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S, M, L, XL: Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Largeby Rem Koolhaas
There are some books that will make you into a genius as soon as you turn back the title page, and S, M, L, XL by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is certainly one of them. Once you get the hang of things, the book is a remarkable and inspiring read, covering the past 20 years of Koolhaas's work with his firm, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). Much like LeCourbusier in his adamant pursuit of the abstract, Koolhaas one-ups the Modernists by proposing that modern architecture should be aggressively livable and inter-dependent. You may experience feelings of panic when you start flipping though the pages, but don't worry, just take a deep breath and let the fragmented typography, skewed photographs, napkin scribbling, and yes, pictures of buildings, wash over you like a soothing post-modern wave. It'll be OK, just let it happen. It's hard to find a copy of Koolhaas's book,
Synopses & Reviews
S,M,L,XL presents a selection of the remarkable visionary design work produced by the Dutch firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.) and its acclaimed founder, Rem Koolhaas, in its first twenty years, along with a variety of insightful, often poetic writings. The inventive collaboration between Koolhaas and designer Bruce Mau is a graphic overture that weaves together architectural projects, photos and sketches, diary excerpts, personal travelogues, fairy tales, and fables, as well as critical essays on contemporary architecture and society.
The book's title is also its framework: projects and essays are arranged according to scale. While Small and Medium address issues ranging from the domestic to the public, Large focuses on what Koolhaas calls "the architecture of Bigness." Extra-Large features projects at the urban scale, along with the important essay "What Ever Happened to Urbanism?" and other studies of the contemporary city. Running throughout the book is a "dictionary" of an adventurous new Koolhaasian language — definitions, commentaries, and quotes from hundreds of literary, cultural, artistic, and architectural sources.
More than two thousand illustrations, many in color highlight an intriguing overview of Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas's work, including his building designs, sketches, and shrewd commentary on modern art, architecture, and social conditions, in a new, low-priced edition of a critically acclaimed work
This ambitious book is a reenergizing of the architectural publication. It combines a critical selection of the remarkable design work produced by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and its acclaimed founder, Rem Koolhaas, with essays, manifestos, diaries, travelogues, and more.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 1284-1299).
About the Author
Rem Koolhaas is founder of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.); the firm's most important projects include the Lille Grand Palais in Lille; the Kunsthal in Rotterdam; Netherlands Dance Theatre in The Hague; Nexus Housing in Fukuoka; the Dutch House in Holland; and Villa dall'Ava in Paris, all of which are included in S,M,L,XL. Koolhaas is author of the seminal Delirious New York and professor in practice of architecture and urban design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Bruce Mau founded the critically acclaimed firm Bruce Mau Design in 1985. He is the author of Life Style and Massive Change.
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