The Knowlton School is happy to announce the publication of the fourteenth title in its Source Books in Architecture Series, Rem Koolhaas, OMA + AMO / Spaces for Prada. Source Books in Architecture is a product of the Herbert Baumer Memorial Seminars, a series of interactions between architecture graduate students and seminal practitioners at the Knowlton School at The Ohio State University. Rem Koolhaas was the guest lecturer for the 2018 Herbert Baumer Memorial Seminar.
From Professor of Architecture Ashley Schafer’s Introduction:
Koolhaas’s conversation with students centered around his collaboration with Prada. In this 20-some-year-long partnership, OMA designed everything from customer interfaces and semi-annual runways, to stores and to the Fondazione Prada venue in Milan, Largo Isarco 2. Published herein is a compendium of projects that are among the smallest and most ephemeral projects of his career. Typically occupied for mere hours, the seasonal shows are the sine qua non of experimental opportunity, and OMA capitalized on these fleeting experiences to upend our expectations, confirming Koolhaas’s own claim that, ‘you could characterize our work as never wanting to the obvious.’
Among the topics discussed in the book are the long-standing relationship with Prada and how the early objectives in that relationship have both maintained and shifted. An underlying theme of the conversations held with students and faculty of the Knowlton School community is the topic of architect-client relationships, their history, their problems, and how they have contributed to the discipline over time. Explicitly, a focus of the conversation is a number of projects that OMA Office for Metropolitan Architecture) has developed or completed with Prada, a large number of which are installation-scale environments that manifest in the form of runway shows and exhibitions.
Source Books in Architecture No. 14 contains project documentation from the OMA and Prada archives, transcripts from Koolhaas’ conversations with students at the Knowlton School, and commentary and critique from architects, critics, and theorists.
Rem Koolhaas founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. In 2000, he was named the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate. Time Magazine named Koolhaas one of “The World’s Most Influential People” in 2008. In 2014, he was the director of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, entitled Fundamentals. Considered one of the most important architectural theorists and urbanists of his generation, Koolhaas is a Professor in Practice of Architecture and Urban Design at Harvard University.
Benjamin Wilke is editor of the Source Books in Architecture series and teaches design studios and seminars at the Knowlton School.