Learning from Zaha Hadid

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Models by ZHA at Venice Biennale of Architecture 2012. Photo: Eleonora Nicoletti.

The recent loss of Zaha Hadid has shaken the architecture world, causing her work to be praised both by her fans and by those that had previously criticised it severely.

One may like or dislike her designs, but her huge impact on contemporary architecture is undeniable. By exploring shapes that had never been part of the built environment before, Zaha Hadid dared to push the boundaries of architecture while others were focusing on its constraints. Her work clearly expressed the belief that “Design is Communication”, as her partner Patrik Schumacher wrote. Issues related to sustainability and the urban context did not represent limitations for Zaha Hadid, rather they offered her the opportunity to create something that could stand out.

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Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Photo: Eleonora Nicoletti.

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Arum by ZHA at Venice Biennale of Architecture 2012. Photo: Eleonora Nicoletti.

If we can’t learn how to design sustainable and affordable buildings from Zaha Hadid, we can definitely learn courage from her. Translating an innovative concept into a built architecture takes not only a deep confidence in the value of the idea, but a lot of dedication, perseverance and especially the courage to carry that idea forward and defend it no matter what difficulties and objections may be encountered on the way. This might be the most important lesson by Zaha Hadid.

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Crest by ZHA at the V&A in 2014. Photo: Eleonora Nicoletti.

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