From the unlikely (but not all that really) design collaboration file:
Musician, producer, coffee table book scribe, and prolific design dilettante Pharrell Williams has hinted at a potential collaboration with Bagdad-born starchitect Zaha Hadid in which the duo would tackle prefab housing.
Hadid, the firm female and the first Muslim to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize, is just one of the bold-face names (Ana Wintour, Jay-Z, Buzz Aldrin, and Takashi Murakami to name a few) that served as a contributor to Williams’ 2012 book “Pharell: Places and Spaces I’ve Been.” (Rizzoli). The whole prefab conversation originates from a chat shared by the two within the book. In their dialogue, Williams gushes to Hadid that she’s his “favorite architect” and that he’d be interested in working with her on making “something that was about $75,000 to $100,000 that we would could do something really fun and really next-level that could change the game.” He asks that if that she’d be “into it,” he’d love to talk further about “doing prefab houses together.” Hadid's reply? "That would be very exciting.”
Last week, Hypebeast — an online publication that excerpted the conversation between Williams and Hadid to help push his book upon its release — followed up with the lauded singer-rapper-composter and picked his brain on various topics (fashion, furniture design, world travel, working with Miley Cyrus). They also ask what design-related projects that are in the works.
“There’s a collaboration I’m working with Zaha Hadid, we’re touring around with the idea of a prefab for a house,” Pharrell responds. When asked exactly what stage that idea is at, he responds: “Well, we’re going to see something through.”
So really, who knows if a Zaha/Pharrell modular mash-up will ever come to fruition. A prefab concept from London-based Hadid would be pretty curious considering the aggressively futuristic scale that defines most of her work including the Guangzhou Opera House, the London Aquatics Center, the Bridge Pavilion in Zaragoza, and the under-construction Wangjing Soho shopping center, a project that’s become the focal point in a rather intense plagiarism scandal in China.
Hadid also isn't exactly known for overseeing single-family housing projects although she did design a private home that looks like, a spaceship (go figure) for Naomi Campbell (or for her Russian oligarch boyfriend) that’s to be built outside of Moscow.
The last time I checked in with Pharrell was back in December 2008 in one of my first blog posts for MNN. Back then, he had his sights set not on game-changing prefab housing but on environmentally sustainable yarn.
Hadid image: Paco CT/Flickr