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The ‘City of Towers’ installation by Zaha Hadid Architects is showcased within the ‘Designer Maker User’ permanent exhibition at the Design Museum, London

‘Designer Maker User’ is an introduction to the museum’s collection, looking at the development of modern design through these three interconnected roles. The exhibition features almost 1000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design viewed through the angles of the designer, manufacturer and user. The exhibition covers a broad range of design disciplines, from architecture and engineering, to the digital world, fashion and graphics.

‘City of Towers’ presents the research into a new paradigm for the design and construction of high-rise buildings led by Zaha Hadid Architects. The installation outlines the evolution of architectural research and showcases the many possibilities and iterations for a tower, mapping its adaptations and development process.

The installation explores the typology of the tower through the lens of Parametricism, where all elements of the design are integrated and work together as an iterative system of development that emulates the growth processes of nature; embedding a natural fluidity within architecture and engineering.

Conceived in collaboration with Soho China for a proposed new business district and urban environment in central Beijing, the design breaks from the typical tower-with-podium typology by redefining the ground surface as a continuous landscape that seamlessly weaves between one tower and the next; creating a new civic centre for Beijing that embodies values of innovation, functionality and coherence.

These 3D printed studies are sculptural in quality, precise in their creation, and convey the design process applied in both ZHA’s research or built projects.

3D Printing Production by Digits 2 Widgets (

Photography by Luke Hayes

The Design Museum

'City of Towers' Production Process Video