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Top Customer Reviews
The 546 pages are a textual and visual pot-pourri of articles, mostly architecturally related with several general interest items thrown in, like the one about Martha Stewart and her views on eastern lifestyles, or 'Red Radio', the story of the Cold War fight for Africa's airwaves (no, really) and if you get frustrated trying to read some of the tiny type that inevitably gets used in this type of book you can look at a few ads that are scattered throughout the pages.
I bought the book for its strong visual interest (it is mostly visual) and the seventy-six articles are presented in all sorts of graphic ways, from the nearly unreadable 'Junk Space' which stretches over ten pages of text in one continuous paragraph to the rather fascinating 'Yes/No' using a clever collage technique to explain the rise and fall of the global economy. The pace is unrelenting with colorful whiz-bang graphics and photos from pages one to 546.
Perhaps the most interesting chapter is the penultimate one devoted to the work of OMA-AMO since the publication of 'SMLXL', unfortunately the huge amount of information is presented in nearly unreadable paragraphs over twenty-seven pages. To quote the Editor's Letter again "Content is, beyond all, a tribute to what are perhaps OMA-AMO's greatest virtues - its courage, its dogged, almost existential pursuit of discomfort, its commitment to engage the world by inviting itself to places where it has no authority, places where it doesn't 'belong'". I'll certainly drink to that!
This book has a sharper political content to it but the cover is little more than a hook. There are some good articles to pour over such as "Re-Learning from Las Vegas," in which Koolhaas interviews Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown. The cover story seems to be "Violence against Architecture," in which Bill Millard offers "tales from the front lines of the war on the city." Koolhaas can't resist promoting himself, noting his Projects on the City, and re-exploring Lagos and Beijing. He also showcases the Seattle Public Library and some of the newest projects he has on the boards. There are his usual witty allusions such as "Miestakes" and "Big Vermeer," but for the most part this book seems to be a celebration of the urban chaos that has resulted in recent years, thanks in large part to globalization. Unfortunately, there isn't a very sharp focus. Most of the images are just eye candy and the articles don't have much weight to them. Still, you can't beat the price and there is plenty to look at.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rem does it again with the sequel to S, M, L, XL. Although it is not as massive in literal sense, its content is still massive. It is S, M, L, XL presented in comical way.Published 3 months ago by Ko Wibowo
That this is only "inventory of seven years of OMA's tireless labor" becomes obvious when you realize that what is presented actually obfuscates OMA's work. Read morePublished on November 27, 2008 by DCV