032c Dossier: COUNTRYSIDE

Next week, Rem Koolhaas’ Countryside, The Future opens at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. To celebrate the occasion, we share early research by Koolhaas and OMA/AMO from the 032c archive, addressing the vast, mysterious terrain that makes up the majority of our planet.  

Originally published in 032c Issue #23 (Winter 2012/2013)

Contemplate the COUNTRYSIDE: open meadows of sun-gold wheat; flocks of sheep lingering over patches of clover; chickens, cats, and goats commingle in the barn-yard shade. It’s authentic to the city’s artifice. We, particularly those of us who make the city our home, know that the countryside is where our food, somehow, comes from. It’s also where we’ll spend lazy weekends reading paperbacks, stoking fires, and putting all sorts of packaged meat on the grill. The reality of today’s countryside is more nuanced. Far more. In fact, it’s radically different from the pre-technological idyll we’ve come to identify with through pop culture. Enter the yoga instructors, tax consultants, iHerd, the AstronautTM, Enviropig, and the Herakles Field AssistantTM; exeunt the rake, plow, bail spike, ail, and the milkmaid with the bucket.

After more than 40 years of research on cities, REM KOOLHAAS turns his attention to the countryside. It’s under-examined, under-theorized, and along with AMO, the research arm of his office, OMA, the architect has amassed some surprising, even surreal, findings. In an exclusive essay for 032c and a case study on the contemporary Dutch polder,  Koolhaas explains what has transpired in the vast hinterlands during our century-long obsession with the city.

Countryside, The Future opens at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on February 20th, 2020.

032c Issue #23 Dossier online:


Countryside by Rem Koolhaas (Part I)


Countryside by Rem Koolhaas (Part II): Case Studies 


Print-Only: Glossary of key terms, with a few neologisms of AMO’s own invention ;) 

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