Zaha Hadid Architects has opened an exhibition at the Guardian Art Center in Beijing to mark the firm’s 15 years of delivering projects in China. Titled ‘The New World,’ the exhibition charts ZHA’s “advances in design and construction technologies” through “fluid geometries informed by the logic and coherence of structures and systems within the natural world.”
Announcing the exhibition’s opening, ZHA evoked a quote from founder Zaha Hadid in 1983, who said: “Technology’s rapid development and our ever-changing lifestyles have created a fundamentally new and exhilarating backdrop for architecture, and in this new world context, I felt we must reinvestigate the aborted and untested experiments of Modernism — not to resurrect them but to unveil new ideas.”
The resulting exhibition is divided into ten zones showcasing specific aspects of ZHA’s work. Among the subjects of the exhibition are the firm’s 15 completed projects in China, starting with the Guangzhou Opera House in 2010, as well as 25 further projects currently in development across the country.
More than a retrospective, the exhibition is intended as a glimpse into ZHA's approach to the future of design, highlighting their research and multidisciplinary methodology. The firm's adoption of advanced tools such as digital design, robotics, AI, and virtual reality are also manifested in the exhibition, as are its collaborations with leading scientific institutions.
The presentation of realized projects is complemented by ZHA's exploration into virtual architecture within the metaverse, including their use of photo-quality, 3D, and multiplayer online video-game creation tools combined with cloud technologies.
“Outlining ZHA’s perspective on the future of cities, the exhibition’s ‘Building the Future’ zone presents a selection of forthcoming projects throughout China where their work assimilates local cultures and sensitivities to site-specific conditions,” the firm explains. “Showcasing ZHA’s unwavering optimism for the future, The New World exhibition examines the consistently inventive nature of their architecture.”
The show is open through October 3rd, 2023.
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