2017 Brit Awards Reveal Posthumous Trophy Design by Zaha Hadid

Hadid conceptualized the commission before her death in March.

The Brit Awards announced yesterday that the late Zaha Hadid designed this year’s award, a “family” of five different statues.

Hadid—who loved music and was reportedly a fan of Drake, Sam Smith, Adele, Brian Ferry, and The Beatles—accepted and started to work on the design for the UK’s biggest music industry award in January of this year, before her unexpected death in March. Jason Iley, the Chairman of the Brit Awards, recalls Hadid’s enthusiasm for the project.

“[Hadid] enthused ‘I know exactly how I want to do it! I have a vision for it!’ Which was amazing as she was one of the most brilliant, forward thinking architects in the world,” Iley said in a statement.

After the architect’s death, Maha Kutay, Director at Zaha Hadid architects, and Niamh Byrne, working on behalf of the Brit Awards, took up Hadid’s unfinished designs. The commission called for an award that was “modern and culturally relevant.”

“Zaha’s work is innovative, original and recognizes diversity in culture,” Iley explains. “It has much in common with music. She was the perfect choice for progressing the award into the future.”

Tracey Emin’s design for the 2015 Brit Award. Photo courtesy the Brit Awards

Tracey Emin’s design for the 2015 Brit Award. Photo courtesy the Brit Awards

Kutay, tasked with carrying forward Hadid’s vision of the design, said that she was keen to embrace the 3-D nature of the award. This comes in response to many of the previous commissions, which involved artists like Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst using the original design of the award as a canvas, rather than creating a new object.

“Zaha was truly excited to be doing this,” Kutay remembers in a statement. “Our design expresses Zaha’s unwavering belief in progress and optimism for the future and a break from the norm. The biggest challenge was to create something different within certain guidelines, yet achieving a result recognizable to the public. You have to respect the existing to create something new,” she added.

In total, the team will produce five award statues, which will be unveiled later this year, ahead of the Brit Awards ceremony on February 22, 2017.

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