestant perception that it has to hurt to be good, and that living a sustainable life means doing less than we normally would.  BIG looks at how sustainable cities and buildings can increase our quality of life.  The practice wants to find ways of designing cities and buildings as double ecosystems that are both ecologically and economically profitable and don’t force people to alter their lifestyles in order to clear their consciences. BIG wants people to be able to live exactly the way they want, or even better, because their world and cities are designed in such a way that they can actually do so. It is to approach the question of sustainability not as a moral dilemma but as a design challenge.

Kai-Uwe Bergmann is Partner, Business Development of BIG, Bjarke Ingels Group based in Copenhagen. Through a series of commissions won in design and architectural competitions, BIG has attained international recognition. The architectural practice’s work combines astute analysis, lighthearted experimentation, social responsibility and humor. Bergmann represented BIG as a member of the Holcim Awards jury for region Europe in 2011. He brings his expertise to proposals around the globe, including work in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. Bergmann leads BIG’s Business Development operation, and is also Head of Communications. Registered as an architect in the USA, UK and Denmark, Bergmann is also a LEED AP certified architect who was Project Manager for Central Asia's first Carbon Neutral Master Plan - Zira Island in Baku, Azerbaijan.  He lectures on the works of BIG and participates in seminars worldwide.

In addition to his experience with BIG, Bergmann was previously a Project Architect at the Austrian office of Baumschlager & Eberle where he was involved on their work for the UN AIDS Research Administration Building in Geneva, and a residence in Diepoldsau, Switzerland.

Bergmann obtained a BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia, and a Master of Architecture from the University of California at Los Angeles.


Download the PERSPECTIVES: Kai-Uwe Bergmann poster.