Dame Zaha Hadid [1950-2016] studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before she started her architectural journey in 1972 at the progressive Architectural Association in London. She joined her former professors, Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis, at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, where she became a partner in 1977. By 1979 she had established her own practice in London – Zaha Hadid Architects – garnering a reputation across the world for her trail-blazing theoretical works including The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994).
Zaha Hadid’s work of the past 30 years was the subject of critically acclaimed exhibitions at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2006, London’s Design Museum in 2007, the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua, Italy, in 2009, the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2011 and the State Hermitage Museum in 2015.
In 2004 Zaha Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. In 2016, she will be the first woman to be awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal. Zaha Hadid’s other awards include the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and in 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture whilst the Royal Institute of British Architects announced Zaha Hadid as the recipient of the 2016 Royal Gold Medal.
ZAHA HADID DESIGN
Zaha Hadid Design (ZHD) was established in 2006 by Zaha Hadid, and operates under the lead of Co-Directors Woody Yao and Maha Kutay. Pushing the boundaries of contemporary design, ZHD implements the latest technological and material advancements in design, in collaboration with the world’s most respected brands. The ZHD portfolio includes commissions from a wide range of design disciplines such as fashion, jewellery, limited edition furniture pieces, interiors, exhibition, and set-design. As an architect and designer, Zaha Hadid’s work explored spatial concepts at all scales. When speaking of her work as a designer, Hadid explained: “My product designs and architecture have always been connected; some of our earliest projects were designs for products and interiors. These design pieces are very important to me and my team. They inspire our creativity by providing an opportunity to express our ideas through different scales and through different media; an essential part of our on-going design investigation.” To respond to the demand for her work on a commercial level, the label ‘Zaha Hadid Design Collection’ was developed and features a selection of homeware and giftware retailed globally in selected stores as well as online. ZHD has a gallery space, located in London, which examines the cross-disciplinary approach to design, of Zaha Hadid. It also provides a revealing look into Zaha Hadid’s process through a selection of work from the joint archives of Zaha Hadid Design and Zaha Hadid Architects. The ZH Gallery is host to temporary exhibitions featuring emerging designers, as well as a venue for product launches, lectures, and performances rooted in contemporary culture.