this year’s edition of the world architecture festival in amsterdam saw world-renowned dutch architect rem koolhaas give the closing keynote. the festival’s theme was identity and the world’s most influential architects, designers and commentators discussed the issues revolving around it. the lecture, which was in conversation with jeremy melvin — curator of world architecture festival — touched subjects like today’s digital age, publications, politics, and his recent projects in the countryside.

watch rem koolhaas discuss digital age, recent projects and politics at world architecture festival designboom



this is the first year WAF was held in amsterdam and paul finch, programme director of world architecture festival commented on the special occasion stating that, ‘we’re delighted that rem koolhaas has joined our already stellar list of speakers for this year’s event. this is the first time we’ll be holding WAF in the dutch capital, and just as the dutch masters presided over a golden age of artistic endeavour and expression in the 17th century, rem and his contemporaries have spearheaded architectural innovation that has been exported and embraced around the world.’

watch rem koolhaas discuss digital age, recent projects and politics at world architecture festival designboom
screenshot taken from REM movie (read more on designboom here)



koolhaas was just one of many speakers featured at the event, including jeanne gang (read our interview here) and india mahdavi (read our interview here). during the interview, koolhaas discussed many topics at length and in particular his opinion on the replacement of large sections of society with digital technology, ‘I feel that I have been dealing with digital for 48 years and that is for me an interesting paradox, because what it means is that the actual implications, the actual replacement by the digital of vast sections of reality are actually not taking place as fast, or as thorough, as people may still assume.’



in addition to conversation regarding our current political environment, the dutch architect also voiced his views on rural environments and how in the enthusiasm to rapidly develop cities, the countryside has been majorly overlooked. ‘in particular, if you look at the rhetoric of the smart city and the pressure on the continuously more wired and sensor-based urban life and the incredible pressure to also modify architecture through the same technology, then you really begin to see this neglect of the countryside is not very smart.’ 


to hear the full conversation with rem koolhaas, please watch the video interview above.



watch rem koolhaas discuss digital age, recent projects and politics at world architecture festival

world architecture festival (WAF) is the largest, annual, international, live architectural event. it includes the biggest architectural awards programme in the world, dedicated to celebrating excellence via live presentations to an audience of high-profile delegates and international juries. WAF is a three-day event for architects and interior design professionals to celebrate, learn, exchange, and be inspired. the 2018 world architecture festival is held in amsterdam and comprises 5 key elements: the WAF awards; a thematic conference programme; an exhibition of award entries; sponsor and exhibitor stands; a series of networking/social events, as well as WAF fringe activities. INSIDE world festival of interiors runs alongside WAF, with its own awards and conference programme.