Believe in the Fantastic © Lisa White Reber

Believe in the Fantastic: Zaha Hadid

Lisa White Reber

Red Hill, Pennsylvania, USA

Artist Statement

“Believe in the Fantastic” is the result of work done over several weeks of study with Claire Benn. It needed to illustrate the combination of soaring architectural spaciousness and organic forms that is a hallmark of Zaha Hadid’s work. The title comes from her ‘Postcard to my Younger Self’, written for the BBC to celebrate International Women’s Day 2016.

Inspiration for this quilt could be found everywhere and browsing images of her buildings was a joy. The challenge was to somehow combine the disparate sources of forms in both macro (buildings) and ordinary (jewelry and furniture) scales with Zaha’s line drawings and abstract paintings. And, like Ms. Hadid herself, it needed to be bold.

Creating the fabric for the whole-cloth quilt was both a pleasure and a challenge. It includes three layers of surface design in a strong color palette referential of Zaha’s flamboyant personal style. The quilting design was chosen to add structural, architectural elements to an otherwise squishily organic print.

Woman’s Groundbreaking Accomplishment

Architect Zaha Hadid was the first woman to win the Pritzker prize, the RIBA Gold Medal and the Design Museum’s Design of the Year award.


White cotton poplin snow-dyed, screen printed and over-dyed, then quilted on a home sewing machine.


Cotton fabric, rayon thread, polyester batting.