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Recognized as the most influential woman in architecture, last week Zaha Hadid was in Rio to take part in the second edition of Arq Futuro. Arq Futuro is a biannual event launched in 2011 to bring together the world´s architectural stars to discuss the role of architecture in modern society, both as a means of artistic expression as well as its role in social development. Spotted hanging out at the Fasano pool after the press conference, she also headed up the main event on the 30th of March at the Espaco Tom Jobim as the keynote speaker. Hadid discussed the challenges of designing for the Olympics, after taking part in London 2012´s Olympic swimming pool project. Due to the short time period between a city winning the bid and hosting the actual event, developments tend to focus on building a specific project rather than more long term needs for regenerating an area, such as investing in housing and schools- something that Rio appear to be taking note of. She also spoke about the importance of Niemeyer´s work in redefining Brazil´s modern identity as it moved away from the vestiges of colonialism. ´Brasilia is an amazing work, and a very abstract one. To achieve that level of abstraction with fantastic detailing was very difficult, and something I think you can communicate more successfully here in Brazil. He was a very important step for Brazil and a precursor, along with the Russian abstracts, to my work.´ Although Zaha has yet to design a project in Brazil, with this recent visit the seed has been planted, so watch this space…