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Jill M. Speegle

Sketches by Jill M. Speegle

Jill Speegle is the Editor of Durability + Design News. She earned her B.A. in journalism and English as well as her J.D. from the University of Arkansas and is a licensed attorney. In Sketches, Jill shares her thoughts on a number of topics that may be of interest to the D+D community, including architecture, interior design, green building, historic restoration, and whatever else catches her radar.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hadid Shines as ‘Woman of the Year’

Hey! Who says architects can’t be glamorous?

Dame Zaha Hadid, 62, was just crowned Glamour Magazine’s “Woman of the Year 2012.”

 Zaha Hadid

Simone Cecchetti  / The Hyatt Foundation

Zaha Hadid was recently named “Woman of the Year” by Glamour Magazine.

Why? “She’s an extraordinary force of nature that came out of the blue and whacked us all on the back of the head and said, ‘Wake up, kids, there’s more stuff to do,’” Glamour says, quoting architect Frank Gehry.

The Baghdad-born, London-based designer said she had always wanted to be an architect, according to Glamour. But being a “woman in a man’s job” has had its share of obstacles, including missing out on early commissions and years of her work being copied instead of created, she noted.

Still, Hadid’s more than 30 years of built, theoretical and academic work has got her noticed on many levels.

Perhaps her most celebrated achievement came in 2004, when she became the first woman to be honored with a Pritzker Prize for Architecture.

Pushing Boundaries

“Known as an architect who consistently pushes the boundaries of architecture and urban design, her work experiments with new spatial concepts intensifying existing urban landscapes and encompassing all fields of design, from the urban scale to interiors and furniture,” according to her Pritzker Prize biography.

Hadid’s work can be seen around the world, including in the U.S., U.K., Italy, China, Germany and Spain. One of her most recent projects was the aquatic center for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The facility was inspired by the fluid geometry of water in motion.

Abundance of Accolades

The recent Glamour designation is the latest in the architect’s panoply of editorial honors. She’s been named one of Time Magazine’s Top 100, Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women, and New Stateman’s 50 Most Influential Figures in the World.

 The London Aquatics Centre

 Hufton Crow / Zaha-Hadid.com

 The London Aquatics Centre is one of Hadid’s recent innovative projects.

You can see a full list of honors on her firm’s website.

…And My Favorite

One of my favorite projects designed by Hadid is the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, OH.

The modern building was one of her first designs to be built and the first U.S museum designed by a woman. Opened in 2003, the facility has spaces for temporary exhibitions, site-specific installations and performances. The center also features an education center, office suite, museum store, café, art preparation area and public spaces.

 The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art

 Roland Halbe / Zaha-Hadid.com

The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, OH, was Hadid’s first project in America.

“Conceived as a dynamic public space rather than a ‘static structure’, we created a unique ‘Urban Carpet’ to draw in pedestrian movement from surrounding areas—running from the building’s exterior through the entrance, lobby and on into the interior,” the architect said.

 The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art

 Hélène Binet / Zaha-Hadid.com

Hadid’s dramatic work includes the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, OH.

This video, posted on Hadid’s website, says her creations are all about “fireworks and magic.” I don’t know about you, but I tend to agree with the “Woman of the Year.”

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Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Architects; Architecture; Color; Design; Zaha Hadid

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