Koolhaas has a reputation for critical remarks. The famous Dutch architect held a speech at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, where he teaches architecture and urban design. There, he elaborated on his thoughts on Swiss villages, architects in popular culture and Western "moroseness".
Need to teach about urban transformation
Being a Pritzker Prize laureate, Koolhaas has often bashed contemporary architects for designing buildings without character. He describes how the Swiss village where he lives transformed over the last 10 years. Grassland was landscaped, traditional buildings replaced by modern ones as foreign workers moved in and original inhabitants moved away.
"I'm not saying all this is bad, but it's ironic that such drastic transformations are barely or rarely taught in our schools. I want to find ways to discuss and think about it."
Moroseness vs. exuberance
He also pointed out that architects had been sinking in status for a while now. Ever since 1979, no architect had been featured on the front page of Time magazine any more even though this was a regular happening from 1920 through 1950. Instead, infamous "Wall Street moneymen" would capture the public's full attention.
Koolhaas further criticized that the Western world is suffering from acute "moroseness". Meanwhile, the rest of the world thrived in exuberance. This however would not mean that he planned to stop working any time soon. "I don't feel I'm approaching the end of my career. Otherwise, I wouldn't be playing these kinds of games."