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Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large (Evergreens) Hardcover – 1997


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1344 pages
  • Publisher: Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822877433
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822877432
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 19 x 7.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,732,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Originally published to great critical acclaim in 1966, this text combines a selection of design works produced by the Dutch firm, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.) and its founder, Rem Koolhaas.

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Feb. 2001
Format: Hardcover
From the hardbacked industrial cover to the spine binding holding about 20 kilos of pages, this book is HARD.
Cleverly constructed, with insightful narratives, detailed case studies and poetic asides, this book is beautifully designed throughout. This is not a book that is read in a linear fashion, but rather explored and experienced - like the real, virtual and conceptual environments appearing in its pages.
Don't try and read it in bed though - unless you've got arms like Arnie.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 34 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
How to pack a city into a book - Lesson 1 14 Jun. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: 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.
115 of 149 people found the following review helpful
Extra Medium... 13 Nov. 2004
By tierny - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There's a terrific line in Breakfast at Tiffany's. George Peppard proudly hands neighbor Audrey Hepburn a copy of his just-published book. She has no idea what to do with it, so she puts it on a shelf next to a vase, backs away and says "Doesn't that look nice?"
This book is a lot like that. A self-conciously designed object for the homes of style consumers who already have the right clothes and the B&B Italia furniture. A prop for the still-life they want to inhabit. If they ever got around to "reading" it, they'd discover to their great relief... it's NOT a book to be read in any strict classical sense.

It also reminds me of a New Yorker cartoon where one associate asks another, "Read the first few pages of any good books lately?" The age of the short attention span is not going away any time soon. This hefty grey slab is easily recast as the shiny new headstone for verbalized intelligence.

As Kracauer holds it, there's nothing wrong with framing a culture via fragments, but I have plenty of qualms about advancing one's own ideas that way. And I'm suspect of ideas that trowel on style in the abundance seen here. If I could believe Bruce Mau's intentions were more than just trying to look new, (This 'look' now permeates architecture publications) I'd have more respect for this, but it was obviously calculated as a totem of style and style-suffusion.

For better or for worse, the book got noticed, the industry was distracted by the pretty surfaces and the ascent of Koolhaas is a done deal.
If you want to actually READ a book full of Koolhaas' thoughts, skip this and get a copy of Delirious New York.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A Great Big Mega-Mega 13 May 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: 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.
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
A MASTERPIECE 29 Mar. 1999
By dpfeiffer@mindspring.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: 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!
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Even within chaos, the mind can envision patterns 23 April 2000
By "beatnikbuilder" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: 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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