Artist and writer Emma McCormick-Goodhart spoke to AMO’s Samir Bantal and Troy Conrad Therrien, Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives at the Guggenheim, who invited Koolhaas to collaborate on this ambitious, experimental exhibition.
The collective work of researchers from five universities over five years, Koolhaas calls the exhibition a “catalog of issues,” a set of “global samples,” that range from ancient conceptions of the countryside to Internet fulfillment villages in China; indoor dairy mega-farms in Qatar and new forms of digital agriculture; to an homage to ocean space.
Conceived by Rem Koolhaas and Samir Bantal, Director of AMO, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture’s think tank, the show engages broadly with the urgencies of the present by way of 98% of the Earth’s surface: the so-called countryside, presented as a space of radical transformation.
I think that the idea of granting rights to nature is a very interesting phenomenon, because we’ve largely been looking at everything around us from a kind of urban-focused mentality—meaning that everything that we do, even in the countryside, is a kind of translation of urban-think.
It’s something that we touch upon in this exhibition—not to say that this is the future, but to indicate that there is a potential future, where there’s architecture without architects, urbanism without urbanists, and public space without public.