On the occasion of the exhibition Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings a series of experimental virtual reality experiences were specially developed with Zaha Hadid Virtual Reality Group in partnership with Google Arts & Culture. This installation offered a dynamic and immersive insight into the workings of Hadid’s paintings and were available to view in the gallery throughout the exhibition.
There were four individual experiences available in this virtual simulation of the Gallery environment, each developed from the paintings: The World (89 Degrees), 1983; The Great Utopia: Tatlin Tower and Tectonic “Worldwind”, 1992-93; The Peak: Blue Slabs, 1983; and Leicester Square: Blue and Green Scrapers, 1990.
In the same way that these paintings served as tools for thinking through and proposing designs of new buildings, this experience seeked to translate some of the key aspects and DNA contained inside the paintings into virtual reality, offering potential new insights and an intriguing continuity and expansion of the painting works and their vitality. Made possible by the design and articulation of the Zaha Hadid Virtual Reality Group who have in recent years initiated the use of VR at Zaha Hadid Architects. Virtual reality comes naturally to Zaha Hadid Architects; having entirely digitised its design process and project work flow – moving the computer generated spaces into the new digital universe is a coherent and obvious next step that is preempted in the forms and gestures of the paintings Zaha made throughout her career.
This was the first time the Serpentine has had a virtual reality experience in the Gallery and it was the first time Zaha Hadid Architects had created virtual reality within an exhibition context.
Produced in collaboration with Zaha Hadid Design / Zaha Hadid Foundation and in partnership with Google Arts & Culture. With special thanks to Novelab and AudioGaming.
Google Cultural Institute and Google Arts & Culture:
Google Cultural Institute aims to make culture accessible for everyone, preserve culture, builds tools that allow the cultural sector to share more of its diverse heritage online, and help the cultural sector use technology to create magical experiences for people around the world.
Google Arts & Culture is a new website and app from Google Cultural Institute that lets users explore artworks, artifacts, and more from over 1000 museums, archives, and organizations worldwide that have partnered with Google Cultural Institute to bring their collections and stories online.
The Lab at the Google Cultural Institute (based in Paris): The Lab at Google Cultural Institute is a place where tech and creative communities come together to share ideas and discover new ways to experience art and technologies.