de Rem Koolhaas
Like its predecessor, Content provides a rare view to the creative processes of one of architecture’s most famous firms. Though it offers the fullness of a book, Content has the format and tone of a magazine. Like a magazine, it contains articles by outside contributors, including journalists, medical writers, and cultural critics. Envisioned as a non-profit enterprise by TASCHEN and OMA-AMO, Content is being sold at the lowest price possible (€9.99, $14.99, £6.99, ¥1900). In order to cover production costs and provide a more authentic magazine feel, the book contains paid advertising.
In its mood and subject matter, Content reflects recent shifts in geo-politics, particularly since 9-11. The book’s content follows Koolhaas’s expanding interests, mixing architecture with politics, history, technology, and sociology. Its subjects are diverse: Martha Stewart is interviewed in one section; the history of African communist radio is charted in another. An anthropological study of subcultures in Germany’s Ruhr Valley is followed by proposals for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Topics are arranged according to geography: the book begins in San Francisco and travels eastwards, finally ending in Tokyo. On the way, time is spent in Brazil, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, and China, among other places.
At a time when the profession is growing increasingly introverted, Content reconnects architecture with the outside world.
The Independent, London