Bjarke Ingels impressed by “ingenuity and balls” of graduate’s job application video

BIG founder Bjarke Ingels says he is “honestly impressed” by young job applicant Étienne Duval, whose covering letter is an animated rap that has become a YouTube sensation (+ movie).

Speaking to Dezeen, the Danish architect said Duval had made his day with his two-minute-long film Yo Is More, in which the French graduate makes the case for why BIG should hire him.

The animation has racked up over 97,000 views on YouTube. Highlights include a photoshopped image of Ingels wearing a sideways baseball cap and a gold chain, accompanied by the line: “I want to meet Bjarke and his hiphop ego”.

The film also includes images of Duval himself in different guises – demonstrating how many languages he speaks – as well as animated images of famous architects including Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor and Jean Nouvel.

“I am honestly impressed with the ingenuity, skill, talent, self-irony and balls that Etienne Duval has demonstrated with Yo Is More, which has become an overnight YouTube sensation,” said Ingels.

But despite being wowed by the movie, Ingels isn’t expecting to see animations becoming common in architecture job applications.

“Is it a new paradigm for architectural job applications? Probably not,” he said. “But it sure did make my day when I first played it.”

Duval hasn’t yet been given a job, but has received a response from BIG and is expecting news about his application imminently.

The graduate, who is currently working in Luxembourg, said he wrote and produced the film in a little over three weeks. As well as writing the lyrics, he composed the music himself, before adding animation on top.

The aim was to create something that stood out from the huge pile of applications the firm receives, said Duval. He describes it as pushing the “ego-trip aspect” of an application to its extreme.

“Applying to a job takes a lot of time and energy so I wanted to have fun by doing it,” he told Dezeen.

“I’ve had a more traditional portfolio but I needed to catch BIG’s attention, because I knew they get tons of applications,” he added. “And to catch a big fish you need a big hook!”

BIG currently has a series of interesting projects in progress, including a visitor centre for Lego – specifically referenced by Duval during his film. Other examples include Google’s new California headquarters and a twisted skyscraper for Vancouver.

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