When you are overworked and exhausted, there is a sense of kind of delirium, and that’s why I think architects do all-nighters and they kind of do those deadlines. For four days, I remember doing four nights in one row with no sleep. I mean, nobody, unless you are crazy, would do that, but you are totally focused on the project.


I’m a woman. I’m an Arab. I’m an architect. Biology and geography define the first two; the third has taken forty years of hard work. But hard work is not always enough. For a large part of those forty years, some of the biggest difficulties that I faced were brought about not by my work but by my existence as a woman, or as an Arab, or indeed, as an ‘Arab Woman.’ Ignorance and injustices, large or small, blatant or subtle, deliberate or – and perhaps worse – casual, not even recognized by their perpetrators.

I’m Iraqi; I live in London; I don’t really have a particular place – and I can say from my personal experience, it is actually very liberating. Perhaps it was my flamboyance rather than being a woman that was the reason I didn’t fully fit into the culture at hand. I think, on the one hand, it’s made me much tougher and more precise – and maybe this is reflected in my architecture.

– Zaha Hadid for UnCube