By Antti Ahlava
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It cannot be designed purposely just to illustrate technical possibilities. Instead, architecture should be radical, that is, enigmatic, non-sensible, and taking distance from the ruling modes of culture. Baudrillard argues that places should retain their char44 Jean Baudrillard: L’echange symbolique et la mort (1993, orig. 1976) 108-109. 29 acteristics through time, and that changes should always be small mutations, not any kind of revolution. Perhaps due to his lack of information about actual architectural design processes, some of Baudrillard’s criticism in Les objets singuliers remains misplaced.
Koolhaas tries to create architecture congested with the masses in diverse actions. These actions have typically not been assigned a specific place. This is the difference between new programming and former planning functions. Rational individualism must be abandoned when interpreting mass society. In Baudrillard’s criticism of the previous theories of consumer society, it is very much a question of the theory of consumer culture elevating to the level where it drops romantic communitarian ideals at the mass stage.
The city of the future would be a continuous construction on pillars, an extended system of different “plug-in” structures. The overcoming of nature and submitting the climate, light and sounds in these different spaces to the control of “professional” Situationists themselves, was the ideal, harmonising the cacophony that reigns in contemporary cities intended to bring pleasure. The ambiences would be regularly changed with the aid of every technical means possible. 85 Actually Koolhaas even praises boringness and argues for unplanned places.