Following up on our story from a couple of weeks back about the Architectural Association School launching a very impressive retrospective of Rem Koolhaas‘ and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture‘s collection of books, the Guardian‘s Justin McGuirk hit the exhibition up and filed this great report on what there is to see. When we originally linked up the show, we assumed it would just be, well, interesting and pleasant; a nice look at what the starchitect and those at his firm find interesting and wanted to collect and synthesize into bounded form. Instead, and to quickly paraphrase, McGuirk sees the whole exhibition, all 400 volumes of it, as something of look inside Koolhaas’ brain. It’s a gigantic, somewhat manic collection of bits and pieces, showing flashes of big egos, research-above-all, wastefulness, and a weird revery and disrespect for the book format. It’s an interesting read and if you happen to be in London while the show is on, should provide you with all the encouragement you need to hop over to go check it out. Here’s our favorite part:
As the years go by, the books get stranger. There’s the Wired Dictionary, an inventory of all the words published in Wired magazine, one of the by-products of OMA’s guest editorship in 2001. There’s a book called PradaVomit, a mystifying booklet that is one of the many products of Koolhaas’s tenure as Prada’s court architect and consultant. “Even vomit has some content,” says one collaborator in a transcript pinned to the wall; and Koolhaas is probably the only architect to have designed the spring/summer “look book” for a fashion label. Precisely through these book-shaped investigations Koolhaas has blurred the edges of architecture, taking it into fashion, consultancy, journalism and cultural criticism.