Like Archinect on Facebook.
Sign up to our mailing list.
"Moments later they fall to the floor to take off her high-heeled Martin Margiela ankle boots so she can walk five yards across the room."
I wonder how much these "kids" get paid to undergo such torture. I also wonder, if her firm was based in the US, how long it would take for her to get sued (I bet one week)
LEAVE ZAHA ALONE!
also, don't link to paywalled articles.
i was able to get to the article from the google link, rather than the posted link. don't know why. try this:
also, the link i had is slightly different than the doctor's
this is an edit; i read the article. most of it. zaha is a bore, as is her work and her office. sorry rusty. i regret spending the time to find the article.
Oh, I did know it was a paywalled article...I got it through a linkedin link...
Zaha is real prototype of movie's "Devil Wears Prada" Meryl Streep's character.
Big question is why people sacrifice their lives for working next to such devils.
This is a good rhetorical question:
"If people chose NOT to work for the egomaniacs in the profession, would they be successful?"
Is this the same Zaha Hadid that complained that there weren't enough women in architecture? If she's the example, there are at least one too many.
Yes, Miles, one woman is representative of us all. Let us eradicate women from architecture.
What's your damage, bro?
i almost dropped my bong when i read that, but id accidentally glued it to my hand.
miles - some things just shouldnt be posted.
they should be posted anonymously.
ok - read the article - aside from what seems like a somewhat demeaning job of being her assistant - it seems like she's more your typical slightly over-emotional, bit-of-a-dick, gets work by force of personality, boss.
Unreasonable people make the world to their liking - reasonable people adapt to how things are.
see also Steve Jobs
The political correctness of this crowd borders on paranoia.
I was trying to point out what I see as ironic behavior. Hadid has gone to some lengths complaining about how they aren't enough women in architecture, and then goes on to demonstrate what could only be described as absolutely ridiculous behavior. The point is not that she's a she, but that she behaves like a prima donna and acts like a colossal ass.
If Hadid is the poster child for female architects it's no wonder there aren't more of them. That's the irony. Got it?
ok, is there a possibility that the magazine people are trying to depict a very, too, specific and perhaps a picture that eclipses a more comprehensive understanding of the situation? just to make the article more interesting to read; we all love to read about people being bitchy, no? fess up
perhaps, being a lady somewhat past her younger days self, she has difficulty getting the boots off and does actually appreciate some help. perhaps they, the "children", appreciate being around her..and perhaps she is rather stroppy and temperamental but makes it up to them in some other ways that they know of and we don't.
by the way, do these "children" actually ever communicate their dislike to the "outer" world...after graduating from her orphanage?
OK, wait. Did Zaha engage in patently ridiculous behavior, or did a magazine write something patently ridiculous about a woman's behavior because it sells more magazines?
I'm not saying people in general, architects specifically, and Zaha in particular can't be prima donnas. But if you're bringing up Zaha's comments about the difficulty women face in architecture, then let's not talk about personalities, let's talk about the REAL issue: the ongoing silent sexism that exists in the entirety of Western culture.
Would any article written about a male architect discuss his shoes, or his eye makeup, or his fashion? Isn't it true that every time Zaha's name is mentioned on this site the topic of her looks always comes up? That the easiest way to dismiss her - or any woman - is to mention her weight or appearance or demanding requirements, thus reinforcing (again) the notion that a woman's only value is her appearance and her desire to please?
This is an architect who has pushed at the limitations of our profession significantly over decades, and all we hear about her is that she wears high heels than forces her groveling peons to remove them for her. Perhaps she threw out her back that morning and by the time she got to the office found she could no longer bend, but does the FT give us any context? No. Because we're talking about a professional successful woman and it's waaaay more fun to paint her as a diva and thus take her down a notch so the boys can feel better about themselves.
Why do people work for her and put up with such behavior? Maybe because they want to learn something and don't mind quelling their own egos momentarily to learn first-hand about the sheer will-to-power that someone of Zaha's stature must have to achieve what she has achieved. Because they're not intimidated by tantrums and are strong enough to ride them out while gleaning a fantastic resume entry.
So Zaha's a tough boss; it's not like anyone wouldn't know that going into the job (thanks to articles and websites like this). Frankly what scares me FAR more are the boring regular bosses who do disgustingly insidious things like "forget" to tell you that you're being paid as a contract worker or "accidentally" neglect to withhold your Social security payments for a year or lay you off then cancel your severance check - this stuff happens all the time and no one gets up in arms about it.
Zaha is just more fun to complain about.
Hello t a m m u z, this is Zaha. Thank you for taking my side and for bringing some sense into this conversation. As a reward I am offering you a job at my London office together with a decent pay check.
haha just kidding man, but i agree with your argument. its the fault of those shitty magazines. therefore I am offering you a job at my firm.
Actually a quick look around Archinect shows several threads discussing unpaid/ contract work internships and the various other ridiculous things we are expected to put up with, and I hear way more about those issues than Zaha's shoes, as I'm sure any person out of academia does.
I have also read plenty of articles discussing male architects that can't stop talking about their shoes or accessories or simply the blackness of our clothes. Journalists feel they have to create some angle and usually it is "look at these crazy OCD architects and their silly designer clothes and silly (insert strange building material or process here) buildings. "
Yes, this does happen with other professions, and women are frequent targets of distorting pieces of journalism, but I am not sure if this is one of those cases.
I am sure everyone working there has weighed the pros and cons of it and decided it is worth it to be so near to one of the most renowned, if not best, architectural designers currently alive.
side tracking a little.. I'm sick of all this whining about ZAha and her architecture without meaning? well is a rectangular box more meaning that this? what else? missing life, ugly, insensitive, blah blah blah! the same critical shit I hear about Zaha everytime her project come out. She is none of those and doesn't give a damn.. She likes to design what she think is architecture.. and if you haven't realized, she gets real projects and dozens of offers unlike you whiners who likely can't even find a job to start out.
end of rant
anyways, if you don't like working for Zaha, no one is forcing you.. actually, good luck trying to get a job in there to start out with xD
so access, do her "children" really have to take her shoes off for her as a sign of submissiveness, or is that an embellishment for the article?
if my boss referred to me as his child i would be a bit patronizing and insulting.
Her ski jump is pretty good. I'd work for her.
Her vitra fire station is garbage.
the architectural world is full of prima donna bosses who have their interns bringing them bananas and washing their audis. the difference is that these people have all of the ego but none of the genius that warrants this sort of step and fetch it gesticulation
Whether you like her buildings or not, she has a varied and wide-ranging portfolio. It doesn't matter if you COULD HAVE done better, built more, been nicer, you were not the person in that position, and she was, and did.
With as out-of-touch as talent less and puerile politicians, athletes, and bankers are, I can stand a prima donna when they have the work to back it up.
Yes, the political correctness of this thread does border on paranoia. Donna, yes the article does not offer much context, but it is rather well known in circles of fresh graduates (who are normally the only people who work at ZHA - the others get too burnt out and leave) that she is more of a prima donna than a lot of the other starchitects.
It is pretty obvious why kids work for her - they drank too much of the Rhino + Maya + Grasshopper kool aid at the AA or Bartlett and are brainwashed into working there.
The elephant in the room, regardless of what the person's gender is, is that this whole intimidation is actually a business strategy. I think her employees take their being yelled at as "learning" from a diva, in lieu of being paid properly. This is not unique to Zaha, but is a little extreme at her practice.
(from an episode in abracadabra, FAIA.., written seven years ago and still valid)
It has been a few months working as Zaha Hadid's receptionist / confidante. I learned what there is to learn from her architecture office and told her that I must leave pretty soon to apply the professional practice knowledge to my own gig. She said that would be fine and how much she valued my showing up in her life and how much I made the world a more beautiful place for her, and everything.. And, she asked me to come up with employee hiring test questions for her before I left for West Covina as one last favor. She told me to come up with questions that would give her an idea where the potential employee's ass is at.
so it goes,
Zaha Hadid Assoc., Employee Rare Opportunity Test
1- You are "fired" what would you do?
a-cry and call my parents in their yacht
b-loot/find an office electronic and leave
c-start a thread in archinect about your experience
2- How much money you have in your pocket?
a- 6.50 - 17.40
b-no cash money but some 10 $ rock bags I know I can sell.
c-My diddy's corporate credit card and the latest i-pad
3- What can you do for Zaha?
a-computer models and computer drawings
b-computer models and dodging
c-computer drawings and diving
4-Zaha loves Abracadabra, faia.. who is he?
a-famous janitor who suing David Childs for copyright, from the jail.
b-Sports great who is in jail
c-A literary figure posing as an architect who is in jail
5-in which non Zaha building you would want to fart?
a-FOG proposal in Jerusalem
b-FOG proposal in Panama
c-FOG proposal in Spain for a hotel
6-Which section of Archinect you spend most of your time at work reading about Zaha?
c-rita novel's links
7-If Zaha hands you a paper with a dot on it and says 'thanks', what would you do?
a-ask her what it is for
b-tell her the dot on it is so beautiful and say "wow maam i get it."
c-crumble it and throw in the trash and say, "you are welcome. that was a three point throw."
8-In 2003 which hotel sued Rem Toolhaas, Zaha's teacher, for doing away with the embossed towels and a pillow?
c-hotel California @ La Brea
9-Do you think Zaha is beautiful?
a-yes she is indeed
b-yes yes she is gorgeous
c-oooh yea there is nothing tells me she is not a looker
10-How many days you plan to work here at Zaha's?
a-at least 12 hours
b-more than 12 but not to exceed 40
c-as long as she loves me, and I know that could be up to 200 hours.
11-Zaha is looking at your drawing what do you do?
a-stand up 6 feet away and sway left to right in my all black outfit
b-stand up 8 feet away and sway back to front in my all black outfit
c-sit on a stool 12 feet away and play pack man on my pocket computer in my fancy graphic lovers t-shirt which I won in a design contest.
12- It is Monday morning at Zaha's and there are 5 new hires in the reception area., and you have been working there almost 80 hours, a senior position, which hire you pick up to clean your computer and shine your shoes etc.,?
a-the one with mini skirt
b-the one with crack pipe neckless
c-three of them for no particular need
13-It is Saturday and Zaha asks you to score some coke for the office, do you mark it up?
b-no, it is for the entire team
c-I tell her I couldn't score much, and there is just enough for me and her
14-Zaha wants to know. Who invented the wheel?
15-You are stranded on an island with Zaha, how would you treat her?
a-make her to design/built a primitive hut and tell her it looks like shit
b-tell her, she'll always be my boss and her boots are made for walkin'
c-do a "swept away" thing but catch the plane.
There are no correct answers. Except to question # 9. Good luck and remember to be fired on time..
I have a friend who worked for her almost a decade...
He says she's really tempermental to the senior architects,
they are the ones who deals with it... and that is regarding
Doesn't seem like she's a senseless jerk type.
Heard quality of projects they get is great, just being a famous firm
it's for sure they get scale/types of projects that's going to be
amazing experience for many people.
Don't need to witch-hunt.
Then there was Steve Jobs -
Money is a highly caustic substance. Exposure to large quantities disrupts neural functions.
I friend of mine currently works there and shared the article with him. He laughed and said that while it's really intense, you does enjoy it a lot and is learning a lot.
One of my profs worked for her and aside from Zaha's chain smoking and cussing, he learned a lot.
I'm clueless. I just looked at her picture. She reminds me of a water buffalo.
I guess that, for some, architecture is a way to create the beauty that they don't have. Like some of my friends and I agree on: "there's often a superiority complex to cover up an inferiority complex."
"More money, more problems." BIG
Remember greatness comes in many forms. Only a fool sees the negative - learn to extract the positive from everything.
Positive and negative are complementary to each other: yin and yang. You can't have one without the other.
OK, lets stop comparing Steve Jobs to Zaha. One of them literally created the means to access a Graphical User Interface, means to access the internet, the means to make things like Toy story possible, and the other creates bloated architecture (and a lot of it IS beautiful) that the whole world could totally live without.
OK, lets stop comparing Steve Jobs to Zaha. One of them literally created the means to access a Graphical User Interface.
Say what? He took the idea from Xerox Parc - I was at one of the meetings when I worked for Link Simulation.
i totally agree.
i couldn't live without Toy Story either.
Space and Beyond!!!
or sumsuch whatever etc etc.
Sure Xenakis, but on the other hand, what has Zaha done that is benefiting millions every day? At least Steve Jobs was useful to society.
the iphone + MacBookPro is the 30 year manifestation of Steve Job's vision(s) - Zaha?
good point -
And the iPad. And the whole "modernization" of the music industry...
People work for her because (among other things) they don't want the "same-old", the office has incredible resources.
anything else is just ignorant zaha-bashing/free publicity for ZHA.
That's not really accurate, Donna. When someone, anyone, is a "bitch on wheels," the general populace doesn't like her. They will go on to refer to her appearance as an ancillary topic, reinforcing their case. I'm a big believer in physiognomy. It works about 90% of the time. I took one look at her picture and could see she is probably a correspondingly distasteful person. The problem, in general, is how SOME women handle a position of power - they can't let their competence and intelligence be the "front burner" of their presentation. It has to be accompanied by being bitchy because they think that anything less than that, in what is incorrectly still perceived to be a man's world, would make them come across as weak and ineffective leaders.
Look at film and TV media. There was a movie where Demi Moore was this unscrupulous IT boss under whom Michael Douglas worked and she essentially framed him. Of course, good trumps evil in most films, and in the end, he turns the tables. The audience claps. Ditto for "Working Girl," set on Wall Street, with Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, and Melanie Griffith. Same formula, with Sigourney Weaver being the oppressor. Or, how about "L.A. Law" where the conniving partner played by Diana Muldaur doesn't look while she's talking, and walks into an elevator .... where the cab is some 10 stories down because it's under repair. No audience to clap on a TV show. But watchers of "L.A. Law" were happy to see her go down ... literally.
I have never seen sexism in architecture. I really haven't. They say that this friction happens with the contractor who might be condescending to a woman, much less so than in the office. I haven't heard that complaint, either. What I have seen is extra concern for a woman architect or intern on the site, in essence playing the chivalry card, as in "be careful for that crane behind you" or "here, make darn sure you wear this hard hat." If someone chooses to interpret that as chauvinism, instead of "daddying," then that's their choice.
whats with the steve jobs this, steve jobs that? and how random comparing or contrasting her to steve jobs.
rest assured Ladies, you have been informed by observant that there is no sexism whatsoever in architecture. you may now breathe a sigh of relief .
of course this is from someone who has the uncanny aiblity to "look at her picture and could see she is probably a correspondingly distasteful person."
really, the vilifaction by some people above of the woman in question on the basis of her looks (comparing her to a "water buffalo") is repugnant.
thresh it out. the fact is, if she were an ugly white dude, no one would be thinking of comparing him to an animal.
1- she is a woman
2- she is a woman with a strong personality
3- she is large
4- she comes from a particular ethnic background where her looks are very much in character and not in yours.
all this is too much for you. no, its not that there is sexism in architecture, but a strong fat unconventionally-looking (for you) woman is tantamount to being a water buffalo. how dare she exist. you want small petite demure looking girls with shaven havens who can be daddied on site.
Thank you for this, t a m m u z. I saw observant's comment comparing Zaha - who, like her or not, is one of the most brilliant practitioners of our time - to an animal and pretty much closed my laptop in disgust. I see he's posted some long rant above, but I've decided I'm blocking his posts from now on, so I won't read it.
Sexist people - both men and women - will never. ever. get. it. They are so blinded by their own sexist outlook that they can't see how entrenched it is. Sexist men can't see how they view any non-model-conventional-beauty-looking woman is an assault to their eyes who should not exist. One wonders if people with those views also think people with disabilities should not exist, because they're somehow less than human.
I'm glad you and liznieve above and, yes, many men here are willing to acknowledge that dismissing Zaha - and thus any person - because of their appearance or gender is appalling. Embrace humans, and dismiss harshly the *buildings* that look ugly, can we do that instead, please?
That's how guys talk. No apologies. I know women who might take offense at this, because women with a feminist bent take ANY insult of a woman as a serious offense. I also know brilliant women who would laugh at the above comment (they are generally not overly sensitive architects). If what they say about this person in fact happens, it only gives credence to my friend's comment that "architecture is the least professional of the professions." Would a NORMAL dentist treat his or her dental hygienists that way, if what they write about the boots is true? NO. The thread on Fuksas isn't much better. We have starchitects who solidify the "least professional of the professions" problem, some by underpaying or not paying their interns at all, and they in turn learn that this is acceptable. It is NOT. It's almost like a legacy of abuse or hazing being passed down in a family or an organization.
Eccentric artists behave this way. Not professionals.
Again, architecture is great. Its milieu is far from it.
no one is asking you to apologize. someone who has your outlook wouldnt apologize anyway. we know that already.
What is my outloook? I had no clue who she was. I search for her picture and see an unattractive woman. After reading the stories, if they are true, it would then make her someone who is unattractive inside and out. So what if her designs are brilliant. How does that affect me? We are so namby-pamby P.C. in the States. In Europe, those kinds of comments are the order of the day, and in the countries which contributed the most to architecture (Italy, France, Greece, etc.). The UK is Anglo-centric so they suffer the same PC problem as the US-Canada. In another thread about Fuksas, a MAN, by the way, one of the first things a relative by marriage said about him was "Che brutto," or "He's so ugly." (see that thread).
Generally speaking, an unattractive person who is a professional but conducts himself or herself like one is spared of the comments on his or her appearance, because they are moot and/or because they are innately good people. A person who is viewed negatively is not spared attacks. Anybody remember Leona Helmsley, the rich flamboyant New York hotelier/real estate goddess? One of the most hated people in America, from what employees reported. On insults, my attitude for people like that is: they're fair game. I'm not a "male feminist," like so many architects are, because of the "buy in" to political correctness and because they can be so unnecessarily "beta" sometimes.
Treat others how you want to be treated.
I'm not from the US nor do i live or work there and i don't care about PC nor am i known for even being polite, let alone correctly so. i care about what is tangible and i know, from experience in different areas of the world, how women are not allowed or encouraged to occupy positions that they deserve and work for. i know that in a predominantly male environment (whether by choice or default), female colleagues are viewed on the basis of their appeal to the men (is that professional?). a women seen to be unattractive, if she has a strong personality on par with "the boys", gets called a lesbian or a bitch. and if she were attractive, then let your imagination run wild with the innuendos and imagined acts verbalized behind her back (now that pun was really NOt intended).
you don't need to be a "male feminist". you just need to be more sensitive and sensible. has it crossed your mind that perhaps a large woman who thinks of herself as unattractive might read the shitty posts of yours and how that might affect her? how readily she sees people calling other large women who don't look a certain way: water buffalos?
no, its not about abstract PC. its about tangibly having empathy and not being sociopathic.
and no, the brits can be very un-pc.
and we're here on an architecture website. there is no reason to bring up vile personal remarks. you talk about professionalism and yet you yourself sound juvenile and crude and bring nothing less pertinent to the discussion than insults.
observant, you can find pictures of her as a student and young teacher online, if you are so hung up on her looks.
Read/think and get out more.
A trip to europe doesn't count.
observant, here is the question. Would you mind if someone called you an ugly sack of shit who does not know how to talk on a public forum? If you do, then you have no right to make comments on anyone else's physical appearance.
Do you mind? If not, I guess it is okay.
The bigger point is that these kinds of comments somehow take away from the actual discussion. The discussion then becomes your comment, and not the real issue.
You are right about people in the US being a little PC, and sometimes even hypocritical though.
You make good points, without a doubt. If there has been foul play in mistreatment of employees, it's fair game to put on the gloves. Architecture is at the top of the list for poor treatment of new employees. It sickens me because it was so contrary to my experiences after receiving a B.S.
Professionalism? There are cartoonists, employed by large newspapers, who make exaggerated depictions of important figures, and their features, which would be no different from my comment. Have you ever heard what is said in the Oval Office? It has been shocking at times. (think Watergate tapes). Suddenly, the water buffalo appellation is on par with some of the above. I don't think so. She laughs all the way to the bank and basks in the limelight. What does she care? When I first saw Fuksas's picture within the last month (never knew what he looked like before), another unflattering zoo exhibit analogy came to mind.
How do I view women in an office setting? Show me the brains and the skills. I want to know how much you know. (Everyone's appearance registers with people, especially with visual people, and they usually keep it to themselves). If a woman has the brains and the skills, AND needs to amp it up with being bitchy and oppressive, they're the sociopath, not me. One of the roles I like best is being a teacher in a work setting. Interns under me were almost spoon-fed, but we're not talking glitzy firms, either. In fact, when their work was not up to par (not enough call outs on sections to build from), I would say "that's ok, you can leave (5 pm)," and I finished their stuff. Why get them in trouble? What happened to them? They got in trouble 1 or 2 or 3 jobs down the pike, with someone else, for not being thorough enough. They hadn't grown, in terms of competence. Most of them, in the end, were dreamers and didn't want to be in architecture.
I believe in selective empathy. Spare me. That is, one has empathy for a person who deserves it. Empathy is the new buzz word in pop psychology, with all the crazy things going on around us these days. Just had a friend who worked in the library (where the 55 y.o. hipster suited architects visited), and the passing of one of her parents garnered my empathy. Have a relative overseas who is terminally ill, and whose life can be summarized by the nasty double entendre barbs they made, and my empathy is lacking. An architect, or architectural firm, who mistreats employees deserves NO empathy, nor respect. That's how I roll.
Read/think and get out more.A trip to europe doesn't count.
I have lived in Europe for several years. I have been a dozen times.
Call me what you want. I was called a lot of things on my "HS education to licensure" thread.
When an architect, male or female, is reputedly vile, and there have been many over the years, why be polite? I question the totally bohemian mentality of working for someone where they are a doormat, in terms of pay and treatment, in an expensive environment like London, NY, or LA. For that to happen, they have to turn a blind eye to what the studio is REALLY all about ... and the truth hurts, so the blinders are convenient. If one goes to work for a firm that does hospitals, airports, schools, and other big but less glitzy stuff (in a time frame where hiring, and construction, are going on), they get a standard slate of pay and benefits. You'll still get to be an architect. You just won't have a star on your resume. Do you know how many retired people there are in Palm Springs whose greatest claim to fame is that they did a certain movie star's hair? It's kind of sad, actually, as they wistfully tell you of these stories as being the pinnacle of their lives.
This thread wasn't about appearance. I just tossed that out. It's about NOT being a sycophant. It's not good for your self-esteem. In fact, the thread is entitled "WHY DO PEOPLE STILL WORK FOR ZAHA?" I didn't even know who she was, until this thread came up.