I am preparing an article about Zaha Hadid and her influence on landscape design for the trade publication Landscape (based in the Middle East) (if you don’t know of her, she is a celebrated modern deconstructionist architect that was born in Baghdad).
In reading about her over the weekend, I learned that she claims her greatest inspiration for her work is a visit that she made to the see the marsh Arabs as a young teen. Marsh Arabs have lived in the marsh area where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers merge for over 5000 years. Their way of life, coping with their natural environment and fantastic architecture inspire Ms. Hadid and they are inspiring me as well. I have already ordered the book Marsh Arabs by Explorer Wilfred Thesiger (with whom the young Ms. Hadid made her visit) and can’t wait to dive in.
All the lands were sea…
Gilimma bound reeds upon the face of the waters,
He formed soil and poured it out beside the reeds.
He filled in a dike by the side of the sea,
He made a swamp, he formed a marsh
and he brought it into existence,
Reeds he formed, trees he created.
Sumerian creation myth
Sadly, I understand that this civilization, who for centuries stayed outside the politics of the region and were left to live their lives as they have for thousands of years, were wiped out by Saddam Hussein. But these images remain….and their way of life is still inspiring modern thinkers.
Have you been inspired by Zaha Hadid or have an interesting point to make about her influence on landscape design? I would love to hear it….I think I would find it tremendously helpful.
images from Laputan Logic.