OMA on the Range

Rem Koolhaas ditches the city for the countryside in upcoming Guggenheim exhibition

Art East News Urbanism
Rem Koolhaas ditches the city for the countryside in upcoming Guggenheim exhibition. Pictured here: Koppert Cress, The Netherlands, 2011. (Pieternel van Velden)
Rem Koolhaas ditches the city for the countryside in upcoming Guggenheim exhibition. Pictured here: Koppert Cress, The Netherlands, 2011. (Pieternel van Velden)

Office for Metropolitan Architecture‘s (OMA) founding principal Rem Koolhaas and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum are teaming up to explore the earth’s changing non-urban areas in an upcoming exhibition.

Koolhaas, along with AMO, the OMA think tank, jettisons the city to speculate on the future of the countryside, an arguably less sexy topic for architects who love their Tokyos and Rios. By interrogating changing rural areas today, the exhibition, provisionally titled Countryside: Future of the World, will explore the effect of migration, automation and AI, radical politics, and ecological change on less-populated regions worldwide.

Rem Koolhass (Fred Ernst/Courtesy OMA)

Rem Koolhass (Fred Ernst/Courtesy OMA)

“The fact that more than 50 percent of the world’s population now lives in cities has become an excuse to ignore the countryside,” said Koolhaas in a press release. “I have long been fascinated by the transformation of the city, but since looking at the countryside more closely in recent years, I have been surprised by the intensity of change taking place there. The story of this transformation is largely untold, and it is particularly meaningful to present it in one of the world’s great museums in one of the world’s densest cities.”

The 50 percent figure Koolhaas cites is one of those urban myths that won’t die, a tired United Nations statistic drawn from definitions of  “city” that vary wildly from country to country. Nevertheless, Countryside builds on work current work at AMO, as well as student work at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The Guggenheim will announce further details on the exhibition, which is slated to open in fall 2019, as they become available.

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