Dame Zaha Hadid is internationally recognized as an innovator in avant-garde architecture that interprets the complex life around it.
COMPASS: How did you come to consider architecture as a career?
ZAHA HADID: If you look back to the 1960s when I was growing up in Baghdad, it was a new republic undergoing a moment of nation- building. There was a lot of emphasis on architecture. There was a renewed pride in the structure of the city, and the ideas of change, liberation, and freedom of this era were critical to my development. When I was a child I came to Europe every summer with my parents, and my father made sure I went to every museum, mosque and cathedral in sight! I remember going to see the Great Mosque in Cordoba when I was seven years old. It left a tremendous impression on me. Before coming to London to study at the Architectural Association, I studied mathematics at the American University in Beirut. Geometry has a tremendous connection to architecture – even more so now with the advanced computer scripts we use in the office.