Zaha Hadid stands in front of a white background with "Zaha Hadid" written on it in dark red by Paco CT CC BY-NC-SA

Wednesday Geek Woman: Zaha Hadid, acclaimed and controversial architect

This is a guest post by Cecilia Vargas, a former software developer and educator, who wants to create a women-only physical space where women can learn about and tinker with computer stuff

Zaha Hadid stands in front of a white background with "Zaha Hadid" written on it in dark red by Paco CT CC BY-NC-SA

Zaha Hadid by Paco CT CC BY-NC-SA

Zaha Hadid is an acclaimed and controversial Iraqi-British architect. Zaha Hadid inspires me because she has thrived in a macho profession, and not only is she a woman, but is also non-Caucasian, like me. Her high-achiever father fed her single mind and strong will, and this reminds me of the encouragement I got from my Dad to go into STEM.

Hadid leads a successful London firm, and she has recently won the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Stirling Prize, for a second time. She was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, the Nobel prize of architecture. The London Times describes out-of-the-box Hadid as an architect who has built a reputation for controversy.

Bergisel Schanze (ski jump), Innsbruck, Austria

Bergisel Schanze, Innsbruck, Austria, designed by Zaha Hadid

Her critics call her diva, and as reply, the T-shirts worn by Hadid staff at the opening of her first major public building, the Cincinnati Art Center, in 2003 read “Would they call me a diva if I were a guy?”

Wikipedia: Zaha Hadid
Her company: Zaha Hadid Archtects
BBC report on her most recent award: Evelyn Grace Academy wins Stirling Prize
Her bio in London’s Design Museum: Zaha Hadid
Pritzker Prize: Zaha Hadid: 2004 Laureate

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