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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for fakery or No wonder architects get a bad press.
This is one of the most spurious books on architecture and town planning that it has ever been my misfortune to browse through: too long to read and badly needs an editor. Heavyweight only in the sense of it weighing something like 5 pounds. Many of the ideas second-hand or self-evident, and the graphics are hard to follow too. Koolhaas's little jokes with the ® and...
Published on June 22 1999

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars have no real contentof architeture
I was expecting an incisive analysis of modern architecture on different scales, filled with examples of projects, both dreams and real buildings. Instead, the book is a chaotic assortment of rubbish -- excerpts of floor-plans, littered with photos which are hopefully intended to create a mood rather than convey a sense of the building. All in all, innovative...
Published on Dec 11 1999 by bendjtzen


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for fakery or No wonder architects get a bad press., June 22 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: S, M, L, XL (Hardcover)
This is one of the most spurious books on architecture and town planning that it has ever been my misfortune to browse through: too long to read and badly needs an editor. Heavyweight only in the sense of it weighing something like 5 pounds. Many of the ideas second-hand or self-evident, and the graphics are hard to follow too. Koolhaas's little jokes with the ® and © symbols are plain unfunny. Phrases like The Emperor'sNew Clothes® or Could Do Better spring to mind. Bernard Meares, Geneva, Switzerland.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars S,M,L,XL, Sept. 17 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: S, M, L, XL (Hardcover)
Possibly one of the many great books on architecture of today with plenty of references and clean graphics. A must have for all architecs or if you just want a wonderfully beautiful book for your home or office.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Big Mega-Mega, May 12 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: S, M, L, XL (Hardcover)
S, M, L, XL, love it or hate it, is seminal; Rem Koolhaas is one of the most important cultural figures on the planet at this time. S, M, L, XL serves as memoir, manifesto, documentation, diagnosis, prognosis, prophecy, plan, agenda, & propoganda -- local and/or global historicocriticophilosophical montage, collage, and barrage. The book is beautiful. Bruce Mau has indeed "given form" to the silver juggernaut. The cover, the illustrations, typographies, photos, and text come together in the manner of a Tristam Shandy or Finnegan's Wake. S, M, L, XL as literature is a commentary on the condition we call "modernity". Koolhaas seeks an understanding of both his profession and the chaotic dynamics of the world his profession leaves structures in. Koolhaas is at home in the chaos, and like Pynchon in fiction, or Antonioni in film, is remarkably detached and involved in the process at the same time(maybe this is false, but Koolhaas as a writer and architect is an auteur possessed by genius, and S, M, L, XL is both comforting and uncanny at the same time). S,M,L,XL is proof that Koolhaas is aware of the increasingly global nature of the architect's profession. I am fascinated by the concept and practice of traveling, and activity Koolhaas knows all too well as a traveler in the discourse and practice of "modernity". Essays within S,M,L,XL such as "Islam After Einstein" and "Singapore Songlines:Thirty Years of Tabula Rasa" show his knowledge of the increasingly important relation between the East and West, and the implications involved. Perhaps the most brilliant essay/manifesto in the book is one of the most recently written, "The Generic City" which questions notions of progress in history and the archeology(ies) of modernism. One photo in the back of S,M,L, XL is particularly haunting in its image and message. It shows a larger-than-life and late Deng Xiaoping in the foreground of a painting of a coastal city, rais! ing his right hand gently to his people looking at the mural. The insert reads, "Two billion people won't be wrong." We'll find out. This is where much of Koolhaas' importance lies, his insight into what the great comparative historian and Sinophile Joseph Needham called the "Grand Titration". S,M,L, XL must endure, though it will not be read by the masses. It transcends (a dangerous word to use) architectural writing. Anyone concerned about the future of both the arts and sciences and those who wish to gain a greater understanding of our relation to our environment(s) must read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A poignant statement on architecture (within the typefaces), Feb. 9 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: S, M, L, XL (Hardcover)
Size counts - and at the end of the millenium, our cities have never been bigger. Koolhaas understands that we must describe our urban condition in new ways, and so he does - in his radical theoretical propositions and in the very manner of presenting them. By organizing his material by the size of each project, he lets this tome culminate in his grand speculation of big urbanism - the Generic City. On the content alone of this collection of work delivered by the OMA, Koolhaas stands as an authoritative figure on the state of architecture and the city. By presenting his work through a techno-psychotic videoscreen, he invests his labours with the fragmented graphics of a psyched-out generation. A cursory glance will not reveal the subtleties of this masterwork.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE, March 28 1999
This review is from: S, M, L, XL (Hardcover)
I'm about half way through it and already it has profoundly changed my view of the world around me. This book transcends architecture and touches on spirituality, politics, society and culture. A stirring manifesto for the convergence of several aspects of the global condition. Reading it has sparked a wave of creativity in my own line of work (financial analyst/software developer). Why is architecture important? Because it deals with the design of systems. Physical systems, biological, computer and natural systems. Architecture is life. I beleive Mr. Koolhaas understands this by evidence of his writings. Bravo!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Even within chaos, the mind can envision patterns, April 23 2000
This review is from: S, M, L, XL (Hardcover)
Rem Koolhaas has invented a set of theories in S,M,L,XL that transcends and show progression from his earlier work, Delirious New York. What a glory it is for a man of his vision and talent to spend the time in documenting his works. For one man to maintain his practice as an architect and planner, and also produce this epic anti-coffee table book with such vigor is indispensable. The novel's greatest asset is in the way it moves the architect from the coffee table or decorative bookcase, to the mind. Koolhaas is a genius, and I congratulate him as being the recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
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4.0 out of 5 stars XL density, Oct. 29 1998
This review is from: S, M, L, XL (Hardcover)
This novel is dually satisfying and frustrating. The density of information put forth requires the reader to analyze each page, afraid that if something is missed the entire meaning of the work will be lost. This is, unfortunately, more than any normal being could handle. Each page adds more information to an increasingly overwhelmed mind until you find yourself simply flipping through pages, grasping at the imagery and completely ignoring the text. A few days later, however, the reader's brain will be ready for more, because this book desires and requires to be understood.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review by an architect..., Aug. 12 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: S, M, L, XL (Hardcover)
This is one of the finest books dealing with Architectural concerns of the last few years. A book which will be read again and again and used as a reference for a lot of parrallel issues a student may come across. I enjoyed the book for the different essays esp. the one on Singapore and Atlanta. that is the beauty of the book. Rather than simply talking about his work He explains the city, site imp. historical references and this is such an important aspect of process today. I also enjoyed his style of writing. serious issues coloured with a lot of wit and humour. A must buy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How to pack a city into a book - Lesson 1, June 14 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: S, M, L, XL (Hardcover)
This is a dense manifesto of ideas. It might be termed a printed hypertext, with a continuous glossary of terms being defined by Koolhaas this could serve as an alternative dictionary. The book is too broad for simply architecture, urban planning theory &c. which it professes to having as its infrastructure. It deals with all design issues, from the content of OMAs projects, to the beautifully printed and assembled object that is the book itself. Attempt to read as a linear narrative at your own risk.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, May 2 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: S, M, L, XL (Hardcover)
koolhaas denotes an intellectually vigorous connotation of architectural theory on the precepts of form space and order.It is indigenous to the truths found from deep within the soul
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S, M, L, XL
S, M, L, XL by Bruce Mau (Hardcover - Oct. 1 1997)
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