In Rem Koolhaas published an essay called Junkspace. This perspective on the world is paradoxically useful on the very real junkspace that our urban landscape is composed of. From outer space, moving in from the idealised satellite images and utopian city form to the very real, inhabited space of this earth. Everyday city life does not gel together well with any imposed utopian order on it, if an observer looked closely they would find that structure is continuously disrupted. This organic growth and juxtaposition is differentiated from the junkspace Rem Koolhaus outlines. Major examples of these types of spaces include: shopping malls, casinos and airports - an accumulation of conditioned and conditional space.
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In , Venice Biennale curator Rem Koolhaas put a name to the soulless, mallified space that was spreading virus-like across the planet. His rambling, witty essay still serves as a powerful lament for modern architecture.
Junkspace is 12 years old. Junkspace is more important than ever. Junkspace is the most important piece of writing on architecture of the 21st century Pack up, go home, the competition is over, and architecture is also over, for that matter Junkspace is Junkspace is, that's for sure.
It's undeniable. In , the Office for Metropolitan Architecture published the Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping, a slab of graphics and stats describing malls and the mallification of cities and space in general. This junk space, rather than modern architecture, is the true product of modernisation. It is always interior, so extensive that you rarely perceive limits; it promotes disorientation by any means mirror, polish, echo Those ellipses are Koolhaas's.
Something that is immediately striking about Junkspace, alongside its rhythmic repetitions, is its reluctance to close a sentence; and its enthusiasm for semicolons One thought drifts into another Nothing so utilitarian as a paragraph break intrudes To be frank, it rambles.
The stream of Koolhaas's prose is akin to a visionary dream, a structureless sequence of crystalline insight and enfolding opiate fog. It resembles the formless space it describes. Nevertheless, Junkspace is consistently epigrammatic — quote after quote jumps out, not least in the scores of declarative, defining sentences beginning "Junkspace is Junkspace is like being condemned to a perpetual Jacuzzi with millions of your best friends A fuzzy empire of blur.
But what is Junkspace? What is it meant to do? It's not a manifesto as it does not set out a programme or make a call to action. Hal Foster, introducing a beautiful reissue of the essay calls it a "jeremiad And Koolhaas's text is littered with baleful statements such as "There is no progress; like a crab on LSD, culture staggers endlessly sideways Koolhaas describes; he diagnoses.
Junkspace isn't a warning, because you can hardly warn against something that has already happened. Junkspace is a sardonic elegy for architecture and a reprimand to architects that they only have themselves to blame. Rem Koolhaas is the curator of the Venice Biennale. This article was originally published in October Basic HTML code is allowed.
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Rem Koolhaas. Junkspace
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It was a scathing critique at the time it was first published, but now 16 years later, it can only be seen as a prophecy. A siren call fully actualized. Koolhaas was far ahead of his time when he wrote this in What should have been a wake up call has merely languished. I myself was at the GSD then and had no awareness of what Koolhaas was doing or thinking. I stumbled upon the essay last year when I was doing my own research. The title alone spoke to me and I found the concept of Junkspace to be the perfect villain and counterpoint for Slow Space.
Junkspace and the Death of Architecture: Slow Space Finds its Nemesis
In , Venice Biennale curator Rem Koolhaas put a name to the soulless, mallified space that was spreading virus-like across the planet. His rambling, witty essay still serves as a powerful lament for modern architecture. Junkspace is 12 years old. Junkspace is more important than ever.