15 June 2006

Showing today – REM KOOLHASS @ the Luxor Theatre

As part of the China Contemporary exhibition and lecture series by the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) early today the legendary Rem Koolhaas lectured to a large crowd at the Luxor theatre here in Rotterdam. The lecture was largely a repeat of what he had spoken in February at a public lecture at the Berlage Institute with a bit more focus on China.

In his lecture he showed images of rapid new developments in China and in the middle east especially in cities like Dubai and asked the question – “What can we learn from these absurdities” * – However, Koolhaas didn’t have any answers to that question and a few others that he posed (at least not yet). He argued for the curtailment of architects and designers in designing everything in the city, he feared that the city was losing its most charming character - Uncertainty.

I can’t stop wondering if his worry needs to be a genuine concern for me and though I feel this phenomenon strongly in certain cities here in Europe I calm myself thinking of the situation back home in our cities of India and wonder boy I have a long time before that can even start sounding like a real problem where I come from.

* – (Silently I smiled to myself at his usage of the word 'Absurdity' remembering my post on Dubai in February on this blog titled ‘Pockets of Absurdity Vs. Pockets of Reality’ - click HERE to see that posting)

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