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Zaha Hadid’s Award-Winning Snack-itecture Inspired by Doodles, Chips, Funyuns

A new profile describes Hadid’s affinity for potato chips, and we can’t help but see the similarity in her work.

zaha hadid

Note to readers of John Seabrook’s New Yorker profile of Iraqi female starchitect Zaha Hadid this week: The opening scene, full of potato chips and chicken
falling from Hadid’s mouth as he interviewed her lunching at the Mercer is no accident. It’s advanced criticism.

The sandwich came with potato chips, and Hadid examined one, turning it in her fingers, which were long and tapered and ended in bright-red nails, before putting it into her mouth. The twisty geometry of an ordinary potato chip, to say nothing of the curves in modern cars and phones, is a reminder of how few buildings look as if they belonged in the digital world. Hadid is devoted to helping architecture catch up.

Well, now that we know of her love for chips–as well as her affinity for capes; it’s a juicy piece!–we have to say that the salty snacks are exactly what come to mind when we see Hadid’s buildings. The London Olympic Aquatic Center, being constructed for 2012, looks just like a Pringle! Is it possible then, that Hadid’s work is able to achieve engineering feats previously only found in fried potato products? The New Yorker has done a fine job of examining Hadid as the lone Arab woman at the top of her field. We examine her work as it relates to a greasy, sour cream-and-onion-scented heap of Frito-Lays.

zaha hadid

The Nuragic and Contemporary Art Museum in Cagliari, Italy; Lays

zaha hadid

The just-completed MAXXI Museum, Rome; Sun Chips

zaha hadid

Aqua Table for Established & Sons; Tostitos Scoops

zaha hadid

VorteXX Chandelier for Zumtobel and Sawaya; Funyuns

zaha hadid

The Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck, Austria; Cheeto

[New Yorker]

About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato.



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