„I don’t think any man can actually compete with her. If we can eliminate the practice of talking about female architects, it would be the greatest tribute we could give her.” Eva Jiřičná
A woman who achieves success in architectural industry is always a surprise. She was able to give up her family and scramble through a male world to egoistically become popular. In many situations the sex issue is more important than her accomplishments – paradoxically it is what she was eager to avoid.
Reading articles about Zaha Hadid it is very easy to recognize that her ‘being a woman’ is for many people a point of great significance: „Industry sexism”, „Britain must do more to help encourage its women architects”, „Female Architects on the Significance of Zaha Hadid”. It looks like: okay, she did a great job, but WOW she did it being a woman! The ridiculous part of all feminist operations is diminishing women’s importance by trying to defend them. Forgetting about the sex will be a sign of a real gender equality.
Zaha Hadid’s professional achievements are a topic infinitely more compelling than her social problems. She had a talent, a chance and she got the most out of it. Beginning with her studies at architectural school she was trying to think different, struggling for something new. By making drawings she explored the new ways to imagine how space can work. She was inspired by Russian constructivism and Italian futurism – her experiments proved that architecture can be seen as an art. Her ideas were hard to imagine being built, but after a few years, the technological progression allowed her to do whatever she wanted, and she wanted a lot.
She really liked unpredictable architecture, growing like a piece of nature, irregularily, impulsively and she was personally exactly the same – unstoppable. Her example shows us an unbelievable situation when inconvienient, intellectual architecture becomes extremely popular. Probably for the first time in history people accepted and LIKED something they could not recognise from the past. It was a precedent which reason could be Hadid’s great sensibility – architecture should be made strictly for people and in that sense becoming a mainstream is a big achievement.
During her whole career she developed a unique style which is truly hard to copy. Awkward, organic shapes are the result of genius calculations and construction techniques which, obviously, are extremely expensive. Even if it isn’t our favourite type of aesthetics it will be an act of ignorance not to appreciate this progression. Her business skills are also something to be impressed by – her global company which earns millions of dollars creates a coherent, identifiable design. Trying different lines of art Hadid became a celebrity, whose life and personality were almost as important as her works. Her extreme success was hard to imagine, and that’s why every failure was exaggerated. Being attacked for unbuilt projects, having completed hundreds is a nonsense.
Please don’t call her a woman architect. It simply doesn’t matter.