In an exclusive interview with the AJ, Jane Drew Prize-winner Zaha Hadid urged aspiring female architects to work hard, develop digital skills and travel the world
Hadid in her own words
What advice would you give to aspiring female architects? The same advice to everybody, work hard and invest in digital technology. Travelling will open your eyes.
What is the toughest hurdle you have faced? There were many hurdles. The biggest one was to be respected as a woman architect.
What do you think of UK architectural education? London has always been a hothouse for people to come from all over the world to study. I am worried that people won’t be able to come over here to train anymore.
How important is leadership in the running of a practice? I’m very tough, but I also give my staff freedom.
Is it possible to make a lot of money as an architect? No. Commercial architects do, but otherwise you can’t make money in architecture. It’s a joke.
Does you find being called a starchitect helpful? People like to use clichés, you still have to work equally hard, if not harder.
Will the private sector solve Battersea Power Station? They sold it to the wrong guy. Now it will take a fortune to repair. It was in good nick.
Boris or Ken? They have both done a good job. I don’t know who is best. Abandoning the building of academies was a big mistake.