Vol. XXII Zaha Hadid


Vol_ 22 Zaha Hadid

A Beautiful Mind. A Woman Who Stood Strong & Would Not Compromise.

The designs of Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid are daring and visionary experiments with space and with the relationships of buildings to their urban surroundings.

The opening words of the citation when Zaha Hadid was named as the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize for architecture in 2004 were: “Her architectural career has not been traditional or easy.” An understatement. All architects have to struggle, but Hadid seems to have struggled rather more than most. Her single-mindedness, her singular lack of compromise is the stuff of legend although, as one writer commented, like a hurricane, “the storms are all on the outside”. In part, it is simple artistic temperament, necessary, perhaps, to create forceful architecture like Hadid’s. And in part it is the survival mechanism required to create such architecture in what remains a distinctly macho profession. Diva, the critics call her, although as the T-shirts worn by Hadid staff replied at the opening of her first major public building, the Cincinnati Art Center, in 2003: “Would they call me a diva if I were a guy?”

Hadid’s forcefulness is both her curse and her blessing. A curse because strong character can make clients run for the hills. Until recently Hadid was more famous not for the buildings she had built, but for the ones she had not built — preserved only in her famously vigorous, dramatic images. Often, as in the case of the Cardiff Bay Opera House, these opportunities to build were lost quite spectacularly. In the end, though, her forcefulness is a blessing. Like architectural natural selection, it helps to weed out weak projects and weak clients, so that when architecture is finally built, it is as strong-willed as its creator.

Often named as the most prominent contemporary female architect, or singled out for notice because of her Iraqi Arab background, Hadid is significant beyond these accidents of birth for her intellectual toughness, her refusal to compromise on her ideas even when very few of them were being realized in concrete and steel. For many years, her designs filled the pages of architecture periodicals but were dismissed as impractical or as too radical, and Hadid even thought about giving up architecture after she suffered a major rejection in her adopted homeland of Britain in 1995. Her star began to rise internationally when her design for Cincinnati, Ohio's new Center for Contemporary Art was selected and built, earning worldwide acclaim. By the mid-2000s Hadid employed nearly 150 people in her London office and was working hard to keep up with new commissions that were coming in, offering her a chance to help reshape the world architectural landscape.

Zaha Hadid was single-minded from an early age. Born in 1950 in Baghdad, she grew up in a very different Iraq from the one we know today. The Iraq of her childhood was a liberal, secular, western-focused country with a fast-growing economy that flourished until the Ba’ath party took power in 1963, and where her bourgeois intellectual family played a leading role.

Now today understanding her background, Zaha has created a Life Brand like no other. Her distinct vision will never be compromised by anyone. She has never limited herself, but showed unbelievable patience. 

Hadid has been widely quoted as saying that since there are 360 degrees, she sees no reason to restrict herself to just one. What a great Life Lesson. When thinking about your Life Brand remember, time, patience and drive. Zaha had vision and it took many years for her to see it realized. She is an amazing woman who has achieved great things in a short period of time. Hadid is not only noted for her architecture, but product design, art and sculpture installations, jewelry, and much more.

One experience with Zaha Hadid rather in lecture or taking in the beauty of one of her creations, you to will understand the importance of allowing a Life Brand mature. It takes time to gain wisdom and experience to compliment any Life Brand.

We thought Zaha’s story would inspire anyone who has had a dream and gotten close to giving up. Zaha almost gave up and gave in. However, persisted and today she at the top of field. Remember her drawings stayed on paper for years, and even became noted for her creativity and knowledge. Life is not always about schematics, hold on and eventually your dream will be realized….L+B.

Your Purpose is your Brand.

Photos: Zaha hadid, Ego Design Research Credit:Principal Voices, Notable Biographies, Design Museum

See and Learn more about this amazing woman: Zaha’s Chanel Pavilion interview, Here