What is more important for humankind: the Tesla GigaFactory, the Thermae at Vals, CCTV, or a refugee camp ?
Most of it is rectangular ?
What happened to the blob ?
Do blobs need a public ?
Why is the computer’s versatility used in the countryside only to produce repetitions of the right angle ?
Is the countryside shed becoming a model for all construction ?
Are boxes triumphant in countryside because there is no one left to impress ? Have we denied the countryside its own evolution? By introducing cheaper workers, ingenious technologies, a new scale ?
What did we erase ?
Did you ever look from the air at the periphery of any city ?
All you saw were boxes, packed closely together ?
Do those boxes need more space now ?
Are we witnessing the emancipation of the box in the countryside ?
Can we imagine a city of boxes ?
What kept them close to the city ?
Why were the huge parking lots always half empty ?
Do boxes move to the countryside when workers are not needed any more ?
By how much did human density decline in factories, databanks, distribution centers… ironically mostly in “centers” ?
Do you remember seeing the masses on film, in documentaries, in fiction, move in and out of boxes, exploited, ready at any time to revolt ?
Where did they go ?
To Bangladesh ?
Where did revolt go ?
If factories are now barely inhabited by workers, how many “human” concerns can we abandon ?
Disabled access ?
AC ? Ventilation ?
extract from “?,”, an essay by Rem Koolhaas for Countryside A Report, 2020