A trailblazer and an innovator, Zaha Hadid (1950-2016) was an Iraqi-born British architect whose iconic works are found all over the world. Hadid studied at the American University of Beirut before moving to London to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture under Rem Koolhas and Elia Zenghelis. In a field dominated by white men, Hadid stood her ground to develop her own distinctive style and challenge the societal expectations and stereotypes imposed upon her.
Her style recalls the utopian ideals of Russian Constructivism and Italian Futurism, but unlike the failed models of the early 20th century, Hadid’s works did physically come into fruition, engaging with their surroundings while letting viewers know that the world can be perceived differently from how we are used to seeing it. Her forms are sinuous and dynamic, and she borrowed from nature elements of movement and imperfection.
In 2004, Hadid became the first woman to receive the prestigious Pritzker Prize. Notable works by Hadid include the Broad Art Museum (Los Angeles), the Guangzhou Opera House, the Contemporary Art Center (Cincinnati), and the MAXXI Museum (Rome).