Born in Baghdad and based in London, Zaha Hadid was a design maverick and intellectual powerhouse. The internationally celebrated architect was known for unconventional forms, unusual lines, and unexpectedly breathtaking structures.
Arguably the most famous female architect, her long history of challenging the status quo delivered and astonishing portfolio of architectural magnificence. From museums to hotels, offices to arts centers, Hadid’s distinctive style permeated each building from floor to ceiling and everywhere in between. Some of her most notable built works include Cincinnati's Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, the Guangzhou Opera House in China, and the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games. Although her innovative concepts were always original and never recycled, each one is unmistakably Hadid.
In addition to winning the 2004 Pritzker Prize (Architecture’s equivalent of the Nobel), she has been showered with an array of other awards and honors, including Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and Britain’s Stirling Prize. Other honors include UNESCO recently naming Hadid as an “Artist for Peace,”the Republic of France honoring her with the “Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres,” and Queen Elizabeth II naming her a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She has also served a number of university guest professorships and chairs.
Her influence even extended from the architectural and artistic sphere into the realm of pop culture, having twice made Forbes Magazine’s “Top 100 Most Powerful Women” list and appeared in Time Magazine’s 2010 list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” (topping the list in the “Thinkers” category).
Hadid partnered with Italian lighting company Slamp to design the Avia and Aria pendant lamps, as well as with Artemide to design the Genesy floor lamp. Her foray into lighting design mirrored a growing trend of architects delving into the design medium. The Avia and Aria are as much Hadid as any of her more imposing structures, with equal ability to capture the eye and the imagination.