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Rem Koolhaas: context in concept and vice versa. Conceptualizing contexts or contextualizing concepts. (2017)

ARTICLE: (Article)

Title: Rem Koolhaas: on context in concept and vice versa. To conceptualize contexts or to contextualize concepts? (2017)

  • Author/author: Belén María Butragueño Diaz-Guerra, Javier Raposo Grau and María Asunción Salgado De la Rosa.
  • Magazine (magazine): Journal of Architecture, Vol. 22.
  • Pages: 23-31.
  • ISSN: 0716-8772.
  • DOI: 10.5354/0719-5427.2017.45169.
  • Summary: Is Rem Koolhaas a context conceptualizer or a concept contextualizer? Probably one of the distinguishing characteristics of his activity as an architect is his ability to understand the geopolitical and social context in which he stands and to anticipate those themes that will be decisive in the future. He is arguably the most influential living architect in the current context. The purpose of this research is to try to discern the weight of these two ideas in their architecture and which of them is the trigger of the other. In a sense it would be about responding to the eternal dilemma over the fallacy of the vicious circle. To develop this reasoning and reach plausible conclusions, we will analyze in parallel two exhibitions curated by Rem Koolhaas that perfectly reflect two very different moments in his trajectory: on the one hand, the exhibition «Content» 2004 and the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. It is a question of verifying whether your visionary understanding of the context triggers its innovative conceptualization.
  • Keywords: Koolhaas, exhibition, architectural communication, theory in architecture, context and concept
  • Abstract: Rem Koolhaas is a contexts’ conceptualizator or a concepts’ contextualizator? Probably one of the differentiating features of his activity as an architect is his capacity to understand the geopolitical and social context in which he is immersed and to anticipate those topics that are going to be determints in the future. He is, with no doubt, the most influential living architect nowadays. The objective of this research is trying to discern the weight of these two ideas in his architecture and which of them is the trigger for the other. In a sense, it would respond to the eternal dilemma on the fallacy of the vicious circle. To develop this reasoning and reach plausible conclusions, we will analyze in parallel two exhibitions curated by Rem Koolhaas that reflect two very different moments in his career: on the one hand, the exhibition «Content» in the year 2004 and on the other, the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2014. The goal is to verify if his visionary understanding of the context triggers his innovative conceptualization.
  • Key words: Koolhaas, exhibition, architectural comunication, theory in architecture, context and concept.
  • Link: http://oa.upm.es/46552/

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