Wednesday, 12 October 2011

200words: oma/progress

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost..” Luke 14:28

The cost for Koolhaas has been paid in “despair ... and vast foreboding..” (Harbison, 2009) which surface in pained essays like Junkspace. The delightful junk on show in this hyperexhibition for the tumblr generation: the material offcuts, grainy pictures, architectural detritus and self-deprecating anecdotes, are a deflection or a veiled apology for the guilt of complicity in architectural giantism: that utopian genetic disorder.

Stylistically and philosophically, OMA, as graphic designers with a penchant for cantilevers, have established a globally conversant mode of masterplanning consistent with an unstable profession in a volatile economy. In between the truss fetishising there is brave engineering, amongst their best laid plans, sketched from a thousand feet at a hundred miles an hour, there is a phenomenal creative energy, a frank and critical self-awareness.

In the exhibition, which is more a 1:1 scale model improvised in found-materials to demonstrate a possible exhibition, the strange veneration of process, and the relics of process, is total. We are invited to become the two dimensional cut-outs in another diagrammed proposal: we are exactly the statistics they love.

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