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SPIEGEL: In doing so, are you taking up a concept, in a modern way, that American architect Louis Sullivan defined with the phrase "form follows function?"

Koolhaas: Some of our buildings fulfill this basic concept completely. Ironically, this functionalist idea is so forgotten, so unknown today that it seems completely new once again. Modernity is ultimately shaped by the idea of enlightenment, of progress. As unsteady as these concepts may seem to us today, it would be absurd to abandon them, because it hasn't been until today that we, as Europeans, are in a position to share them with the world. This, in turn, is what makes up the credibility of European architecture in an age of globalization: That we are able to execute our formulas in a less formulaic way than others, and that we can pay closer attention to the circumstances under which other people live.

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