Dec 6, 201312:54 PMPoint of View

Tomas Koolhaas, Son Of Rem, Prepares Doc About His Father

Tomas Koolhaas, Son Of Rem, Prepares Doc About His Father

A still from "REM," a documentary by the filmmaker Tomas Koolhaas about his architect father. Here, Rem is seen atop the CCTV tower surveying the Beijing urbanscape.

Courtesy Tomas Koolhaas

This article, by Karissa Rosenfield, originally appeared on ArchDaily as “Tomas Koolhaas Releases Official ‘REM’ Trailer, Exclusive Interview with Kanye West.”


Los Angeles-based cinematographer Tomas Koolhaas is nearing completion of his highly anticipated film, REM. The feature length documentary, which focuses on the work of Tomas’ famed father, Rem Koolhaas, is the first architectural film to “comprehensively explore the human conditions in and around Rem Koolhaas’ buildings from a ground-level perspective.” Rather than lifeless still shots and long-winded, intellectual discourse, REM exposes the one thing that gives each building function and purpose: how it is used by people.

So far, REM has been funded entirely by grants. However, in order for Tomas to collect the necessary funds to complete the film, he has turned to the internet. He recently launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $30,000, which he says will be used for the last stages of photography and overall post-production.

Watch REM’s official trailer above, which follows a parkour expert as he moves through the Casa Da Musica in Porto. Below is Tomas’ exclusive interview with Kanye West, who, among other things, comments on his work with OMA at the 2012 Cannes film festival.

When commenting on his interview with Kanye, the younger Koolhaas stated: "I agree that there is a defensiveness among architects to allow non-architects to be part of architectural discourse. I myself believe that this is one of the reasons that architectural documentaries tend to be quite unpopular amongst non-architects." In light of Kanye's recent media tour and engagements, in which he consistently presents himself as a student of design, Koolhaas's words take on greater resonance. "Since most people that actually use architecture are non-experts in the field, it seems strange that anyone should be ridiculed when they have opinions on the subject or want to be involved in collaborations with architects."

For his part, Kanye admits that his knowledge of design is only still growing. His grasp of architecture, and its history and professional culture, is similarly unwieldly, but it's something that he clearly has an great interest in. As he says, I probably sound ignorant when I talk about [architecture]… I’m fine with sounding ignorant...I’m not talking about something like music that I’m a complete expert at. I’m talking about something I want to learn about and I’m not afraid to talk in public about my desire to learn more.”

Help support Koolhaas's film here.

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