Opened in early 2021, Karimoku Commons is a hybrid space in Tokyo featuring workspaces and galleries, ‘a space where you can rethink your life with wood’, by exploring the Japanese brand and have a more experiential approach to its furniture designs and manufacturing. The latest exhibition to open at the space (from 13 October to 3 December 2021) is an overview of Zaha Hadid Design’s works, with a focus on collaborative product designs from the past ten years.

Zaha Hadid Design retrospective

Installation view of Zaha Hadid exhibition at Karimoku Commons Tokyo
Karimoku Commons exhibition view

The exhibition at Karimoku Commons presents ​​a selection of architectural models from Hadid’s archives that have been reproduced in wood, as well as an overview of Zaha Hadid Design’s portfolio, including jewellery design, furniture, lighting and more, both created in collaboration with international brands and under the ZHD label. 

A wooden model of a Zaha Hadid building
Model of a Zaha Hadid building recreated by Karimoku. Photography: Masaaki Inoue

Whether working on a building or small object, it was Zaha Hadid’s mission to innovate formally, technically or through materials, and the pieces on display are a fitting demonstration of her commitment to innovation. The exhibition includes gravity-defying chandeliers for Slamp, crystal objects for Lalique and shoes for United Nude, but also designs produced under the studio’s brand that include glassware, tealights, salt and pepper shakers and decorative objects.  

Zaha Hadid Design and Karimoku: the ‘Seyun’ chair

Two wooden chairs shown back to back designed by Zaha Hadid Design for Karimoku
Prototypes of the ‘Seyun’ chair. Photography: Masaki Ogawa

The exhibition previews the studio’s ‘Seyun’ chair for Karimoku, set to launch in 2022 and featuring Zaha Hadid Design’s distinctive sinuous silhouettes and rigorously engineered construction. On display are also a series of prototypes of furniture including chairs, armchairs and tables designed by the studio and crafted by Karimoku’s artisans in wood. The project was overseen by Zaha Hadid Design directors, Woody Yao and Maha Kutay, who worked closely with Karimoku craftspeople on the piece. 

‘This collaboration combines ZHD’s unmistakable design language and inventive approach to materiality with Karimoku’s uncompromising quality standards, achieved through the implementation of the most advanced technologies and manufacturing processes,’ says Yao. 

‘We strongly believe in collaboration; it’s through a mutual exchange of ideas, skills and expertise that we can achieve great results,’ adds Kutay. ‘Karimoku is the ideal partner, matching our daring design concepts with their unrivalled quality of execution.’ §