Did you know that the late Dame Zaha Hadid was a prolific product designer as well as one of the most innovative and daring architects of our time?
I'm sure you've heard of the recent and sad passing of this talented, boundary-breaking, multi award-winning architect who leaves behind an incredible portfolio of work, both real and conceptual.
From angular sharp-cornered structures with jagged edges that pierce through the air to magnificently curved buildings, her work is immediately recognizable. You may love her style or you may not, but I think it would be really difficult not to be impressed by it on some level or other.
Some say she was a genius and they're quite possibly right. One thing's for sure though, whether you agree with that statement or not, and that is that Zaha Hadid was a ground-breaker. She was a woman architect. She was an Arab woman architect. She was totally individual, audacious and incredibly bold. She pushed boundaries, she crossed borders, and she challenged the norms. Materials, whether concrete, glass, plastic, metal or even paper, took on a totally different and unexpected aesthetic once she got her hands on them. I think her mind must have been quite a place to hang out don't you?!
Portrait of Zaha Hadid. Image by: Zaha Hadid Architects.
But aside from her architectural marvels, Zaha Hadid was also a prolific product designer. She collaborated with lots of different companies in all sorts of sectors to design and produce unique, Zaha-like pieces. From furniture to lighting, tableware and accessories to shoes and jewellery. She even designed a wine bottle and a doll's house.
I thought we'd focus on some of these pieces today, so let's take a look at some of this product designer's creations. You may well have come across some of them before, but I'm pretty sure there are one or two that will surprise you!
The Moraine Sofa by Zaha Hadid for Italian furniture and accessories brand Sawaya & Moroni. I remember seeing and sitting on this piece once during a visit to the Sawaya & Moroni showroom in Milan - it was quite impressive with its beautiful subtle curves. It had great scale and lovely proportions. Image by: Sawaya & Moroni.
The Liquid Glacial Table by Zaha Hadid for David Gill Galleries. It's made from transparent acrylic which just flows with so much movement! Image by Jacopo Spilimbergo.
Just look at that movement ! You can feel the downward pull of the water can't you? Image by: Jacopo Spilimbergo.
The Kuki Chair by Zaha Hadid for Sawaya & Moroni. This modern (slightly narrow) interpretation of a rocking chair looks like it's standing on a knife's edge doesn't it? It would make quite a statement in the right place... Image by: Sawaya & Moroni.
The Aqua Table by Zaha Hadid for London brand Established & Sons. Fluid like water and reminds me a bit of a manta ray somehow. Image by: Dan Toben Smith. You can see this piece as it moves all the way from initial concept to finished product in the video below. It's cool...
Meet Vortexx. A futuristic chandelier designed by Zaha Hadid for Sawaya & Moroni. It changes colour and looks totally unique in situ. Image by: Sawaya & Moroni.
Vortexx in different colours. Looks like a film set doesn't it? Image by: Sawaya & Moroni.
I love this piece! It's the Aria Chandelier designed by Zaha Hadid for Italian lighting brand Slamp. Made up of over 50 individual thin fins of a clear material called Cristalflex, with LED lights. It's a piece of sculpture and has such an elegant and smooth flow - great! Image by: Slamp.
Detail of the Aria fins. Image by: Slamp.
The Zaha Hadid Chandelier for Swarovski Crystal Palace This amazingly sculptural and highly engineered light installation is a superb twist on the traditional chandelier. Not to get too technical, but it's made from 86 cables and 2,700 internally lit Swarovski crystals! I'm going to brag a little here by saying that I saw this piece at a Swarovski Crystal Palace event in Milan a few years ago - where I actually met Zaha Hadid in person! It was an incredible event showcasing several lighting installations by architects and it was so exciting to have had the opportunity to meet her. Image by: Swarovski Crytsal Palace.
ACCESORIES & TABLEWARE
Zaha Hadid has collaborated with many luxury brands and none more so than Lalique, for whom she has designed two vases - the Manifesto vase on the left and the Visio vase on the right. Available in dramatic black or in clear, the lines are bold and the detail exquisite. I wouldn't mind owning one of these...Image by: Lalique.
This unique cutlery set is bound to attract attention at table with its interesting and unusual lines. Designed by Zaha Hadid for German cookware and cutlery brand WMF, it's also functional and perfectly ergonomic - not a case of form over function. It's gorgeous. Image by: Werner Huthmacher.
DECORATION & FITTINGS
Yep - she also designed wallpaper for a German brand called Marburg Wallcoverings. They are more like large wall panels actually rather than wallpaper by the roll - and of course they stand out due to their play on perspective and texture. Image by: Konstantin Eulenburg.
Did you know taps could look like this? Designed in collaboration with Triflow Taps. This is pure sculpture for the bathroom don't you think? Image by: Triflow Concepts.
FASHION & JEWELLERY
Moving away from interiors products, Zaha Hadid also designed for the fashion and jewellery world. She collaborated with Lacoste on a range of limited edition shoes made from calf leather that twists around the ankle and calf moulding iteself to the wearer's shape. Do you think they are comfortable? They certainly look different...
What does this item look like to you? Would it surprise you to know that it's a necklace? The Celeste necklace to be more specific, designed for Atelier Swarovski and made from blackened silver and precious stones like white topaz, smokey quartz and black -spaniel. Click through to see it worn :) Image by: Zaha Hadid Architects.
Also for Atelier Swarovski, Zaha Hadid designed the Glace Collection of impressive bangles. Image by: Swarovski.
Can you believe this is a doll's house?? Designed to support KIDS which is a UK charity supporting disabled children, it is certainly a new take on one of the most traditional of toys! The pieces can be assembled in various ways encouraging kids to play and explore various ways of creating spaces. It's pretty cool I'd say...Image by: Zaha Hadid Architects.
Well I think that just about does it for today. There are loads more products to look through so just head on over to the Zaha Hadid Architects website and look through the archives section. It's pretty impressive. This exciting architect and product designer will be sorely missed.
'till next time...
All photos as credited. Please click through on the images to be taken to the relevant brand or to the Zaha Hadid Architects website. Fuschia bowl in header image is designed by Zaha Hadid for Italian brand Sawaya & Moroni.