ARTperspective

The Art Perspective blog is a collection of thoughts, musings, and reflections on art, artists, and current happenings in the art world. 

Remembering a Legend: Zaha Hadid

Today we have lost one of the greatest architects in the world. Dame Zaha Hadid died suddenly this morning from complications due to cardiac arrest while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Miami. 

Hadid who started her eponymous firm in 1979 was known for her bold, unconventional designs that pushed the boundaries of architecture, and completely disrupted the design industry. While many regarded her as the greatest female architect of our time, I believe that is selling her short. Her gender quite frankly is irrelevant when you look at the career and the works of art left behind to remind us, to inspire us, and to push us to challenge the status quo. There is little doubt that a woman born in Baghdad in 1950 had many obstacles to overcome in realizing her dream, but it was the bold nature that Zaha possessed that drove her to become great, and to inspire everyone she touched to come along with her.

A friend of mine who was studying architecture at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia was one of those people inspired by Zaha's work. He was set on landing an internship and working at the firm - and true to who he is, and in the spirit of Zaha's boldness, he showed up in London and secured his spot on the team. He was the first person I reached out to when I heard BBC report the news of her passing. He was already on the phone with colleagues and friends from across the pond in London, all of whom are grieving the loss of more than a boss, someone who was a true visionary, a leader, and a larger than life unstoppable force . If you visit the Zaha Hadid Architecture website, it has been suspended, and in place an entire page dedicated to the life and accomplishments of their namesake, and founder, the legendary architect, Zaha Hadid.

It isn't often people recognize the immense contributions or significance of ones work while they are still alive, but seemingly only in loss and through retrospective reflection do we gain enlightenment to what has truly been lost. 

As I now begin my own process of self reflection, there are so many things that I have admired and respected about Zaha as a business leader, a design visionary, but most of all as a person; I believe it was her exacting standards, her intolerance of incompetence and her willingness to call a spade a fucking shovel.