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Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid in front of her Phaeno Science Center, 2005, Wolfsburg, Germany, November 23, 2005. Photo: Jochen Luebke/AFP/Getty Images.

I remember when I first started doing the interpretation of Malevich’s Tektoniks. I was ill—I had bronchitis and I was in bed for three months. I saw Elia once or twice but really evolved that project on my own. . . . All these things added to my confidence, which is very important. You have to be confident to pursue certain things.

Zaha Hadid, 1983

ZAHA HADID unsettled the field of architecture. Her gift was to provoke a kind of immune response, an inflammation that never subsided. Indeed, architecture unwittingly reshaped itself in trying to resist her challenge to the defaults of the discipline. In a sense, this resistance, a collaboration with its own complexity and history, became the true site of her work. The art of the impactful architect lies in feeding an instability, continually provoking an allergic reaction before it can harden into a new orthodoxy. But how

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