Rem Koolhaas on Sustainability
….the now universal demand for everything to be “sustainable.” We have been interested in this idea since the 1960s, so in that respect we feel vindicated. But now sustainability is such a political category that it’s getting more and more difficult to think about it in a serious way. Sustainability has become an ornament. Designs are increasingly winning competitions because they are literally green, and because somewhere they feature a small windmill. . . . it’s become an empty formula, and because, for that reason, it’s getting harder and harder to think about ecology without becoming ironic.
[the phrase Starchitect] gives the impression of referring to people with no heart, egomaniacs who are constantly doing their thing, completely divorced from any context. I believe that this is a grotesque insult to members of a profession who — to the extent that I know my colleagues — go to great lengths to find the right thing, the appropriate thing, for each individual case. . . . There is, in fact, no great difference between the buildings by “star architects” and those designed by others.
On his spirit:
I am a critical spirit and an architect at the same time, and I do not feel obligated to constantly validate my own theories in my specific work.
There were many typologies of building in the early 20th century. Today we have essentially only two of them: the house and the tower, and nothing in between.
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