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Dame Extraordinaire

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Zaha Hadid:

Platform had the privilege of featuring on our cover one of the most important and greatest architects the world has seen. We revisit her article and remember what an inspiration she was and will always be...

She is inimitable and fearless. She inspires, impresses and deserves a standing ovation for her contribution to contemporary architecture through her futuristic, avant-garde vision and technique. and more importantly, for breaking boundaries, both as a female and as an architect. The only woman to receive The Pritzker Award for architecture, her unusual and ambitious blueprints have won her the title of Dame. 
After completing 40 architectural marvels around the world, Dame Zaha Hadid stands tall and helps define the future of design. She constantly pushes boundaries and challenges herself and her contemporaries. Her architectural masterpieces and bold conviction make her one of the most significant architects the world has seen. 
In an exclusive interview, we learnt more about this gargantuan figure and her journey through the world of architecture. 

Can you tell us a little about your formative years?
I had a very nice childhood in Iraq. As in, there were so many places in the developing world at the time, that there was an unbroken belief in progress and a great sense of optimism. If you look back to the ‘60s, when I was growing up, it was a moment of nation building; there was a lot of emphasis on architecture, not only in the Arab world but also in South America and Asia. These ideas of change, liberation and freedom of this era were critical to my development. My father studied at the London School of Economics under Laskian and Fabian. When he returned to Iraq, he joined the Beirut Group that was the basis of the Iraqi Democratic Party. There was an incredible momentum of social reform everywhere. This ideology was important to me. 

My mother and father were definitely an inspiration. It was my parents who gave me the confidence to try new things and encouraged my passion for discovery. My father’s interest for reform was matched by my mother’s great sense of style. She was the one who taught me to draw. My older brothers shared this spirit of adventure and suggested I should become Iraq’s first woman astronaut!

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