Zaha Hadid is quickly becoming one of the more controversial figures in architecture. Her designs have long been the subject of critical debate, as people usually either love them or hate them. Goldsmiths has granted her an honorary degree, an announcement that came within hours of Hadid's announcement to file a claim against The New York Review of Books and the architecture critic Martin Filler for defamation.
The recent uproar about migrant working conditions in Qatar, where Hadid designed the Al Wakrah stadium for the 2022 World Cup, has only made her more of a lightning rod for criticism, some of which uses her as an avatar for profession-wide problems. The defamation case stems from Filler's review in the NYRB of Rowan Moore's book Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture. In the review, Filler alleged that Hadid was indifferent to harsh working conditions on high-profile projects in the region.