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Research Officer

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London, UK

Job Type

Full Time


As a new institution, ZHF is effectively a ‘start-up’. It is important therefore that the postholder is flexible with regard to the tasks at hand, and able to work within a team environment that is sometimes pressured. Much of the role will be project-driven: the coordination and management of projects will be a significant aspect of the postholders abilities.

Reporting to the Head of Research and Learning, the Research Officer will be centrally engaged in the creation of research and learning strategies, working with the Director and Head of Research and Learning to develop the Foundation’s inaugural research and learning policy. Significant and immediate priorities will include the organisation of the inaugural bursaries, public events and educational activities already in development. The postholder will work closely with the Collections team to support collection and exhibition activities pertaining to research and learning.

The role demands an ability to be flexible and to engage with the other specialists within the organisation to ensure that research and public programmes are delivered to the optimum. The postholder is likely to have had research experience in a university and/or museum learning environment, and expertise in modern and contemporary architecture and design. Ideally, they would have experience working with design and architecture collections, and an understanding of the work of Zaha Hadid.

The postholder, as part of a new institution, will be part of a team which will engage with every aspect of the Foundation’s holdings. Therefore, as well as the specific duties outlined, the post will have a broader curatorial aspect to it. This will include involvement with the collections, including their storage and display, and the information systems pertaining to individual works.


The Zaha Hadid Foundation (ZHF) is seeking to appoint a Research Officer to join its new and growing team. Reporting to the Head of Research and Learning, the Research Officer will work on the development and maintenance of ZHF’s research and educational initiatives.

ZHF aims to be a major national and international centre for the study of architecture and design, and all the visual arts insofar as they intersect with the urban environment. Its mission is to preserve and promote the artistic and creative legacy of Zaha Hadid, to advance research and education in areas pertaining to her legacy, and in relation to modern architecture, design and related disciplines. It will do this through the creation of appropriate facilities for the display and study of its collections, and through curatorial and educational programmes in its own facilities and those of other institutions.

The Research Officer will facilitate and administer the work of researchers connected to ZHF and provide practical support to academic and educational collaborations. They are expected to have an active research interest that relates closely to the ethos of the organisation. ZHF will conduct and support research across theory and practice, from academic studies to practice in architecture, design, and the arts that relate to the built environment.

About the Company

The Zaha Hadid Foundation will present the art and ideas of Zaha Hadid to local and global audiences. It will promote new ideas in architecture and design, and the interaction of the arts in contemporary society, engaging with diverse audiences and supporting new scholarship in areas which pertain to her work and legacy.

Whilst firmly rooted in architecture and the life and work of Zaha Hadid, the Foundation will engage in a broad range of cultural activities. It will create exhibitions, from large-scale events for major international venues, to smaller and specialist displays. The Foundation will have its own exhibition spaces in which changing displays from the collection will provide London with ongoing access to Zaha Hadid’s work. The Foundation will also create exhibitions of all types that position Zaha in context, independently and through collaboration with other institutions.

The Foundation will generate a wide range of activity, including conferences, colloquia, public lectures, film, online programmes, and publications. It will create a programme of fellowships and bursaries to advance new knowledge and innovative practice in relation to Zaha’s creative legacy. This might include practice in architecture, design, planning, museology, historical and theoretical studies.
ZHF is a new organisation at an early stage in its development. The role of the team in the first three years will be to create a fully functioning and internationally leading organisation of its type. The appointed Research Officer will be committed to building an organisation ‘from the ground up’ as part of this team. They will be innovative in developing methods to support the research and learning programmes, and a wide range of curatorial and collection-based initiatives. Ideally, they should be experienced working with archives and collections (both physical and digital) in a research and/or curatorial environment. They will have a good knowledge of modern and contemporary architecture and design in areas related to the mission of the Foundation. They will be keen to work with partners across cultural sectors.

The Collection
The Foundation’s collection comprises of c.10,000 works across a range of media, including architectural models, furniture, interior design, paintings, drawings, architectural plans and blue-prints, fashion design, and jewellery. Additionally, there is a considerable archive, consisting of works on paper and various types of ephemera. There is a collection of books which will form the basis of a research library. At present the collection is in secure professional storage.

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