Syntax in Architecture: a Bjarke Ingels Group-inspired posters series by Giuseppe Gallo

Giuseppe Gallo, creative director of Mirabilia has created a series of nine posters to stimulate reflection on the use of Syntax in Architecture. For each of them, he was inspired by the architecture of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), where syntax between individual elements arises from responses to functional problems, characterizing or generating new formal solutions. 

The widespread use of digital tools has changed the architectural profession. A mature use of technology is influencing the language of “post digital” architecture. Charles Morris argues that in every language the study of semiotics is discernible in three different fields: semantics, pragmatics and syntax:

Semantics is the study of relations between the system of signs and their meanings.

Pragmatics is the study of the relations of signs to interpreters, and in architecture the relationship between the sign and the behaviour it engenders.

Syntax (syntactics) is then defined as the study of the formal relations between signs; this field of analysis makes the study of signs possible, with particular reference to their relations with each other, by excluding from the survey both their meanings and functions.

The language of architecture has evolved along with the human race and in accordance with its needs, giving more weight at different times to each of these three aspects.

Serpentine Pavilion – London, United Kingdom

‘Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) projects and philosophy have had wide spread success in recent years. Working on these posters gave me the opportunity to understand how their approach affects the finished architecture and in particular more about the syntax of their projects. Indeed syntax is one of the formal aspects that, in our opinion, characterizes many of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)’s works compared to the work of previous generations of architects. Their projects generate a syntactic evolution transpired by the will to find new solutions for environmental, social, economic and technological problems.’ – Giuseppe Gallo

Kistefos Museum – Scandinavia


Amager Resource Center- Copenaghen, Denmark


VM Houses – Copenaghen, Denmark


Via 57 West – New York, USA


The Spiral – New York, USA


Wilson Secondary School – Arlington, USA


Kimball Art Center – Park City, USA


1200 Intrepid – Philadelphia, USA

Info and images courtesy of Mirabilia



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