Content is a product of the moment. Inspired by the ceaseless fluctuations of the early 21st century, it bears the marks of globalism and the market, ideological siblings that, over the past twenty years, have undercut the stability of contemporary life.
This book is born of that instability. It is not timeless; it’s almost out of date already. It uses volatility as a license to be immediate, informal, blunt; it embraces instability as a new source of freedom.
Content is a follow-up to SMLXL, an inventory of seven years of OMA’s tireless labor. In many ways it is structured according to what its predecessor is not-dense, cheap, disposable… The relentless internal logic that propelled SMLXL is here counteracted by the incorporation of critical, external voices. Subjects are not arranged according to size, but by geographical proximity: the trajectory moves ever eastward, beginning in San Francisco, ending in Tokyo.
Content is dominated by a single theme — “Go East” — at once a response to 9-11’s mounting wreckage and an acknowledgment of the eastward momentum that has, through AMO’s political involvement with the EU and an increasing density of Chinese projects, redirected the office’s energy. It is an attempt to illustrate the architect’s ambiguous relations with the forces of globalization, an account of seven years spent scouring the earth – not as a business traveler or backpacker, but as a vagabond – roving, searching for an opportunity to realize the visions that make remaining at home torturous. Content is, beyond all, a tribute to what are perhaps OMA-AMO’s greatest virtues – its dogged, almost existential pursuit of discomfort, its comitment to engaging the world by inviting itself to places where it has no authority, places where it doesn’t “belong”.
— Brendan McGetrick, Editor