Beyond Architecture: The lesser-known works of Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid is known internationally for her distinctive and jaw-droppingly innovative buildings (including the London Aquatics Centre, one of the centrepieces of the London 2012 Olympics). Hadid also designs furniture and objects, and it is this lesser-known aspect of her career that takes centre stage for the first time in Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion, a beautiful new book from Yale. Today we take a look at Hadid and her non-architectural output, which includes furniture, lighting, footwear, jewellery and other objects that are as experimental as her buildings.

Those who haven’t heard of Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid will certainly be aware of her work, or at least, they will be this summer. With its distinctive curved roof, Hadid’s London Aquatic Centre in Stratford will be the first venue visitors see upon entering the Olympic Park for the London 2012 games. The distinctive building (Hadid describes it as being inspired by her work on ‘fluid morphology’) has already been described as a ‘triumph’ (The Telegraph).

Hadid is one of the most influential British architects working today. Her London-based architectural design firm Zaha Hadid Architects employs 350 people and she has won many international awards for her innovative designs, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize (Hadid was the first woman ever to receive the award).

In recent years her influence has only become stronger, appearing in Forbes‘ list of ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ and Time‘s list of  ‘Influential Thinkers’. She won the Stirling Prize two years running: in 2010, for one of her most celebrated works, the Maxxi in Rome, and in 2011 for the Evelyn Grace Academy, a Z-shaped school in Brixton.

Hadid also regularly undertakes non-architectural projects. Her high-profile interior work includes the Mind Zone and Feet Zone at London’s Millennium Dome, and she has undertaken a number of conceptual projects, including the Z.CAR, a hydrogen-powered, three-wheeled automobile. In the world of fashion, Hadid has worked with clothing label Lacoste to create high fashion products, and in furniture, she has collaborated with manufacturer B&B Italia to design the distinctive (and rather expensive) Moon System Sofa. Her contributions to brassware design and other fields also continue to push the boundaries of innovation.

Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion is a beautiful new book from Yale, that for the first time looks specifically at this non-architectural output.  This eye-opening book uncovers Hadid’s commercial designs, made between 1995 and 2011, as a means of exploring the interrelationships among architecture, urbanism and design that define her work.

Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion

Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion

The book is written by Kathryn Bloom Hiesinger, curator of European decorative arts after 1700 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Patrik Schumacher, a partner in the Hadid’s firm. The texts, photographs and drawings demonstrate Hadid’s groundbreaking use of technology in digital design and manufacturing, and the methods and processes that propel her revolutionary formal language. Truly a must-have for design students, architectural enthusiasts and lovers of innovative, trail-blazing art projects.

The book accompanies an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (which finishes 25 March 2012).

Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion is available this month from Yale University Press. Take a look at some more images from the book below…

Shoes designed by Zaha Hadid

Shoes designed by Zaha Hadid

Conceptual design for the Z.CAR

Conceptual design for the Z.CAR

Share this


  • January 19, 2012


    Would be great if some of this innovative style was injected into the design of street furniture

  • If some one wishes to be updated with most recent technologies after
    that he must be pay a quick visit this website and be up to
    date all the time.

  • April 25, 2013


    Great site you have here but I was curious if
    you knew of any user discussion forums that cover
    the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get opinions from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Cheers!

You must be logged in to post a comment