Kanye West announces second film in interview
about working with Rem Koolhaas

| 24 comments

News: in this movie interview filmed for a documentary about Rem Koolhaas, rapper Kanye West talks about working with the architect's firm OMA on a seven-screen cinema to show his first film and reveals that he's working on a second movie.

In the interview conducted by Koolhaas' son Tomas, director of the documentary, West also talks about ambitions for his design company DONDA and says that "music has really been a Trojan Horse to create art again".

"I love Rem's work," said West while talking about how much he enjoyed working with the architect's company OMA in 2012. "I just like that fact that I was able to take my position as a musician, as a rapper and as a celebrity, and be able to invest in a project with a company of that level."

Seven-screen pavilion by OMA for Kanye West
Seven-screen pavilion by OMA for Kanye West

OMA's pavilion design for West was a shaped like a pyramid and erected for the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and during the interview the rapper revealed that he has been producing a new film that builds on the immersive experience for the past year and a half: "I'm working on a film and I've created a seamless version. There were seven screens and they were separated, and the new one is seamless."

"When it happens and people see it, I think people will understand a bit better what I'm talking about or why I'm so frustrated," he added.

West also discussed his creative company DONDA, which he set up last year. At the moment he initiates and funds all the projects himself, but the 36-year-old hopes that this will shift so his company is commissioned to create for others within the next four years.

"I'm paying for a lot of the projects that I wanna work on, but it's like my own home [designed by Claudio Silvestrin], or a store design, or [the] pavilion I did with OMA," he said. "I believe, just to will this into fruition, that when I'm 40 [DONDA] will have to turn down projects."

"I've done basically everything I can do with the amount of finances I have," West continued. "If I go and think about a new form of film making and I go through the entire process, I end up funding the entire thing myself because it's too abstract of a concept for people to put a finger on."

Kanye West protrait from interview for Rem Koolhaas documentary by Tomas Koolhaas Dezeen
Kanye West

During the interview filmed in October he repeated the declaration of his design ambitions, which he first expressed during a rant about the subject while speaking on BBC Radio 1 in September.

"I went to college on an arts scholarship, I was the number one you know so music has really been a Trojan Horse to really create art again," he declared. "What do you think I spend the most time on when I'm creating a tour? The visuals. I am more of a visual artist and a product person."

"DONDA, with my company, we like to collaborate with firms," West added. "We like to go and ask questions and say 'for this job, who would be great to work on this?'" In addition to his collaboration with OMA, he is also working on a visual identity for his brand with graphic designer Peter Saville.

Since this interview took place, West addressed students at Harvard University about architecture and design last month. The negative response to the rapper's design ambitions was declared "racist" by an African-American student activist from the institution.

Tomas Koolhaas is currently aiming to raise funds to complete his REM documentary on Kickstarter. The feature-length documentary will focus on how the architect's buildings are used by people and will "comprehensively explore the human conditions in and around Rem Koolhaas' buildings from a ground level perspective". Watch the trailer below:

  • Steeevyo

    Accusations of racism in 5, 4, 3, 2…

  • laf

    Meh.

  • Becca Flei

    Stop reporting about this idiot. PLEASE. He’s the last person in the world who deserves the kind of publicity you reward him with.

    • Nathan

      Exactly. I know the media only publish celebrity related news most of the time, but why should this RAPPER work with a world renowned architect? Sure they can do what they want, but don’t make it into something big.

      “I just like that fact that I was able to take my position as a musician, as a rapper and as a celebrity, and be able to invest in a project with a company of that level.”

      Childish answer. Celebrity status is everything now. They don’t need to know anything about architecture to “contribute” to it. Glad I left this industry as a Part 1 graduate.

      • Bradford

        “I just like that fact that I was able to take my position as a musician, as a rapper and as a celebrity, and be able to invest in a project with a company of that level.”

        He’s means that DESPITE the fact that he is a musician / rapper / celebrity, he’s able to have this opportunity to work with a world class company. Not because of it.

  • Jay

    It’ll be interesting to see his creations in effect. He is pretty sure that his art will ‘revolutionise the world’. As far as his public speaking goes, I’ll pass. His egotistical mentality, blatant disregard and belittlement of the beauty that already exists are infuriating! This opinion is not based solely on this particular interview but includes it.

  • davvid

    I like him much more now that he’s irritating architects.

  • Rusty

    What is wrong with this ambition? Nothing in my book. He’s trying to do something a lot more ambitious and interesting than just putting his name on run of the mill clothing and charging a lot for it like many of his contemporaries.

    He’s trying to do something with ambition. Like everything ambitions, yes it may fail, and yes he’s going to say silly things along the way but I promise you if I excepted sound bites of all your favourite furniture / building / clothing / automobile designers they would not always come off as geniuses. They may very well come off as egotistical, silly, fanciful, etc. Design, especially architecture, is a profession for generalists, aggregators and recombiners of ideas. I wish him success and hope he’s able to transition from the point where he can fund vanity projects to the productive constraints that come with working for clients.

  • .,`

    It takes everybody years, even decades to develop as an artist, designer, musician. It’s a curse to anyone who is going from the light of one discipline to jump into another. If I had the ability (and the nerve) to be as loud as West in in my first two years as a designer in sure I would have received much more criticism then he.

    I’m not saying he is excused for masking his self interest in expanding his brand as an actual interest in making peoples lives better through design. I’m interested in seeing where this ends up and how he is changed by architecture over the next few years.

  • Ryan

    Looks interesting. I’m sure all you below will watch ;^)

  • Marco

    R I D I C U L O U S! Get a job.

  • pipo

    Best of luck to him. As he says himself, he has the money to fund his own projects and the ambition to make it happen. So I see no reason why not.

  • Omikey

    Celebratelligence… yaknow.

  • viktor vektor

    Great.

  • Leonardo Alves

    Dislike every aspect about him. But the video is nice! I liked it.

  • jj

    How badly can you humiliate yourself? An interview with sway:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S78tT_YxF_c

  • Alan

    What is the difference between archistars and rappers ?

  • kat

    WHY THE HELL ARE PEOPLE PAYING THIS IDIOT ANY ATTENTION. DESIGN IS TOILET.

  • beatirce

    Every time he uses the phrase ‘working with’ I shudder. He means he’s hiring someone to do something. Not working with.

    Is he really working with Peter Saville? Or Does Peter Saville think he’s a dick head but will happily take his money?

    “I was able to take my position as a musician, as a rapper and as a celebrity, and be able to invest in a project with a company of that level.”

    Git. Whoops… is that racist?

    • mate

      “He means he’s hiring someone to do something”. Can I just ask how you know this? Or are you just assuming?

      You shouldn’t just assume in regards to subjects you know little about let alone 0%

  • http://www.maxeschenbach.com/ Max Eschenbach

    He should continue making the stupid kind of music he does and stop messing with design and especially architecture – just like Brad Pitt should continue with acting and stop messing with furniture.

    This is just ridiculous and I have absolutely no clue why a renowned blog like Dezeen is reporting this.

    • paul

      Why should he continue making “stupid music” and not do what he likes?

  • beatrice

    Wow. You are so wrong.

    Obviously you don’t know how Kanye operates. I do on the other hand.

    I know from first hand experience how he ‘works with people’. He just rings them at 2am in the morning and prattles down the phone with talk of big money and big projects until the hapless receiver gives in, and goes back to bed. I know people he’s done this too. Yes, I know them.

    YOU on the other hand don’t know me, and you have 0% knowledge of what I know about him. Don’t tell me what I should and should not say.

  • Donmcthrill

    Architecture needs more diversification. Not in terms of students and underpaid workers, but in terms of clients who have ideas themselves. This collaboration makes me curious and excited. All the people who dislikes this because of Kanye, are the
    same people who are ruining the profession.