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AJ student survey: Zaha Hadid named top architectural role model

3015073 zaha hadid cropped

Students have named Zaha Hadid as their favourite architectural role model in an online poll    

The trailblazing architect, who died in March 2016, was the most popular choice by those completing the AJ’s 2018 student survey.

According to one respondent, Hadid was ‘a woman who didn’t fear her critics, a woman who believed that her architecture and understanding would change the world [and] a woman who kept struggling to conquer success’.

Another wrote that they admired Hadid ’because of the confidence and persistence in her early career’.

Other close contenders were architects Norman Foster, Bjarke Ingels and Peter Zumthor, with Thomas Heatherwick also among the top 10 most popular role models named.

Peter Barber of Peter Barber Architects was ranked fifth in the poll. He was praised by one respondent for ’his continued pursuit and belief in public housing’, while Mary Duggan, who set up her own practice Mary Duggan Architects last year, also made the list. According to one student, Duggan is ’not afraid to try anything, [is] a great woman and architect and deserves what she has’. 

However a large number of respondents said the could not name anyone as an exemplar in the profession. One student said: ’I don’t have a role model. I respect hard working, talented team players’. Another wrote: ’The big names have asked me to work insane hours for not enough money, so they went down in my eyes.’

Another student, who didn’t name any role model, said: ’I wish there were more successful female architects with kids’.

The AJ’s annual survey into architectural education was taken by nearly 500 UK-based respondents.

Read the full results of the survey here.

Who is your current role model in architecture: top 10 answers

1 Zaha Hadid

2 Norman Foster

3 Bjarke Ingels

4 Peter Zumthor

5 Peter Barber

6= Thomas Heatherwick

6= David Chipperfield

8 Mary Duggan

9 Amanda Levete

10 Hawkins\Brown

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