Stratasys to Showcase Zaha Hadid’s Visionary Parametrically Designed 3D Printed Chair Prototype

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Zaha Hadid.

Zaha Hadid.

While there are plenty of successful and gainfully employed architects and designers working today, there really aren’t as many “super star” designers as there used to be. But Zaha Hadid was one of the few architects who transcended the notoriety of her industry and crossed over into mainstream awareness. And she did more than design incredible buildings, she was also a revolutionary figure in terms of gender. Not only was Hadid the first woman to win the Royal Gold Medal for architecture on her own, but she was one of the first women to crack the notoriously male-centric industry. Her bold and groundbreaking work often changed the entire conversation on design, and as one of the primary originators of parametricism she was a revolutionary figure in the adoption of advanced design software and algorithmic design.

When the world lost Hadid this past March it lost a true architectural visionary whose work is likely to be studied and revered for generations to come. Beyond the many buildings that she designed, Hadid was also a pioneer in the growing trend of using organic shapes and structures in modern design, something that she recently brought to the manufacturing of furnishings. In 2014 Hadid and her design partner Patrik Schumacher created a unique 3D printed chair that was created to explore the use of software to create structurally optimized furnishings. The chair was developed along with 3D printing company Stratasys, which used their multi-color, multi-material 3D printers to manufacture the chair, and the experience left a mark on Hadid’s design firm that will last long after her passing.

The front and back of the Hadid 3D printed chair.

The front and back of the Hadid 3D printed chair.

“We are always looking to research new design and manufacturing methods with the explicit intention of ‘scaling up’ for applications in the construction industry. 3D printed design projects such as this collaboration with Stratasys are of significant importance for the wider industry. The 3D printed chair epitomizes the bidirectional influence between technology and the way we design that we are always striving to create,” explained ZHA Associate designer Shajay Bhooshan.

The blue lines represent the additional material used to enhance the chair's structure.

The blue lines represent the additional material used to enhance the chair’s structure.

Stratasys is showcasing the 3D printed chair that was created with Hadid and Schumacher at a sprawling retrospective of the world-renowned designers life’s work. The Venice Architecture Biennale will be celebrating Hadid’s career with a massive ten room exhibition that will be running until November 27. The amazing 3D printed chair has been exhibited all over the world, and the process used to manufacture it remains as fascinating as the women who designed the chair. And as part of a larger collection of her work, it is hard to imagine it not standing out as one of her most notable achievements.

“The Zaha Hadid retrospective in Venice provides an opportunity for us all to pay tribute to the iconic, award-winning architect. Zaha Hadid is undoubtedly the greatest female architect of our time. We are honored to have collaborated with her and her team of extraordinary architects. Together with her partner, Patrik Schumacher, Zaha pioneered a revolution in the world of architecture and design. She defined parametricism and created a unique signature style that engages and inspires creativity around the world,” said the Creative Director for Art Fashion Design at Stratasys, Naomi Kaempfer.

Objet 1000 Plus

Objet 1000 Plus

Hadid’s 3D printed chair was manufactured using a Stratasys Objet1000 Plus multi-material large-format 3D printer. The chair prototype was created as a proof of concept for the ability of multi-color, multi-material 3D printing to produce end-use quality products. From the outset, Hadid and her team’s goal was to design a lightweight chair that would be structurally optimized by combining unique, generative geometry and detailing with additive manufacturing technology. The structure of the chair was generated using design software that would automatically enhance the material density and depth in structurally required areas. The chair would only use the amount of material needed to remain stable while also staying within the confines of Hadid’s design. Not only would the chair end up using less material than traditionally manufactured chairs, but it would end up being significantly stronger.

The design potential of the structural optimization process was proven throughout the development process, as Hadid and ZHA went through dozens of iterations, each with wildly different geometries that remained identically structurally sound. Once the final design was selected, Stratasys was able to 3D print the chair as a single part. To demonstrate the generative design process, the chair includes gradations of color and opacity, ranging from transparent to opaque cyan, representing the chair’s final structural performance. Discuss over in the Hadid 3D Printed Chair forum at

Here is a video detailing the design process of the final 3D printed chair:

[Source: Stratasys]


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