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Guggenheim and AMO / Rem Koolhaas Announce Research Project to Culminate in Fall 2019 Exhibition

Countryside: Future of the World Examines Radical Changes Transforming the Nonurban Landscape


The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, architect and urbanist Rem Koolhaas, and AMO, the think tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), will collaborate on a project exploring radical changes in the countryside, the vast nonurban areas of Earth. The project extends work already underway by AMO, Koolhaas, and students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and will culminate in a rotunda exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in fall 2019.

Organized by Guggenheim Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives Troy Conrad Therrien, Countryside: Future of the World (working title) will present speculations about tomorrow through insights into the countryside of today. The exhibition will explore artificial intelligence and automation, the effects of genetic experimentation, political radicalization, mass and micro migration, large-scale territorial management, human-animal ecosystems, subsidies and tax incentives, the impact of the digital on the physical world, and other developments that are altering landscapes across the globe.

“The Guggenheim has an appetite for experimentation and a founding belief in the transformative potential of art and architecture,” said Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “We are excited to reengage with Rem Koolhaas, one of today’s foremost thinkers and architectural forecasters, and to embark together with a global team of researchers on an intellectual journey that will return the countryside to the cultural radar and yield urgent insights into the ways humans continue to shape and be shaped by the world around us.”

Following decades of urban triumphalism, in which much of architectural production and thinking has focused on development and audiences in metropolitan areas, Countryside: Future of the World posits that rural territories are undergoing more radical reorganizations. The exhibition will explore this frontier, which has largely remained unexamined by city-focused architects.

“The fact that more than 50 percent of the world’s population now lives in cities has become an excuse to ignore the countryside,” said Koolhaas. “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. 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.”

Further details of Countryside: Future of the World will be announced.


Rem Koolhaas (b. Rotterdam, 1944) founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. He graduated from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and in 1978 published Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. His 1995 book S,M,L,XL summarizes the work of OMA in “a novel about architecture.” His built work includes the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2015); Fondazione Prada in Milan (2015); the headquarters for China Central Television (CCTV) in Beijing (2012); Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal (2005); Seattle Central Library (2004); and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Berlin (2003). Current projects include the Qatar Foundation headquarters, Qatar National Library, Taipei Performing Arts Center, a new building for Axel Springer in Berlin, and Factory in Manchester. Koolhaas is a professor at Harvard University and in 2014 was the director of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, entitled Fundamentals.


Cofounded by Rem Koolhaas in 1999, AMO is the think tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). AMO applies architectural thinking to domains beyond building, often working in parallel with OMA’s clients to fertilize architecture with intelligence from this array of disciplines. AMO has worked with Prada, the European Union, Universal Studios, Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, Condé Nast, Harvard University, and the Hermitage. It has produced exhibitions, including Expansion and Neglect (2005) at the Venice Biennale; The Gulf (2006), Cronocaos(2010), Public Works (2012), When Attitudes Become Form (2012), and Elements of Architecture (2014) at the Venice Architecture Biennale; and Serial Classics and Portable Classics (both 2015) at Fondazione Prada, Milan and Venice, respectively. AMO published The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping (2000) and Great Leap Forward (2001) with the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Content (2004), Al Manakh (2007), Al Manakh: Gulf Continued (2007), and Project Japan: Metabolism Talks (2011). Other notable projects are a plan for a Europe-wide renewable energy grid and the educational program of Strelka Institute in Moscow.


Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim constellation of museums that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has since expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997) and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (currently in development). The Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that celebrate contemporary art, architecture, and design within and beyond the walls of the museum, including the Guggenheim Social Practice initiative, Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, and The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. More information about the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation can be found at

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