Architect Arithmetic: Zaha Hadid

It has become a misconceived perception that architects need to be good at math.|1| However, Architects, typically, only need to know basic arithmetic. The following is a continuing series of Architect Arithmetic.

This week’s Architect Arithmetic is in honor of: Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid must’ve been poked in the eye by a straight edge as a child – and stubbornly held a grudge. Because now she insists on building sinuous buildings devoid of corners. She probably doesn’t even own a ruler; she’s so enamored with fashion design she probably just carries around one of those flexible sewing tape measures.

I can imagine a daily conversation with her going as follows:

Zaha Hadid: What is the length of that toilet wall?
Menial Intern: Ummm… There’s no corner? Where do I measure from.
Zaha Hadid: Here borrow my flexible tape measure and don’t return until you’re finished.
Menial Intern: Ummm… You’re sewing tape measure is only 1 yard long.
Zaha Hadid: Yes. And don’t return until you’re finished.
22 tireless hours later…
Menial Intern: Ummm… Since the building is 1 continuous wall, the length is somewhere between 9 meters and 9.2 kilometers in length.


















To view all past Architect Arithmetic images, visit the Architect Arithmetic Tumblr


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1 Revit already is a $6000 calculator.


  1. Rich

    Inspired!!! ….. and especially on the heels (ha!) of reading her comments on the Chicago archi biennial. Eagerly awaiting your assessment of daniel libeskind.

    • brady ernst

      Thanks Rich. I’ve been wanting to do one based upon Libeskind’s architecture, but everything is just a pointy shard…

  2. Sean Palmer

    This was hilarious. I’ll definitely be coming back to read more. Fantastic blog, keep it up!

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