Curated by Dr. Christian McLening and Woody Yao

15 February – 19 April 2018

TheGallery, AUB

TheGallery in collaboration with the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, AUB, and Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) are proud to present Zaha Hadid Architects: Evolution.

This exhibition explores how this innovative studio has evolved its design processes over the past thirty years to create some of the most distinctive and creative buildings in the world. By showcasing the complete design archive of an early building alongside current projects making use of digital design processes such as virtual reality and parametric design, the practice’s remarkable journey from analogue to digital methods is outlined.

Each of the practice’s innovative projects build on over thirty years of exploration and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture and design. As one is guided through the selection of exhibits, a clear progression in the office’s design aesthetics is presented from Zaha Hadid’s early deconstructivist beginnings to the more fluid and organic design that is presented in 3D printed form.

Through handmade models, sketches, drawings, computer renders, animations, paintings, 3D printed models, prototypes and videos, the exhibition will offer an insight on the different media that have played a key role in developing and designing projects throughout the history of the practice.

ZHA have also been working with students from the BA (Hons) Modelmaking degree to provide a new set of architectural models of designs from ZHA for the exhibition as part of their Design Representation unit. This part of the curriculum encourages students to explore the role and function of models in the design process, and their importance in communicating architectural concepts to an audience.

The exhibition has been part funded by the Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee, Centre for Creative Learning, AUB.
Find out more about Research and Industry

Meet the curators: Dr. Christian McLening and Woody Yao

Dr. Christian McLening
Dr. Christian McLening is the Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the Arts University Bournemouth.

He studied automotive industrial design at Coventry University and has a design MA degree from Central Saint Martin’s College, the Arts University London. Originally trained as an industrial designer, Christian has also professional practiced automotive, product and architectural design. He is a Chartered Technological Product Designer with the Institution of Engineering Designers.

Christian holds a PhD from Brunel University London, specialising in the creative design process within the architectural field. He also has a research interest in industrial design and design methodology as well as being a specialist in sustainable materials. Having supervised the work of Dr Jonathan Burgess, he assisted in the development of a new sustainable bio-plastic and plywood composite material used in a prototype vehicle powered with a hydrogen fuel cell. He is currently supervising a number of PhD students in the area of materials and architectural design.

Design education and the value of cross disciplinary working are some of Christian’s passions, as his has developed a number of new design courses with a practice based student centred curriculum. He embraces the Maker Culture community which is at the very heart of the Arts University Bournemouth.

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Woody Yao

Woody Yao (AA Dip) is Director of Zaha Hadid Design and an Associate Director of Zaha Hadid Associates.

He completed his schooling in Hong Kong, and Merchiston Castle, Edinburgh, before graduating from the Architectural Association School of Architecture, in London. During his time at the AA, Woody completed a number of private commissions, and contributed to large-scale projects with YRM London.

Since joining Zaha Hadid Architects in 1994, Woody has worked on a number of winning competition designs including Cardiff Bay Opera House, The Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art Cincinnati, MAXXI Rome and the Changsha Meixihu International Culture & Arts Centre.  During this time Woody has also designed, managed, and delivered a number of key architectural projects including the Spitellau Viaducts Housing Project in Vienna, Hotel Puerta America Madrid, Guangzhou Opera House, ROCA London Gallery and the Jockey Club Innovation Tower at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Instrumental in the development of the Archive and the growth of the Exhibitions program, he currently curates several shows a year and leads his team in design and execution. These exhibitions have been featured in some of the most distinguished cultural institutions worldwide, including key retrospectives such as ‘Zaha Hadid Architektur’ at MAK [Vienna, 2003], ‘Zaha Hadid: 30 Years of Architecture’ at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum [New York, 2006], ‘Zaha Hadid Architecture & Design’ at the Design Museum, [London 2007], ‘Zaha Hadid at the State Hermitage Museum’ [St Petersburg, 2015], ‘Zaha Hadid Early Paintings and Drawings’ at The Serpentine Gallery [London 2016/2017], ArtisTree [Hong Kong 2017], and ‘Zaha Hadid – Made in Italy’ at MAXXI [Rome 2017/18].

Woody has been a key contributor on a number of design collaborations with leading brands such as Sawaya & Moroni, Lacoste, Cassina, Poltrona Frau, Swarovski, Georg Jensen, Lasvit, and Olivari.

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Zaha Hadid Architects: Evolution Publication

Building on TheGallery’s text + work philosophy, this publication moves beyond the conventional exhibition catalogue format, and represents a piece of original research that adds a much greater depth of analysis than would normally be used to contextualise an exhibition. The extended essay Zaha Hadid Architects: Instruments of Vision, Partners in Design by Dr. Christian McLening and David Lund takes a deeper look at the evolution of process at Zaha Hadid Architects over the past forty years, charting the practice’s journey from analogue to digital methods.

Zaha Hadid Architects: Evolution
Published by text + work, TheGallery, AUB
2018, Soft cover with images
Publication includes contributions by Patrik Schumacher and Woody Yao, ZHA and ZHD; and David Lund, Rebecca Smith, Professor Stuart Bartholomew, Professor Emma Hunt and Dr. Christian McLening, AUB
Edited by Violet McClean, David Lund and Colin Perry
ISBN 978-0-901196-78-1

Available to purchase from TheGallery Office or the AUB online store


Zaha Hadid, founder of Zaha Hadid Architects, was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and is internationally known for her built, theoretical and academic work. Each of her projects expands upon over thirty years of exploration and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture and design.

Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects is a British international architecture and design firm founded by Zaha Hadid, with its main office situated in London. They work at all scales and in all sectors, creating transformative cultural, corporate, residential and other spaces that work in synchronicity with their surroundings.

950 projects. 44 countries. 400 staff. 55 nations.

Projects have included

  • Vitra Fire Station, Weil am Rhein, Germany 1991-Completed 1993
  • Car Park and Terminus Hoenheim-Nord, Strasbourg, France 1998-Completed 2001
  • Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck, Austria 1999-Completed 2002
  • Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati, USA 1997-Completed 2003
  • BMW Central Building, Leipzig, Germany 2001-Completed 2005
  • Ordrupgaard Museum Extension, Copenhagen, Denmark 2001- Completed 2005
  • Phaeno Science Center, Wolfsburg, Germany 2000-Completed 2005
  • Eleftheria Square, Nicosia, Cyprus 2005- To Be Completed
  • Maggie’s Fife Cancer Centre, Kircaldy, UK 2001-Completed 2006
  • R Lopez de Heredia Wine Pavilion, Haro, Spain 2001-Completed 2006
  • Nordpark Cable Railway Stations, Innsbruck, Austria 2004-Completed 2007
  • Mobile Art: Chanel Contemporary Art Container, Hong Kong China 2008-Completed 2010
  • Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion, Zaragoza, Spain 2005-Completed 2008
  • JS Bach Chamber Music Hall, Manchester, UK Completed 2009
  • MAXXI: National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome, Italy 1998-Completed 2009
  • Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou, China 2003-Completed 2010
  • Glasgow Riverside Museum of Transport, Glasgow, UK 2004-Completed 2011
  • London Aquatic Centre, London, UK 2004-Completed 2011
  • CMA CGM Head Office Tower, Marseille, France 2006-Completed 2011
  • Pierresvives Archive & Library, Montpellier, France 2002-Completed 2012
  • The Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, USA 2007-Completed 2012
  • Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan 2007-Completed 201
  • Dongdaemun Design Plaza Seoul Korea 2007-Completed 2014

ZHA Contributors

Zaha Hadid Architects
Working with clients that have global reputations for excellence, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) is developing transformational projects across six continents. Based in London for 40 years, ZHA has redefined architecture for the 21st century with a repertoire of projects that have captured imaginations across the globe. Form and space are woven within the structure of buildings that evolve from their surroundings and tie disparate programmes together. Enticingly contextual, each project combines an unwavering optimism for the future with concepts of connectivity and integration.

Receiving the highest honours from civic, professional and academic institutions worldwide, ZHA is one of the world’s most consistently inventive architectural studios and has been for four decades. Employing advancements in design, material and construction technologies, ZHA is a global leader in the application of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the design, construction and operations of buildings to increase efficiencies as well as significantly reduce energy consumption and emissions.

Marrying innovative digital design with ecologically sound materials and sustainable construction practices, ZHA does not look at the disparate parts, but works to understand them as a whole; delivering practical solutions to the defining challenges of our era. Each project by ZHA is the very specific assimilation of its unique context, local culture, programmatic requirements and intelligent engineering enabling the architecture and surrounding urban fabric to seamlessly combine, in both formal strategy and spatial experience. ZHA works closely with each client to establish new and better ways in which people can use every building.

In over 50 award-winning projects around the world, ZHA’s architecture becomes more refined spatially, more efficient structurally, more polished materially, more advanced technologically and generally more resolved with each new design. Their clients commission buildings, and ZHA meets the programmes, but ZHA also reads between the lines to exceed each brief and consistently deliver the shared aspirations of a new generation.

Collaborating with visionary clients, communities and industry experts on over 60 on-going projects in 28 countries, ZHA’s hugely talented and dedicated teams of experienced professionals work with passion and commitment to honour Zaha Hadid’s legacy and deliver outstanding projects across the globe.

Zaha Hadid Design
Zaha Hadid Design (ZHD), established in 2006 under the lead of Woody Yao and Maha Kutay, pushes the boundaries of contemporary design using the latest technological and material innovations in collaboration with the world’s most respected brands. ZHDís portfolio includes fashion accessories, jewellery, limited edition furniture pieces, interiors, exhibition and set-design. To respond to the demand for Hadid’s work on a commercial level, the label Zaha Hadid Design Collection was developed and features a selection of homeware and giftware, which are retailed globally in store and online.

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.”

ZHD also features a gallery space arranged over two floors which hosts an ever-changing programme of exhibitions and collaborations. The ZHD Gallery regularly showcases the work of emerging designers, young artists and innovative fabricators, as well as it hosts a variety of collateral events.

ZH Analytics and Insights
Spatial configurations and environmental characteristics have a great impact on the efficiency of buildings and the productivity and wellbeing of their occupants. Understanding the influence of these factors was the driver to form the ZHA Analytics and Insights team, founded in 2015 by Patrik Schumacher, Mouzhan Majidi and Charles Walker.

The Analytics and Insights aims to pinpoint design solutions that accommodate the userís needs in the most effective way. The team’s research focuses on evaluating user needs and writing building briefs that accurately reflect these needs. To do this, the team looks at space usage and user behaviour through the lens of data, using occupancy modelling and floor plate analyses, as well as computational models that take into account the occupantsí experiences and preferences.

Organisational and building data, sensor technology, and IOT devices provide the team with unprecedented insights into the occupants relationship with the built environment. To interrogate spatial data in greater depth, the team employs algorithm based analytics and solve multi-dimensional problems. The programming and problem-solving approach is evolving in parallel with the possibilities of computation and sensor technology. Analytics and Insights has worked on over 30 projects and proposals at ZHA, supporting design teams to develop high performance environments that satisfy ever-expanding complex use requirements.

Zaha Hadid CODE
The Computational Design research (CoDe) group was co-founded in 2007 by Patrik Schumacher, Nils Fischer and Shajay Bhooshan, aimed at harnessing the opportunities latent in the inter-disciplinary collaboration of computationally literate architects, engineers and emerging digital manufacturing methods. CoDe explores the articulation of space, within the bounds of physical, economic, and ergonomic feasibility. This is pursued through master planning, building prototypes, and the fostering of a research collaboration network.

In general, the attention is focused on the following six research strands: minimal surfaces, particularly important for the generation of membrane, curve crease folding, a fabrication technique used to generate complex three-dimensional objects out of a single planar sheet of material, shell structures, in which the structural resistance essentially depends on the formal optimization, developable surfaces, which can be unrolled onto a plane without distortion, by stretching or compressing, and, lastly, topology optimization, a mathematical method that optimizes material distribution for a given set of loads.

Zaha Hadid VR GROUP
Zaha Hadid Architects initiative involves three and a half years of experimentation with the emerging technology. Having always been at the centre of Zaha Hadid Architects work, Technology and Innovation are understood to engender developments in the field of architecture and all related fields.

The VR Group’s main research and work is directed towards the understanding of digital presence and immersion within architecture; forming the new interfaces between interlocutors involved in architectural design, decision making and production process; and questioning the implications of the Virtual Reality environment towards space and aesthetics, economy and the tradition of the discipline. In the same way that reliefs, physical models, and paintings served as tools for thinking through and proposing designs of new buildings, VR is understood as a digital gateway to new insights and as an intriguing continuity of the instruments of design and representation.

The Group is involved in several research projects expanding the generic into the required specialisation for creating architectural space. It engages with the business and supports communication of design with clients and affiliated practices. Public engagements and exhibitions further the groups understanding of the audience and use of VR and its technology.

Masters in Architecture, AUB Students and Zaha Hadid Architects

Making Ariadne’s House’. Sensing: Building and Body

The AUB MA Architecture course has been working with Zaha Hadid Architects and Moving Architecture on a research project that records and interprets information on the body in space. The project will work on both the digital and analogue aspects of representation. ZHA are undertaking research understanding how sensors in buildings, as part of the Internet of Things (IoT) can inform the design and changing nature of buildings. The ZHA Sensors examine a multitude of issues from temperature and humidity, to movement, and provide data that can be examined and interpreted.

Uli Blum and Philipp Seidler have been leading the work in the ZHA office that is being undertaken with and as part of the upcoming Zaha Hadid Architects exhibition at the AUB Gallery, a group of M.Arch students are developing a part of the research that uses movement sensors to record and interpret body activity. Heat maps and models are being created from data and this information will be analysed and interpreted into the exhibition and represented into drawings, models and movement performances.

This research work with ZHA by the M.Arch students builds towards the installation Ariadne’s House – drawing, architecture & choreography that is to be part of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. AUB M.Arch Course Leader, Ed Frith and Architect of the practice, Moving Architecture is coordinating the project. AUB Visiting Professor of Drawing Sian Bowen is leading a number of workshops that contribute to the making of the House which has also included, Dr Willem de Bruijn weaving threads of Titian’s painting Daedalus and Ariadne into the project and Choreographer and Movement director, Caroline Salem in relation to the ZHA sensor’s tracking and mapping of a labyrinth.

The work is raising some fascinating questions: How are we affected by knowing where and how we have moved? Is Ariadne the architect or Daedalus? How to draw a body’s movements? Which comes first the body or the building? What are the ethics of recording a person’s movements? Who is in control?

ZHA: Uli Blum, Philipp Seidler

AUB M.Arch: Mitchell Reeves, Paul Richardson, Ryan Snook, James Thomas, David Wilkinson

Moving Architecture: Ed Frith, Caroline Salem

Zaha Hadid Biography (1950 – 2016)

Born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950, Hadid studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving to London in 1972 to attend the Architectural Association (AA) School where she was awarded the Diploma Prize in 1977. Hadid founded Zaha Hadid Architects (first called Office of Zaha Hadid) in 1979 and completed her first building, the Vitra Fire Station (Germany) in 1993.

Hadid taught at the AA School until 1987 and had since held numerous chairs and guest professorships at universities around the world including Columbia, Harvard, Yale and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

Working with senior office partner, Patrick Schumacher (now Principal), Hadid’s interest laid in the rigorous interface between architecture, urbanism, landscape and geology as her practice integrates natural topography and human-made systems, leading to innovation with new technologies.

The MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome, the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku are built manifestos of Hadid’s quest for complex, fluid space. Previous seminal buildings such as the Guangzhou Opera House and Contemporary Arts Centre in Cincinnati have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our ideas of the future with visionary spatial concepts defined by advanced design, material and construction processes.

The practice recently completed the Oxford University’s Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College and is currently working on a diversity of projects worldwide including the new Beijing Airport Terminal Building in Daxing, China; the Sleuk Rith Institute in Phnom Penh, Combodia; and 520 West 28th Street in New York. Zaha Hadid Architects’ portfolio also includes cultural, corporate, academic, sporting and infrastructure projects across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, in addition to national institutions such as the Central Bank of Iraq and the Grand Theatre de Rabat.

Zaha Hadid’s work of the past 30 years was the subject of critically-acclaimed exhibitions at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2006), London’s Design Museum (2007), the Palazzo della Ragione, Padua, Italy (2009), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2011), the DAC Copenhagen (2013) and the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg (2015). Her recently completed projects include the Messner Mountain Museum Corones (2015), Oxford University’s Middle East Centre (2015), Sky SOHO in Shanghai (2014), Innovation Tower at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2014), Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul (2014), Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013), Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London (2013), Library & Learning Centre in Vienna (2013), Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum in Michigan (2012), Galaxy SOHO in Beijing (2012), Pierresvives Library and Archive in Montpellier (2012), CMA CGM Head Office Tower in Marseille (2011), London Aquatics Centre (2011), Riverside Museum in Glasgow (2011), Guangzhou Opera House (2010), Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi (2010) and the MAXXI Museum in Rome (2010).

Hadid’s outstanding contribution to the architectural profession continues to be acknowledged by the world’s most respected institutions including the Forbes List of the ‘World’s Most Powerful Women’ and the Japan Art Association presenting her with the ‘Praemium Imperiale’. In 2010 and 2011, her designs were awarded the Stirling Prize, one of architecture’s highest accolades, by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Other awards include UNESCO naming Hadid as an ‘Artist for Peace’, the Republic of France honouring Hadid with the ‘Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ and TIME magazine included her in their list of the ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’. In 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, and in February 2016, she received the Royal Gold Metal.

Arts University Bournemouth and Dame Zaha Hadid

AUB Drawing Studio opened by Dame Zaha Hadid in 2016

Arts University Bournemouth opened our CRAB Drawing Studio on 3 March 2016.  Designed by Professor Sir Peter Cook, RA,it is the first of its kind to be built in the UK for 100 years.

The Drawing Studio was officially opened by special guest, the world famous Dame Zaha Hadid who closed her speech with “I simply love this building.”

This was her last formal engagement before she sadly passed away in April 2016.

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