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DLD13: Zaha Hadid Receives Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership

On Monday, 21 January 2013, architect Zaha Hadid received the Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership at the international DLD Conference in Munich. The Iraqi-born British architect and professor of architecture is regarded as the most important and influential figure of her profession worldwide. The Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership honors female digital entrepreneurs for their visionary and successful ideas. Rhode Island School of Design president John Maeda delivered the honorific address on Zaha Hadid : "Leaders are needed when times are changing, creative leaders change times themselves. They make things - like Zaha. She's unafraid to disrupt, she's very optimistic. Today we celebrate her incredible optimism."

Over her career spanning three decades, Zaha Hadid has garnered international recognition for both her practice and her academic work. Her revolutionary urban planning, architecture and design projects situate her in the liminal spaces between architecture, landscape and geology. Her designs, which are characterized by surprisingly dynamic and futuristic-seeming architectural forms, integrate natural topography and man-made systems. The complex concepts of Zaha Hadid are all made possible through digital tools. Hadid is a trailblazer in the use of cutting-edge technologies. Some of her most-renowned realized objects are the Olympic Aquatic Center in London, Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, the Ski Jump in Innsbruck, the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati and recently the Central Bank of Iraq along with numerous other large projects around the globe.

The Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership honors women of outstanding entrepreneurial and creative achievement. The prize has been conferred annually since 2006 in memory of Aenne Burda , who passed away in 2005. As a visionary entrepreneur in post-WWII Germany, Aenne Burda turned a small publisher into the world's largest fashion publishing house.

Previous DLD Conferences saw the following recipients of the Aenne Burda Award: Marissa Mayer (2006), Caterina Fake (2007), Martha Stewart (2008), Esther Dyson (2009), Mitchell Baker (2010), Natalie Massenet (2011), and Arianna Huffington (2012).

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Photograph: G. Nietschke/S. Brauer /Hubert Burda Media