AMO/Rem Koolhaas and the Guggenheim engage GSD student research for forthcoming project, ‘Radical Changes in the Countryside’

Students in the Fall 2017 semester of

Students in the Fall 2017 semester of "Rotterdam Study Abroad Studio” during a progress update with Professor Koolhaas.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has announced a collaboration with Rem Koolhaas and AMO, the design research arm of Koolhaas’s Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), drawing from research undertaken by Harvard University Graduate School of Design students enrolled in Koolhaas’s Rotterdam-based Studio Abroad. The collaborative initiative will culminate in a fall 2019 rotunda exhibition, tentatively titled, Countryside: Future of the World.

Studio Abroad Rotterdam Spring 2017
Professor Koolhaas with a student in the Spring 2017 Rotterdam studio option.

“I have long been fascinated by the transformation of the city, but since looking at the countryside more closely in recent years, I have been surprised by the intensity of change taking place there,” Koolhaas says. “The story of this transformation is largely untold, and it is particularly meaningful to present it in one of the world’s great museums in one of the world’s densest cities.”

Studio Abroad Rotterdam Spring 2017
Dean Mohsen Mostafavi visits students in the Spring 2017 Rotterdam studio option.

In recent years, GSD students enrolled in “Rotterdam Study Abroad Studio” have been working with Koolhaas, John Portman Visiting Professor in Architecture, on research related to radical changes shaping the world’s countryside. For Countryside: Future of the World, Koolhaas and his GSD studio began to look into roughly 15 to 20 areas around the world that, he says, “together describe comprehensively what is going on” with changes to rural environments on every continent, according to the New York Times. (Learn more about the Rotterdam studio option, including updates from Fall 2017 students, on the blog GSD Studio Abroad.)

In addition to the participating GSD students, recent Master in Design Studies graduate Ashley Mendelsohn (MDes ’14) serves as curatorial assistant for the exhibition.

Koolhaas' interest in the countryside has been explored in past GSD public programming. Earlier this year, the GSD hosted the U.S. premiere of the documentary “REM,” directed by Tomas Koolhaas, which touched on issues of the countryside. Additionally, in 2015, Professor Koolhaas presented a lecture at the GSD on the topic.