When any great practitioner passes — especially suddently — it gives us a moment of pause (and probably fear) to reflect on the true import of their work and the impermanence of life. It was just a few weeks ago that I was embroiled in a conversation about feminism and professionalism, particularly in male-dominant fields, and of course, Zaha Hadid came up. Our discussion wasn’t so much that she was a great female architect — which she would have hated — but about how important it was that she (mostly) surpassed that assignation. OF COURSE, the criticisms of her are often rooted in sexist terms and standards, but her prowess and tenacity forced people to deal with her work more than her gender. So while our architectural lead might choose another article to site in reflection of her work, as a woman in a male-dominated industry, I choose to celebrate her guts and gusto (in addition to just staggering design vision). Farewell, Zaha.