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Zaha Hadid Architects Opens New Exhibition Meta-Horizons: The Future Now At DDP In Seoul

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Zaha Hadid Architects has opened a new exhibition at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul, South Korea

Titled Meta-Horizons: The Future Now, the new exhibition acts as a catalyst combining architecture, media and new technologies for the instigation and exchange of ideas.

The exhibition has been opened on 26 May and will be on view until 18 September 2022 at DDP in Seoul. 

The exhibition is part of a long-term collaboration between Zaha Hadid Architects and Dongdaemun Design Plaza. ZHA designed the building itself in 2014.  

Since its opening in 2014, DDP has become a cultural hub and meeting place at the centre of the Dongdaemun district in Seoul. 

Zaha Hadid Architects opens new exhibition Meta-Horizons: The Future Now at DDP in Seoul

Image © Kyungsub Shin

Opened at DDP’s new Design Museum, the new exhibition compliments DDP’s commitment to showcasing pioneering design, technological innovation and contemporary creativity.

Exhibited in three zones within the exhibition, the zones are titled Innovation, Imagination, Interaction - which all provide a framework for exploring the work of ZHA’s four research teams: Computation & Design (ZH CODE), Virtual Reality (ZHVR), Analytics & Insights (ZH A+I), and Social Interaction Processes (ZHA Social).

The exhibition dives into ZHA’s works across multiple fields, from digital technology to artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Outlining ZHA’s recent designs, it focuses on process, and research that incorporates immersive technologies, participatory design and new fabrication techniques. 

Zaha Hadid Architects opens new exhibition Meta-Horizons: The Future Now at DDP in Seoul

Image © Kyungsub Shin

Moreover, the exhibition elaborates the practice’s collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach on how to the practice developes digital design tools and make the opportunities possible when working simultaneously between virtual and physical environments.

ZHA is known for its "comprehensive understanding of construction materials and methods, logistical strategies and end-user case studies" in their projects. 

Based on this approach, the firm is actively developing dynamic models, tools and simulations which allow for an increased complexity and range of inputs to be incorporated into their design solutions. 

Zaha Hadid Architects opens new exhibition Meta-Horizons: The Future Now at DDP in Seoul

Image © Kyungsub Shin

"The pandemic has accelerated the trend towards the virtualisation of life and society"

"Historical knowledge and precedent are paired with the ability to analyse the present and define the design tools of the future," said Zaha Hadid Architects.

"I am thrilled to return to our building with this new exhibition. DDP remains one of my most favourite projects. The pandemic has accelerated the trend towards the virtualisation of life and society," said Patrik Schumacher, Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects.

"Social communication in virtual space is often as productive as in physical space, and certainly no less real." 

"The repertoire and design methodology of ZHA, and of parametricism in general, is well placed to run with the new design opportunities presented by the Metaverse," Schumacher added.

Zaha Hadid Architects opens new exhibition Meta-Horizons: The Future Now at DDP in Seoul

RAS + ZHA: Architecting the Metaverse. Image courtesy of RAS

RAS + ZHA: Architecting the Metaverse

Another aspect of the exhibition is a new collaboration between ZHA and technology-driven art and design studio Refik Anadol Studio (RAS). The founder Refik Anadol previously created “Seoul Light: Seoul Haemong” multimedia installation at DDP in 2019. 

Aligning with ZHA’s vision of creating transformative cultural spaces in synchronicity with their surroundings, in this exhibition RAS reveals its most innovative experiments with architectural data both in the physical world and the metaverse. 

RAS has utilized multi-model AI algorithms to analyse image and script data compiled and composed by ZHA. 

These algorithms have resulted in comprehensive datasets representing the practice’s portfolio of works. 

Upon entering one of the rooms, visitors will experience this artwork within an immersive room, showcasing the experimental perspective of the metaverse to come by merging machine learning, AI, and ZHA’s repertoire.

Zaha Hadid Architects opens new exhibition Meta-Horizons: The Future Now at DDP in Seoul

RAS + ZHA: Architecting the Metaverse. Image courtesy of RAS

"DDP’s Seoul Light Festival was a turning point for our studio’s public art works, as well as our venture into the digital artworld of East Asia. We developed a new vision and direction for our public art works during the pandemic and decided to focus on the healing qualities of art, especially when experienced collectively either in a physical or virtual space," said Refik Anadol. 

"This project for DDP bears traces of this vision. But more importantly, for the first time we are collaborating with a pioneering architecture studio," Anadol added.

Zaha Hadid Architects opens new exhibition Meta-Horizons: The Future Now at DDP in Seoul

Zaha Hadid Architects together with AKT II and Hilson Moran Partnership are designing Roatán Próspera Residences. Image courtesy of ZHA

Innovation: Process & Research

The first zone, titled Innovation: Process & Research, focuses on ZHA's collaborations across different disciplines which rely on a research-based approach towards the design process and physical prototyping. 

Innovations in the built environment are driven through ZHA’s process and research harnessing technologies in a more strategic and sustainable way. 

This zone presents ZHA's three ongoing research strands: Robotic Technologies, Folded Geometries, and Digital Timber construction. ZHA’s expertise of architectural geometry and participatory design enables the practice to deliver resource and energy efficient solutions tailored to individual users.

Zaha Hadid Architects opens new exhibition Meta-Horizons: The Future Now at DDP in Seoul

ZHA's Striatus bridge in Italy. Image © naaro

Featured projects in this zone include the recently completed Striatus, a 3D-printed concrete bridge, and an architectural platform used to create customised modular homes, called Roatán Próspera Residences, in Honduras' Roatán Islands. 

Striatus recently won the WA Awards in the 40th Cycle.  

"This platform anticipates the shift towards design for manufacture (DfMA) where individual choice, functional agility and environmental and economic sustainability creates an architecture better-suited to the 21st century: interaction-dense, experience-rich, user-focused and resource-effective," said ZHA.

Zaha Hadid Architects opens new exhibition Meta-Horizons: The Future Now at DDP in Seoul

ZHA is designing virtual "Liberland" in the metaverse. Image © Mytaverse, courtesy of ZHA

Imagination: Design & Virtual

The second zone is Imagination: Design & Virtual, exploring the new ways and capacity of the imagination and communication of design vision. According to ZHA, this has increased the possibilities of working between the physical and digital realms. 

"The digital realm continues to become more established as an activated destination, with the virtual world drawing participants to connect and exchange in exciting new ways that integrate with the physical world," said ZHA. 

Zaha Hadid Architects opens new exhibition Meta-Horizons: The Future Now at DDP in Seoul

NFTism, exploring architecture and social interaction in the metaverse, was recently showcased as a virtual gallery at Art Basel Miami between December 2 - 4, 2021 in Miami. Image courtesy of ZHA

This zone includes ZHA’s recent ventures into designing virtual worlds or the Metaverse such as the cyber urban incubator, called Liberland and NFTism, a virtual gallery space that explores architecture and social interaction.

Zaha Hadid Architects opens new exhibition Meta-Horizons: The Future Now at DDP in Seoul

Zaha Hadid Virtual Reality Group (ZHVR), a research and experimental division of Zaha Hadid Architects, created LOOP, an immersive sound lounge for L-Acoustics Creations. Image © ZHVR

Interaction: Technologies & Collaboration

The third zone is dedicated to Interaction: Technologies & Collaboration, encompassing the ongoing development of technologies across all stages of design through to a physical realisation.

ZHA continues to "provide even greater possibilities for interaction and collaboration using a design process that is increasingly more sophisticated and well-informed." 

"These technologies enhance the seamless user experience across the cyber physical, mixed reality, augmented and virtual reality," said the studio. 

Zaha Hadid Architects opens new exhibition Meta-Horizons: The Future Now at DDP in Seoul

Project Correl 1.0 is developed by Zaha Hadid Virtual Reality Group (ZHVR). Image © ZHVR

The projects presented in this zone explore new possibilities for interaction developed by ZHVR including Project Correl 1.0, a collaborative experiment in multi-presence virtual reality illustrating the development of complex assemblies inside virtual space, the LOOP mixed-reality experience 'NEW WORLDS' which stems from a design simulation created by ZHVR for product testing and design development. 

Refined for the exhibition by ZHVR in partnership with L-Acoustics Creations, visitors use HTC headsets to experience an immersive soundscape by the artist Halina Rice.

"Meta-Horizons: The Future Now' presents innovations in design that propose alternatives for a better future, allowing visitors to explore ZHA’s pioneering research and collaborations in digital computer technologies, sustainable architecture, AI-based designs, and VR technology," said Kyung-Don Rhee, CEO, Seoul Design Foundation (managers of DDP).

Watch the video on WAC's Youtube channel. 

Exhibition facts

Exhibition name: Meta-Horizons: The Future Now

Date: 26 May - 18 Sept 2022

Venue: DDP Design Museum, Seoul, South Korea

Top image © Kyungsub Shin.

> via ZHA