Rem Koolhaas sees the future in the countryside


Is it time to leave the cities to live in the countryside?

I first realised this in a Swiss village in the Engadin, which I visited often over the past 25 years. I began to notice drastic changes there. The village was simultaneously growing and hollowing out. A man I assumed was a farmer turned out to be a dissatisfied nuclear scientist from Frankfurt. Cows disappeared, along with their smell, and in came minimalist renovations, abundant cushions absorbing their new owners’ urban angst. Farming itself was now left to Sri Lankan workers. And nannies, nurses and assistants recruited in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines were now looking after the homes, kids and pets of the virtual, one-week-a-year population who had caused the village to expand.

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The World in 2018

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