AWE (A Woman’s Experience)


women's studies, architecture


This paper provides a brief background on the accolades of Dame Zaha Hadid, architect, and expresses the significance of her international acclaim in light of being a woman architect. Hadid’s experiences developing into a successful, professional architect, despite existing gender and cultural minority biases working against her, are compared to the city of Guangzhou’s economic success, despite a history of foreign occupation. Hadid’s personal experiences of working and living in areas with strong multicultural influences relate to Guangzhou’s multicultural population, as it exists as a hub for immigration and trade into mainland China. Hadid’s personal style, as inspired by her visit to her homeland’s ancient beginnings in Sumer, Iraq, focuses on connecting a building to its geographical location and its people and culture. Because of the aforementioned connections to the city, Hadid was uniquely qualified to design the Guangzhou Opera House. Because of her exemplary status, the architectural society lacks sound judgment when undermining or discouraging minority architects purely because of their minority status.


Allison Foster is an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University majoring in art history and curatorial studies, and double-minoring in history and women’s studies. Allison is currently employed as a research assistant for BYU’s Hyrum Smith Papers project. She serves in the leadership of the BYU Art History Association. She plans to be a mother, university professor, and lifelong supporter of equal rights.