Architect Zaha Hadid could be Madonna. Her presence is everywhere, and it is global. On the outside, the Hadid imprint appears slightly more modest than the Smarty Pants Queen of Pop, who is very much the philanthropy lady these days.
Keeping reality in perspective, let me affirm that both women have big egos, and the world is a better place because of that fact.
Like her Middle Eastern Iraqi roots, the astonishing experience of Zaha Hadid’s structures come inside. Inside an often modest exterior. one is overcome not with spectacle but sensation. If a person can exist “as one” with a building, the structure is probably the womanly blueprint of Zaha Hadid.
Until this morning, I knew this Hadid person, but not up close and personal. I love architecture, but it’s such a bastion of male thinking, that I don’t follow it much. Of course I’m a fan of Rem Koolhass and Prada’s new transformer building in Seoul. Their collaborations are legendary.
Until this morning, I believed that Miuccia Prada and Li Edelkort are the only women in design, who fully understand where we might evolve, following a female-centric, creative perspective. I was wrong.
My brief university encounter with a Bauahus-trained, university professor who didn’t appreciate my female- forms vision, gives me an ounce of empathy for the obstacles Zahid Hadid has faced. I forgot about a career in architecture, and the linear thinker kept me out of Phi Beta Kappa as punishment for loving curves.
Waiting on our third-wavers, their artistry is often highly personal, an incubating me-focused, premie-baby mentality that shies away from thinking big about life structures or making bold statements.
While many women reflect on the possibilities of life and put a toe in the pond of self-expression, Zaha Hadid builds new civilizations. Diving into her design world like a mermaid, I rejoice for being a good swimmer, because one can drown in the breath of this woman.
Hadid is a Henry Moore sculpture or an Irving Penn “Earthly Body”. Her face and body make monumental impressions on our unconscious minds.
Let us not Photoshop her to death, telling women that no woman aspires to be like her, because Hadid is too large for Karl Lagerfeld’s vision of womanly beauty and aspiration. I think Hadid is too important, influential and masterful to succumb to that fashion claptrap, advising women of an unusually narrow version of desirable identity.
I will gladly take the pounds and life-weary wrinkles, in order to replicate her mind and the reality of her paradigm-breaking, visionary work. Let us not subordinate one of our greatest living role models to the dictates of fashion, when in fact, she is a larger-than-life goddess.
We have much conversation at Anne of Carversville about women who choose to wear a burqa (and more who live in it as a prison), liberated Westerners who say by concealing themselves from the decadent, ravaging (to them) spotlight of modern civilization.
To Zaha Hadid, womanly Smart Sensuality is the core of design in the 21st century, the very opposite of seeking to conceal oneself from public view. It is only feminine principles that may hold the new world together and we must stop hiding from our obligations.
If Hadid was modest, we would not know her. Instead, she is a diva of the best vintage.
The power of her vision prevents this Iraqi woman from speaking quietly, whispering her thoughts in concealed cloth, praying that she will be heard, her ideas adopted and executed.
No way. Hadid wears modest jeans and a construction helmet, determined to set the world on a new course.
Her pants are surely too tight for conservative men. In Sudan, she would be flogged for certain. Men would yell “prostitute” as she walked through the streets, making her way to a construction site.
What am I saying! There is no room for womanly buildings in Sudan. The world has been slow to embrace feminine principles, and Sudan is at the back of the bus.
The problem was that men could not build her vision in real life. I say “men” because not only are men most of our architects, they own the cranes that engineer the buildings of modern life.
Luckily for Hahid and us, too, men invented computers; and it is the new computer technology that helps them understand Zahid Hadid’s architectural vision. The circle is complete, and she is the center of this new lifestyle vision.
Buried in the design womb of Zaha Hadid this morning, my own decades-ago imagined possibilities have come to life. Architectural details are undulating, snake-like and curvaceous. Buildings are portable and jointly owned by more than one country.
You must be kidding me! Monumental architectural structures are shared by more than one country and culture? I am dumbfounded with these possibilities. It is true. Hadid’s portable museum is moving from Manchester to the UAE. Read on.
Today’s news reports the successful hoisting of Hadid’s London Olympic swimming pool roof into place. London dreams of unleashing the power of a new generation of women swimmers like Rebecca Adlington. The Olympic swimming pool house structure is a monumentally female vision of 21st century possibilities.
Midwesterners can be very traditional, yet it was the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati that gave this architectural visionary her big break. We get a few things right in America.
Hadid isn’t as well-known as such architects as Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas, who was one of her teachers. Change is coming.
Sheldon Museum Director J. Daniel Veneciano says: “They made Zaha possible, but they’ve made their statements, which were all of their moment which is the late 20th century,” he said. “The 21st century, however, belongs to Zaha.”
I’m totally seduced and inspired by this wilful Athena, springing fully-formed from the head of Zeus. Wisdom, thy name is woman.
Mine is not a solo act. Hadid has visionary momentum, and we must get on board. What are the applications of her thinking in the rest of our lives?
Playing violin in Hadid’s portable, three-nation-owned concert space which will travel to the UAE in 2011 for the Abu Dhabi Festival, Alina Ibragimova makes an infinitely powerful statement about unleashing her own creativity in the seashell-inspired structure.
She felt so safe in Hadid’s biomimicry womb structure, that the violinist no longer sensed that she would make mistakes.
“It gave her such reassurance that she (Ibragimova) gave these amazing performances and was fearless in the structure,” says said Alex Poots, the director of Manchester International Festival, which premiered the new portable museum in July 2009 via The National
This possible fusion of design concept and human purpose leave me trembling inside, tears welling in my heart. As Oprah says: “This is big … really big.” Laugh at me steel hearts; I don’t care. Zaha Hadid has known much ridicule in her life, but she did not give up her dreams.
And she is big, this maser architect woman. She has conquered even the potato-chip mommy hater, the kaiser of our fashion world Karl Lagerfeld, who speaks with impunity against many women, unlike Miuccia Prada who cultivates a softer intellectual greatness to inspire us.
Only the strongest women flourish under tyrants. Zaha Hadid is one of them, bending iron masculine minds with her sensual embrace. For all his recent statements against large women, Lagerfeld allowed a big woman to design a structural environment to inspire thin fashionistas.
The world is desperately in need of female thinkers with big brains and visible breasts to inspire us. We are exhausted marching the rigorous steps of male certainty, while long-held beliefs and institutions dissolve beneath our feet.
Praising Hadid’s design vision for Chanel’s Contemporary Art Container, Lagerfeld said: ‘She is the first architect to find a way to part with the all-dominating post-Bauhaus aesthetic. The value of her designs is similar to that of great poetry. The potential of her imagination is enormous.”
I say, then let women be large, if they are also healthy and happy. Let women be thin and average-size as well. Global solutions come not from homogeneity but different interpretations of meaning in culture.
Chanel’s global tour of the iconic art container was cancelled after Hong Kong and previously New York, due to the world’s economic crisis. In all honesty, I found the entire concept a bit over the top, subordinating art and our creative, aesthetic sensibility to an iconic fashion brand.
The psychological motivation to leave the stamp of a brand and one’s personal influence in redefining it on history is understandable, but perhaps the world is too long on ego and desires a softer glove approach.
We need a female-centric landscape, a more organic form of human monuments, ones that visually combine both masculine and feminine principles. This vision is chaotic and weak amateurism to the linear thinker, but we do live in pure chaos today.
It’s time to embracing female thinking and principles. Anne
Next stop: Rome and Hadid’s Maxxi, the new museum of contemporary art. Be patient with me; I won’t be gone for long.