zaha hadid: Z chair for sawaya & moroni
zaha hadid: Z chair for sawaya & moroni zaha hadid: Z chair for sawaya & moroni
apr 15, 2011

zaha hadid: Z chair for sawaya & moroni

‘Z chair’ by zaha hadid for sawaya & moroni image © designboom




italian furniture company sawaya & moroni presents ‘z-chair’ by london-based architect zaha hadid as part of milan design week 2011.

profile image © designboom




the design is a simple three-dimensional gesture that zigzags in space as part of the continued discourse between form and function, elegance and utility, differentiation and continuity. geometric abstractions inform the design’s linear loop, articulated along its path in a language that alternates thin wire streams and large surfaces to provide both ergonomic affordances and inherent stability to the overall shape.

‘Z chair’ on display at the sawaya & moroni showroom in milan image © designboom




the subtle play of contrasting angular corners and wide, smooth curves are a result of the calligraphic gestures of hadid’s two-dimensional works, a three-dimensional presentation of a controlled brush stroke on a canvas, the synthesis of an idea: the sketch.

image © designboom

image courtesy of sawaya & moroni

image courtesy of sawaya & moroni

image © designboom




the chairs are displayed within a space of continuously changing vibrant colored lights from cool blues to warm orange and red tones.

image © designboom

paolo moroni and zaha hadid

william sawaya and zaha hadid

image courtesy of sawaya & moroni

image courtesy of sawaya & moroni

  • I’ve heard one architect said the chair of Zaha Hadid is the most comfortable he sit on. This one looks like silly exploration of deepest nightmares.
    Dear Ms. Zaha keep up with the pencil, think ecologically

    suspicious says:
  • Subtle play?

    twig says:
  • usually Zaha’s work seems rather arbitrary to me but this feels spot on – now I perhaps understand her other work a bit better

    this is a very sophisticated balancing act between form, stability, and functionality in a totally 3 dimensional sense – the choice of material (and more importantly, the surface quality that it permits) is perfect – rendered in plastic it would still be interesting but far less kinetic and engaging, wood would (sic) most likely involve a structural lie

    I would have to say that it probably owes something to the work of her classmate Mr. Arad

    dbkii says:
  • Suspicious and Twig, you are the usual frustrated who want to criticize Zaha at any cost but your comments are not critic nor intelligent.
    This chair was extremely successful, I have been in Milan at the launch and everybody agreed on its blend of beauty and fuctionality.
    Rather than making fun of the text just try to make a chair in one continuous gesture and then you’ll understand why they talk about “subtle play”.

    Why don’t you post you works on the web and show your design skills? Poor losers!

    elegance says:
  • I couldn’t agree more with “elegance.” I am so sick of pseudo-critics/designers trashing anything posted by a number of high profile architects/designers. If your work is so damn good that puts Hadid’s or any other creative to shame why isn’t it posted here.
    As a side note what a great synergy of form and function

    DsgnCrit says:
  • I have been sitting on that chair and despite to its formal articulation is much more confortable than the edgy one from Libeskind which was exposed in the same showroom.

    elegance says:
  • Dear Elegance and DesignCrit.
    You have a point.Any pseudocritic should be creative, intelligent and sophisticated enough to to speak and also must reveal his works to compete with Hadid. BUT:
    1. Are you aware of how thiw society works? Hadid was a “looser” for decades until somethng happened and society awknoledged her. Have you ever heard about system, lobbies and masons? Do you think the best gets what he deserves? Can we ALL get Hadid’s exposition and media help even if we are the same good as her?
    2. Hadid is not a 3-d creator thus she is a loser compared to all of us. Anybody can draw wild lines on paper , hire some 3-d minds like us to visualize it and get the known result. We all know she was a painter and not an architect for many years. Her firm is called Z. Hadid AND ARCHITECTS…
    3. There is not much elegance and beauty after all but abstract imagination and nature shape copying. Have you ever done these stuff? I have. Its not that dfficult. The difficult is to put a purpose in it. Real beauty needs more than imagination and definately the opposite than abstruct or abstruse.

    organic design says:
  • Dear organic design,
    I jus hate arrogant comments which show nothing but frustration and envy. A positive critic, instead, can enrich your background and explore new points of view.
    Just to answer your points

    1-You’re right: Zaha’s been struggling for years but nothing magically happened like you write. She tried hard and pursued her vision of space where anybody else would have given up, maybe designing a big commercial project to make a lot of money from it.

    2-Zaha is not a 3d creator but she has very clear ideas and some of the finest 3d modelers among architects who can do the job for her, so i don’t see your point.

    3-Beauty is proportion and proportion comes from laws. Nature has been improving these laws thorgh evolution for thousands of years, that’s why architects always try to embed natural forms in their research. Zaha’s not the first: Fidia, Palladio, Saarinen, Calatrava.

    And, please…I teach advanced architecture and Maya modeling and scripting at the university, don’t tell me “it’s not difficult” because it takes time and skill to achive an elegant form. Don’t be arrogant dear Mr. Nobody.
    I really don’t understand all this frustration and I am seriously curious to see your work to understand your self-confidence of being better than Zaha where comes from…that’s the only way to prove if you’re entitled to talk or not. Show us you talent.

    elegance says:
  • Where is the chair?

    Albert says:
  • it’s amazing that it is possible, after thousands of years that chairs exist, to give them still new shapes and forms. This one is really extraordinary, smart and never seen anything like it before. Wow, Zara Hadid as true designer, one of the best there is.

    Heidi says:
  • The form appears to be forced unwillingly into a flat seat and tilted backplate. the rest of the “supposed” chair drips off, lost and excessive in geometry in an attempt to add an illusion of complexity. The ‘chair’ appears unbalanced, killed by the idea of a continuous band which never appears to show to its seams. Like her architecture, expensive and unclear. layered with so many distracting moves, any authentic brilliance is lost underneath that very very shinny reflective snot!
    I wish her studio would stop relying on exploited 3d mesh modelling software to create interesting form. Its simply lazy and creates glossy facades for boring ideas. less is definitely more.

    double d says:
  • Double d,
    even if i disagree with you, you’re the first one here who managed to put together a meaningful critic. i think every designer pursues a research agenda. Hadid’s one relies on reinventing traditional things using different languages ispired by natural forms. This can be done in several ways and probably Hadid’s one is less focused on materiality itself and more on the gesture, the shape. You say less is more: this chair is a simple loop which traces the shape of a chair avoiding any additional part, any branching…when they write perfect synthesis I think they really mean it. This IS LESS. A traditional chair, for instance, IS MORE since its design is an addition and justapposition of several parts.

    elegance says:
  • Albert,
    if you don’t see the chair i hope you’re not a designer nor an architect. Otherwise I think you’d better find another job.

    elegance says:
  • Dear elegance,
    what do you think about the idea Zaha doesn’t belong to the present days? And also about egoism, lack of ideas,..?
    I agree to the old Romans:”De gustibus non est disputandum”, but here is just a matter of “gustibus”.

    From my humble opinion today’s art should be more realistic, but “l’art pour l’art”. Although you have charming name, actual times need more directive art than elegant.

    suspicious says:
  • Wierd! but don’t let me put down people trying! This is what design is about. Design, build, keep pushing the envelope, try to do what others haven’t. It’s not that original and it quite doesn’t work but it was nevertheless executed well. Keep designing and you will hit upon the right combination of curves and lack there of.

    Korby says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
492,048 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample