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Published on Feb 4, 2017
Zaha Hadid, who died on 31 March 2016, was a world-famous architect. In life, she was respected or reviled, but seldom ignored. Born in Baghdad in 1950, at a time of secularisation, she was partly inspired by new buildings in the city by Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Walter Gropius. She set up her own practice, in a redundant school in Clerkenwell, in 1980. She went on to create numerous landmark buildings, including the Aquatic Centre in London’s Olympic Park and the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan. She was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize for architecture in 2004, won the Stirling Prize in both 2010 and 2011, received a knighthood in 2012 and was the first woman to be awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in 2015. Hadid was a remarkable figure: a powerful woman and Arab at the top of the Western design industry; a designer of curves in a world of boxes; an opinion former who rarely gave interviews; a leader in an age of consensus. Is there anyone out there to fill her shoes? The speaker is Dr Patrik Schumacher, principal, Zaha Hadid Architects, author, The Autopoiesis of Architecture. The chair was Austin Williams, associate professor in architecture, XJTLU University, Suzhou, China, director, Future Cities Project, convenor, Bookshop Barnies, founding member of New Narratives.