The 15th Biennial of Architecture in Venice opened last week with an impromptu retrospective of architect Zaha Hadid, hastily organized since Hadid's untimely death a few short months ago on March 31. What was meant to be an exploration of the research methodologies of the four-hundred strong bustling firm morphed into a mini-survey of a career reflecting the apotheosis of Zaha.
To be clear, this is not a review of the exhibition, which runs through November 27, 2016, but rather an appreciation of a relationship, a barefaced short hagiography of a friend and mentor—to me and many, many more. As an architect, designer, and artist, it was her democratic, boundary-crushing expression of form, no matter the manifestation, that so wowed. In the process, Zaha became an unintended lightening rod unsettling preconceptions of power (and success) with respect to women till the day she passed, and which won't stop anytime soon.