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 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.
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.
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.
I have always appreciated designers who dare to reinterpret fabrics and proportions, so I follow the Japanese and Belgian designers. The pieces are so animated. When they lie still, they are one thing, but once you stand them up or wear them, they become something else.
Life in the Middle East is quite different from other places.
In hospital, people should be able to have time to themselves.
I’m a pushover. I make allowances for people if I like them.