The late architect Zaha Hadid left her signature on the world in cursive. The swooping, gestural lines of her buildings, like the sinuous Heydar Aliyev cultural center in Baku or the pulsing outline of the Galaxy SOHO retail complex in Beijing, favored unbroken curves over neat boxes. Over the four decades of her career — cut tragically short when she died in March of 2016 — Hadid actively worked against “this idea that you could only have the 90-degree angle, when there are 359 others,” as she once told The Guardian. “I wanted to look at the way you move through space, rest your body or look at, feel a space. When you move through spaces that have a degree of fluidity, you use them differently, organize your life differently.”
Throughout her career, she used technology and three-dimensional design, even when her buildings were ahead of their time. But eventually technology caught up to her creativity. Design as Second Nature, an exhibition at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) in Mexico City, presents a portrait of the late architect as an innovator not only in construction, but in the ways in which people interact with the world. Curated by Woody Yao, director at Zaha Hadid Design, the exhibition showcases the evolution of Hadid’s work as she embraced new fronts in technology, featuring models and renderings of her iconic buildings made possible by digital design, as well as examples of her forays into other disciplines, including fashion and furniture. Visitors to the exhibition, which ends March 3, also get the opportunity to experience the latest work from Hadid’s architecture firm, using virtual reality as a design tool, one of the last endeavors Hadid explored during her life.