Koolhaas leads us through the city holding a very personal light. He is a citizen observer and yet a practitioner. All three texts are polluted by the very mundane details of architecture practice; gypsum wall boards, steel stud connections, HVAC ducts route. But Hell is made out of details. He knows, he has obviously been to Hell. This dual personality of his allows him to lift a veil on the urban experience of the everyday citizens.
Do you need the architectural eye to observe the decay of space? I guess to us it is a constant sty but for most citizens, it is just a recurrent but punctual conjunctivitis. Older generations often complain about the cities decline but it is mostly in nostalgic terms. Cheap décor is the plague. Gyproc condos. Although Koolhaas’ ”Notes to architects” in Junkspace reminds me that a lot of architects are part of it, almost embracing it.
(Koolhaas’ metaphors are sometimes delicious. Postmodernism bashing is a ton of fun to read.)