New issue – Icon 156: Pomophobia 28.04.16

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In our latest issue – out now – John Jervis argues that postmodernism has left London with a pretty turgid legacy, while Hugh Pearman looks back at the greatest hits (and misses) of the inimitable Zaha Hadid

In March, the architecture world lost a true original in Zaha Hadid. Spiky, opinionated and with occasional diva-ish tendencies, Hadid left some writers unable to separate her personality from her buildings. But it is her work on which she will ultimately be judged, so it seemed fair, in this issue, to appraise the successes and failures of her 30-year career.

We also combed our archive for snippets from our coverage. This magazine has been among Hadid’s fiercest critics. Some of this, I think, was down to timing: Icon launched at a moment when the sheen of the kind of globalised, dare I say iconic, architecture Hadid purveyed was beginning to fade, and adopted an appropriately provocative stance.

zaha hadid

Photo of Hadid from an early issue of Icon

Nevertheless, our investigations yielded some gems. In an early issue, Hadid talked fondly of her student days in London, going clubbing and generally looking for mischief. By then, she was a bona fide starchitect – with typical foresight, Icon had already harnessed her pulling power, putting her on the cover of its third issue. The off-cuts from that photo shoot, one of which is above, have never been published and reveal the architect’s warm and playful side. She will be greatly missed.

While Hadid’s parametricism has slipped out of fashion, postmodernism has come roaring back. An unfortunate development, according to Icon’s John Jervis, who argues that the British strain of the movement, which found its spiritual home in London’s Square Mile, has left us with a pretty turgid legacy. Time to rip it up and start again?



James McLachlan


Cover artwork

Chrissie Abbott


Zaha Hadid image: Frank Bauer



quotes story

While Hadid’s parametricism has slipped out of fashion, postmodernism has come roaring back





Kit Abstract fashion from Prague, jewellery by the late Zaha Hadid, a Budapest backpack for puritans (above), and normcore headphones

Home Petite Friture’s Amélie du Passage discovers new talent, Swarovski’s homeware collection and a self-contained ecosystem by Nui

Transport Toyota’s wooden concept car and a stylish bike bell from Australia

Destination Jeanne Gang’s new home for an experimental Chicago theatre, a tiny saloon in Adelaide, Neri & Hu’s izayaka in Clerkenwell, a hotel for London’s young creatives and Taipei’s buzzing Dihua Street



Zaha Hadid A look back at the greatest hits (and misses) of the inimitable starchitect

Residential Moshe Safdie’s Singapore Sky Habitat (above) picks up where Habitat 67 left off

Retail A cutting-edge design for a traditional Japanese knifemaker

Office JDS Architects combines a youth hostel, a crèche and offices into a shapely beacon of optimism

Public Local Studio’s school in Tsakane township doubles as a community hub

Pomophobia What to do with the City of London’s postmodernist legacy?

Icon Residential PoMo at its best: Janet Street-Porter’s house

Q&A A lesson in home economics from Venice Biennale curators Shumi Bose, Jack Self and Finn Williams



Norway calling The country’s design scene is finally in the spotlight

Lighting Industrial Facility takes Herman Miller (above) out of the shadows

Kitchen Reinventing cutlery for Valerie Objects

Furniture At Clerkenwell Design Week with BD Barcelona, Moroso, &Tradition and Carl Hansen & Søn

Bathroom Watermark makes a splash in Europe

Q&A Jasper Morrison on creating atmosphere

Icon The sense and sensibility of the hovercraft

Ideas Stadiums of the future

Rethink Can insects be appetising, ass NB Studio?

Obsession 8-bit consoles

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