Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Innovative architect Zaha Hadid, who in 2004 became the first female recipient of the renowned Pritzker Architecture Prize, has advanced the vocabulary of contemporary architecture and design through the exploration of complex fluid geometries and the use of cutting-edge techniques and manufacturing technologies. For this exhibition—the first in the United States to feature her product designs—the Iraqi-born British architect has created a sculptural environment for a selection of furniture, decorative art, jewelry, and footwear that she has designed in recent years.

This exhibition emphasizes the continuous nature of her work, reinventing the balance between objects and space in an interior landscape. Sleekly curving sofas, tables, and lounge chairs–made of materials ranging from wood, steel, aluminum, and polyurethane–inhabit the gallery, while biomorphic forms represent the new and unusual shapes Hadid has introduced into the language of design. Among the highlights are a collection of Swarovski crystal–encrusted necklaces and bracelets, spiraling, strappy shoes made for Lacoste and Melissa, and the three-wheeled Z-car I, a prototype created of high-density foam that echoes several of her sculptural forms.

On November 19, 2011, Collab, a group of design professionals and enthusiasts who support the Museum’s modern and contemporary design collection, will honor Hadid with the 2011 Design Excellence Award. Collab’s Student Design Competition (offered since 1993) challenges area college students studying architecture and industrial design to be inspired by themes closely associated with the Design Excellence Award winner and the corresponding exhibition.

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