The ArchiteXX Reader’s Guide to Media Coverage of Zaha Hadid


We were greatly saddened by the sudden loss of one of the strongest voices in contemporary architecture. As respected as she was shrouded by controversy, we wanted to give you the tools to cut through the vast number of articles, commentary, and tributes to Dame Zaha Hadid on the occasion of her untimely passing. Don’t know where to start? There’s something for everyone.

The New York Times, who once reviewed Hadid’s Guggenheim exhibition under the questionable headline “A Diva for the Digital Age,” runs Hadid’s obituary by architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, but also runs two articles: “Female Architects on the Significance of Zaha Hadid” and Tegan Bukowski, designer at Zaha Hadid Architects reflects on her professor, mentor, and boss and argues that we not focus on her gender: “Zaha Hadid: More Than a ‘Female Architect.’” Now, the NYT is asking women architects to respond, with a survey: “Were You Influenced By Zaha Hadid’s Work?” (although one wonders why the question need be addressed to just women architects?)

The New Yorker’s John Seabrook, who profiled Zaha Hadid—“The Abstractionist”—in 2009, writes an incredulous PostScript and asks why everyone insist on calling Hadid a diva. He asks, “aren’t all architects divas?

The Guardian acknowledged that Hadid’s death brought sexism in architecture into high relief, and The Atlantic discussed her legacy as the first female starchitect and didn’t shy away from mentioning her refusal to take responsibility for migrant deaths in Qatar.

An Al Jazeera op-ed addresses Hadid’s Iraqi heritage, going so far as to say that “Baghdad was reborn in her soul.”

If after all of this reading, you just want to enjoy some of her groundbreaking, challenging, daring projects, Dezeen gives you Zaha Hadid: A Life in Buildings.