Watching the Winter Olympic Games put me in mind of iconoclastic Iraqi architect and designer Zaha Hadid, since one of her first built commissions was a ski jump in Austria. Although the world lost Hadid unexpectedly in 2016, her legacy lives on.
1. Bergisel Ski Jump
Forgetting Hadid’s revolutionary architectural wonders for the moment, which challenged our views of how we inhabit buildings and how they affects us as we move within them, I thought we’d narrow the focus to her furniture design, starting with futuristic pieces like Stardune 1 Bench, which recalls liquid mercury.
2. Stardune 1 Bench for David Gill Gallery
The same fascinating sinuosity, which attunes us to a world we don’t yet inhabit but perhaps should, is evident in Hadid’s Seamless Collection for Established & Sons, one of many pieces whose twisting lines imply a universe in constant motion.
3. Seamless Collection for Established & Sons
Should we sit on such enigmatic furniture, then we should also house our most beloved objects on equally shapely inventions, including our books—which in turn house our dreams.
4. Tela Bookshelf for CITCO
And we should cook in twisting, turning, divinely feminine constructions as well. I, for one, am eager to consume whatever delectable food would emerge from such a kitchen—and I’m hoping it would involve Chef Richard Blais and his alchemistical molecular gastronomy.
5. Z-Island for Dupont Corian
But I think Hadid’s genius forms really come to life with the addition of light, which is why her chandeliers hang in almost all my oneiric spaces, metaphorically and literally lighting up my dreams.
6. VorteXX for Zumbotel
With 50 “arms” in gold, transparent, or black, each diverse and dripping around a voluminous LED, Aria resembles a deep oceanic medusa.
7. Aria for Slamp
Finished by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) after her untimely death, the last furniture collection by Zaha Hadid emphasizes her alien forms but in a broader materials palette that adds walnut, silver, glass, and leather to her clear acrylic repertoire.
8. UltraStellar Chair for David Gill Gallery
Whatever world Zaha Hadid envisioned—and it was always sculptural, abstract, serpentine, metaphorical, and intergalactic without ever leaving the realm of the beautiful—I want to live in it. Just don’t make me go down the ski jump. Get more information on her work and legacy at www.zaha-hadid.com.