• OMA/Progress
    Barbican Art Gallery, London
    Oct 06, 2011 to Feb 19, 2012
    Barbican Centre

OMA, CCTV, 2010, Beijing, China. Photo: Jim Gourley. Courtesy of Barbican Art Gallery.

OMA/Progress is a major exhibition at Barbican Art Gallery that explores the work of the architecture firm OMA and its partner think tank AMO. Taking a novel approach to the architecture exhibition, Rotor, a group of young Brussels-based designers, are the research-driven guest curators for the exhibition. Rotor was hand-picked to interrogate OMA's built and research work from the past forty years. Their rigorous engagement with materials probes the conceptual working methods of OMA/AMO so as to make their experimental practice, concerns, and agenda broadly accessible to a local, national, and international audience.

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is an international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism, and cultural analysis. With offices in Rotterdam, New York, and Hong Kong, OMA employs a staff of 280 of more than thirty-five nationalities, including architects, designers, researchers, and sustainability experts working in close collaboration throughout the design process. OMA is led by seven partners: Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon, Reinier de Graaf, Shohei Shigematsu, David Gianotten, Iyad Alsaka, and Victor van der Chijs. AMO is a research unit and ideas machine that supports OMA but also transcends architecture to engage the fields of renewable energy, curating, politics, fashion, publishing, and branding. The work of Rem Koolhaas and OMA has won international awards including: the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2000); the Mies van der Rohe European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture (2005); and the Golden Lion award for Lifetime Achievement at the Twelfth International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2010).

Founded in 2005, Rotor is a group of architects and designers interested in material flows in industry and construction, particularly in relation to resources, waste, use and reuse. Members engaged for the OMA exhibition are Maarten Gielen, Tristan Boniver, Lionel Devlieger, Benjamin Lasserre, Melanie Tamm, and Renaud Haerlingen. Rotor disseminates creative strategies for salvage and waste reduction through workshops, publication, and exhibition. Recently, they represented Belgium to great acclaim at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennial in 2010. Their exhibition, Usus Usures explored wear as a reaction to use in architecture and as potentially creative process. For the Prada Foundation, Milan, they curated ex limbo, an installation of OMA designs for the Prada catwalk. Rotor's approach consistently—and very often visually—emphasizes the effects of human planning, oversight, and extended use on the built environment.

Barbican Centre aims to  foster and promote the maintenance, improvement, and development of artistic taste and the knowledge, understanding, education, and appreciation of the arts among the inhabitants of the city and generally. Our strategic objectives are: continuing to create and develop an innovative arts program; ensuring creative learning for all is integral to the arts program; developing international, local, and national partnerships; embracing new technologies; making the most of the iconic building; and creating an unrivalled cultural quarter in the City of London. Our date of incorporation is November 21, 1985.