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Who was Cassandra?


  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.

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February 04, 2007

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hadid is definitely fascinating. i saw the museum show here in NYC, which was beautiful but also many months ago. she's actually been getting a ton of press lately (here's an article in the NYT from yesterday) about her plan for a performing arts center in abu dhabi. her drawings are beautiful, often more artistic than practical, which is why her works are rarely built.

Ganesh, thanks a lot for this comment and link. I'm glad to hear about the exhibit from someone who actually saw it! I've been reading about the Abu Dhabi complex and will try to post something further on that tonight or tomorrow - it's a really interesting project that brings up all sorts of cultural possibilities - and baggage. Thanks for writing.

Back when I worked in an architect's firm in Cambridge, Mass in the late 80s, Zaha Hadid was just becoming famous. The women loved it that she was making such a stir. But this was in the heyday of postmodernism, which was dismissed by some as a frivolous flash-in-the pan. Hadid's apparent transformation of deconstruction in literary criticism into deconstructivism also seemed a bit forced, but it led to some interesting ideas about what you can do with a building.

But nothing I've seen in her work (which isn't much, admittedly) strikes me as being very female; her buildings could easily have been designed by men, by the Great Men such as the ones who build big expensive white Masterpieces above the 405 in LA or quirky expensive museums in Spain. Things that Make a Statement. She does seem like one of the guys in terms of her work.

I think a lot of women who architects (and a lot of men, too!) end up doing smaller-scale work where they apply the principles of what they know and try and make the world a better place. It doesn't win you covers on Architectural Digest, but I'm glad they're doing it...

Here in Missouri a woman sells a modular home that she designed. As well, a modular home from Califoria that I recently read about also is designed and built by a woman. She went into business when the neighbors wanted a house just like the one she had built for her family and was living in. The Missouri architect's modular plan also derived from a home built for family, in this case her parents. Both kits emphasize affordability and in at least in the case of the Missouri one, ease of construction. Perhaps just a coincidence both architects were female.

Maybe not so coincidental, Bill! Thanks for the comment.

Well, as long as I'm trying to force sterotypes such as feminine domesticity I might as well go ahead and say that I thought the architect in California acted very un-lady-like when she puchased a factory in Seattle with a production goal of ten-thousand units.

Hah! You've made me laugh this morning, Bill. Have a good day...

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