Zaha Hadid consistently pushes the boundaries of architecture and urban design. Her work experiments with new spatial concepts intensifying existing urban landscapes in the pursuit of a visionary aesthetic that encompasses all fields of design, ranging from urban scale through to products, interiors and furniture. Best known for her seminal built works (Vitra Fire Station, Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art, BMW Central Building, Phaeno Science Center, and MAXXI: Italian National Museum of XXI Arts) her central concerns involve a simultaneous engagement in practice, teaching and research.
Zaha studied architecture at the Architectural Association from 1972 and was awarded the Diploma Prize in 1977. She became a partner of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, taught at the AA with OMA collaborators Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis, and later led her own studio at the AA until 1987. Hadid has held the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture, Chicago; guest professorships at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg; the Knolton School of Architecture, Ohio and the Masters Studio at Columbia University, New York. In addition, she was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture and Commander of the British Empire, 2002. She is currently Professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria and was the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.