Zaha Hadid: 1950 – 2016

Middle East • Architecture • Painter • Educator • Feminism

There once was an ambitious girl with a unique vision for building things. Zaha Hadid grew up in an affluent family and studied math and architecture. She was a stand-out student in her class, after which she went on to work for two of her former professors and then started her own architecture firm. She was coined “Queen of the Curve,” because of the unique architectural geometry that she used in her buildings which had a curvy, organic nature. Zaha was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to architecture. 

Not only was she an accomplished architect and exceptional teacher, but she was also a very talented painter. As part of her process for developing and presenting her unique structural plans, she would paint the concept for the buildings she designed. 

Zaha’s accomplishments are vast, and her story proves that women who work hard and follow their passions can make their mark on anything … including skylines.

CreateHER Activities:

  1. Can you build your game structure to look like one of Zaha’s buildings? They are known for their curvy, fluid aesthetics.
  2. Build your own structure out of glue and popsicle sticks (or toothpicks). Before you start, sketch your idea. Will your building be fluid and curvy like Zaha’s? Then write a brief description of your building. What’s its purpose? Who will be using this building (demographic)?
What’s HERstory?

Who is “Queen of the Curve? 

Who was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize?

Which architect was made a Dame
by Queen Elizabeth II?

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