ZAHA HADID – THE LAST INTERVIEW
ZAHA HADID – THE LAST INTERVIEW
Zaha Hadid had offered some of the most unique shapes in the world’s skyline. As one of the biggest female architects, she transformed the surroundings of more than 44 countries, synchronizing architectural forms, and natural landscape. United Nude, had the honour to create with her some of the most innovative shoes of the decade, back in 2013.
Through the creation of our limited-edition magazine “UNNAMED” we had the opportunity to capture her very last interview, before she sadly passed away in 2016.
Here is what was said, in our interview in 2016.
Zaha Hadid, I’m very curious to know when it all started, when you took a pen and used your imagination on paper for the very first time.
I had a nice childhood in Iraq with a very liberal background. My parents gave me a secular modern up- bringing and for such enlightened open-mindedness and selfless support, my mother and father were definitely an inspiration.
I think both my parents were interested in architecture in an indirect way.
My earliest memory of architecture, I was perhaps 6 years old, it was of my aunt building a house in Mosul in the north of Iraq. The architect was a close friend of my father’s and he used to come to our house with the drawings and models. I remember seeing the model in our living room and I think it triggered something, as I was intrigued by it.
What pushed you towards architecture?
When I was growing up in Iraq, there was an unbroken belief in progress and a great sense of optimism. If you look back to the 1960’s, it was a moment of nation-building, there was a lot of emphasis on architecture, not only in the Arab world but also in South America and Asia. The ideas of progress and innovation of this era were critical to my development, and this ideology was important to me and my work.
You are an architect, but also an amazing painter, your vibrant style blends abstract lines with architectural structures... We all know your affection for the Russian Supremacism and Constructivism, what did you find in these in nuances?
I’m not a painter - I have to make that quite clear. I can paint - but I’m not a painter - as the paintings we created were always part of the research for our architectural projects. My affection with the Russian Supremacists goes back to when I was student.
My teachers at the AA introduced me to Malevich’s work in my forth year. I was fascinated with his work as it was incredibly inventive - using abstraction to experiment and push creative work to new levels of discovery and exploring fantastic new concepts of Utopia.
There was a new social order in Russia that made it possible for new ideas to occur. There was a severe economic downturn in the West in the 1970’s, and I think there was a similar ambition to that of Malevich’s most formative period in revolutionary Russia
in the sense that we thought to inject new ideas that might regenerate or revitalize current thinking.
I felt limited by the traditional system of architectural drawing available at that time and was searching for new means of representation. I took up painting as a design tool and studying Malevich’s work allowed me to develop abstraction as a means to explore and invent space – using multiple perspectives and projections on a single canvas to develop ideas for project.
What is your relation with fashion? Do you use the same process of creation when you are creating a shoe?
I’m into fashion and shoes because they contain the mood of the day, of the moment—like music, literature, and art: whereas architecture is a very long process from the start of a project to its completion. Fashion and architecture can be considered as components within a single system of design.
The immersive experience of a building can be likened to the tactile sensations of wearing a garment or an accessory. Just as clothing is based on the proportions of the human body, architecture must also be structured in relation to the human scale.