On Bigness

"In Bigness, the distance between core and envelope increases to the point where the façade can no longer reveal what happens inside. The humanist expectation of “honesty” is doomed: interior and exterior architectures become separate projects, one dealing with the instability of programmatic and iconographic needs, the other – agent of disinformation – offering the city the apparent stability of an object.


Although Bigness is a blueprint for perpetual intensity, it also offers degrees of serenity and even blandness. It is simply impossible to animate its entire mass with intention. Its vastness exhausts architecture’s compulsive need to decide and determine. Zones will be left out, free from architecture."

On Bigness (of websites)
Malte Müller

→ Rem Koolhaas' take on big buildings relates to the contemporary web design discourse insofar as it explicitly defines Bigness (a "silly term", by his own account) in contrast to size or functional complexity of a project – to me, this seems akin to the problem of website weight.

Big websites, mostly operated by big institutions, put forth similar problems: separation of structure from experience, a lack of legibility and requirement for engineering that does not improve the website's quality, but has to happen to sustain and enable its bigness in the first place.