Architecture is unnecessarily difficult. It’s very tough.
I used to not like being called a ‘woman architect’: I’m an architect, not just a woman architect. Guys used to tap me on the head and say, ‘You are okay for a girl.’ But I see the incredible amount of need from other women for reassurance that it could be done, so I don’t...
I made a decision when I was in school that I’d have a lot of male friends.
It’s very important that historic cities are allowed to reinvent their future.
I don’t think I am that tough, actually. Well, tough in the sense that I don’t take any rubbish, and that doesn’t make me very popular, frankly. I mean, because some people say something to me, and I just tell them off. I mean, why should I put up with it?
I find industrial cities exciting. I like their toughness.
What’s similar between Britain and America is the lack of good-quality civic buildings.
People in power, they’re so used to people kind of playing up to them.
I was always unusual-looking; I wouldn’t say beautiful.
I miss aspects of being in the Arab world – the language – and there is a tranquility in these cities with great rivers. Whether it’s Cairo or Baghdad, you sit there and you think, ‘This river has flown here for thousands of years.’ There are magical moments in these places.
What’s nice about concrete is that it looks unfinished.
The commission process in America and England is different. In America, they do it through an interview process, and it’s really based on whether they like you or not. I mean, it’s nothing to do with whether you do the best scheme or the worst scheme.
I like music. Country, hip-hop, R&B, sometimes classical.