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Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects lectures at AUS
American University of Sharjah (AUS) has recently held a special lecture by Patrik Schumacher, Principal, Director and Senior Designer at Zaha Hadid Architects, at the university's Main Building. Schumacher has been leading the firm since Hadid's passing in April 2016. The lecture also coincided with the announcement of the Zaha Hadid / Omniyat Fellowship Fund.
The lecture, organized by the AUS Chapter of the American Institute of Architectural Students (AIAS), an independent and non-profit institute with chapters in many US architecture programs, aimed to highlight the accomplishments of the late Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid and to share inspiring architectural work with students and faculty members of the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) at AUS.
"For me Zaha Hadid totally transformed the meaning of architectural design," said Schumacher during his presentation. "She turned design into an adventure of discovery with previously unimaginable degrees of freedom. Yet, there is nothing arbitrary within her work. It was always principled and pursued to perfection. Her legacy will live on in us as well as in so many of her inspired followers," he added.
The lecture focused on developed architectural styles that include Parametricism, which relies on evolutionary digital algorithms and structural organization that respond to environmental parameters like sun, wind, gravity, and geology.
Schumacher, who joined Hadid in 1988, has been a co-author on most projects and was seminal in developing Zaha Hadid Architects into becoming a 400-strong global architecture and design brand. In 1996, he founded the Design Research Laboratory at the Architectural Association where he continues to teach.
"Patrik Schumacher's lecture encapsulated very well the significant ways in which Zaha Hadid and her firm pushed the boundaries of architectural thought," said Dr. Varkki Pallathucheril, Dean of CAAD at AUS. "As I listened, I could not but help wonder if the next Zaha Hadid-cosmopolitan, radical, a renaissance thinker-was in the audience that day. The Zaha Hadid / Ominiyat Fellowship Fund would help individuals realize such potential by giving them the opportunity to study at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. I am sure many AUS students and alumni will be vying for this opportunity and I wish them all success," added Dr. Pallathucheril.
The CAAD Dean was commenting on the announcement after the lecture, of the Zaha Hadid / Omniyat Fellowship by Omniyat Executive Chairman and CEO, Mahdi Amjad. The initiative introduced by Omniyat, a Dubai-based property developer, is designed to encourage aspiring designers and architects from the region to further pursue their studies. The initiative is in line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai's vision to make youth development a top priority.
A tribute to the late Dame Zaha Hadid's work, life, and legacy, the Zaha Hadid / Omniyat Fellowship Fund at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) will provide financial aid to qualifying students from the UAE and the Arab World, and enrolled in the Master in Architecture program at the GSD.
Amjad said, "I was fortunate enough to have worked for over ten years with my dear friend and design mentor Dame Zaha Hadid on the creation of our flagship Opus Building in the heart of Dubai.
"It was a pleasure to be present for this special lecture and to meet some of the architecture students here at AUS. Its so important to inspire and nurture our future talent and it is through the Zaha Hadid/Omniyat fellowship that I hope other great creative minds can develop to design and build the next generation of inspirational buildings that provide unique experiences."